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A blurry vision is on the horizon

A blurry vision is on the horizonAs I continue to settle in to my new youth ministry position I’m learning more and more about all the puzzle pieces God has here. Right now I feel like I’m gaining more and more pieces every day, but they’re still all jumbled up in a box that has no picture yet. I’m confident that as I get to know the people, learn everyone’s personalities and giftedness, and hear the conversations of what they’re passionate about, the Lord will start to paint that picture by connecting the puzzle pieces for me. It’s exciting to see something taking shape, although I wish I had a grasp on God’s vision for us already.

Here is some of what is inspiring my dreams in ministry.

Two dream tests Mark Batterson posted last year:

1. The dream is God’s dream if it’s bigger than you.

We seem to be afraid of big dreams in the church. We have no problem with Trump’s 70-story skyscraper dreams or Steinbrenner’s $3 billion Yankee Stadium dream or Hollywood’s $150 million movie dreams. But the church seems to second-guess dreamers. Here’s what I think: no one ought to dream bigger dreams than the church.

You can’t reach people with more vision than you…. Pastors have to have big dreams so they attract people with big dreams!

2. The dream is God’s dream if you can’t shake it.

Most dreams have a five year expiration date. [If a dream remains longer than that, it’s probably from God.]

Habakkuk 2:3 says, “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”

You should never catch up with your dream.

I’d rather have drug-dealers than dream-killers in my church.

Fear is a negative vision.

I’m also inspired through this process by something [tag]Craig Groeschel[/tag], pastor of [tag]LifeChurch.tv[/tag], posted back in January:

If you’re doing anything aggressive in life or ministry, eventually you’re going to fail. (If you aren’t failing occasionally, or often, you’re playing it way too safe.)… Most people “fail slowly.” Churches under visionless leadership dwindle year after year until someone pulls the plug.

Again, from Mark Batterson:

One of the dangers we face in leadership is this: at some point in our leadership journey we stop playing offense and start playing defense. We stop doing ministry out of imagination and start doing ministry out of memory. We stop creating the future and start repeating the past.

It’s so easy to get caught up in forming a ministry that just keeps everyone happy, does all the traditional church stuff, doesn’t take any risks, doesn’t really accomplish anything extraordinary for the kingdom. I want this ministry to be one that overflows with passion, one that bursts at the seams trying to keep up with God’s vision for us. I want the word to spread that God is doing great and mighty things through us. But, in the words of Seth Godin:

If you want the word to spread, if you expect me to take action I’ve never taken before, it seems to me that you need to do something that hasn’t been done before. It might not feel safe, but if you do the safe thing, I guarantee you won’t surprise anyone. And if you don’t surprise anyone, the word isn’t going to spread.

I want to surprise people with what God can do through us!

Whew! I’m all worked up now! I feel like I gotta go spend some time in worship for a while…

[tags]Seth Godin[/tags]


Posted on February 26, 2007

  • Great post Tim. Very encouraging and uplifting, and it has even convicted me that I have been doing ministry on the defensive and not on the offensive. I’ve got a lot of dream killers involved in my church and that has made ministry here rather tough at times, so thank you.

  • Tim

    Brett, I didn’t include it here, but Mark Batterson also posted about having dream-killers in the church. It’s tough to do, but here’s what he said:

    Just got an email from a pastor friend. He is experiencing a little vision opposition.

    Pretty tough to sit across the table from your top two giving families and tell them “maybe this isn’t the church for you.”

    I emailed him back:

    Wow! Tougher than tough! Proud of you. Provision always follows vision. If I had to choose between vision and provision, I’ll choose vision every time because provision is dependent upon vision not vice versa :)

    One of the primary pastoral roles is protector of the vision. I’m a pretty laid back person, but if you want to get me riled up just mess with my kids or mess with our vision. That protective instinct rises up within me. Vision is such a sacred thing.

    There are moments where you have to go to the mat for your vision. Those are the defining moments of our lives.

    Dunno how that works in youth ministry other than to have a very supportive Sr. Pastor who’s on-board with your vision.

  • Congrats on being featured in YS Update.

    I hope things in Alex are going well. Will you be going to the Youth Pastor Connection next month so i can meet you face to face?

  • Tim

    Youth Pastor Connection? Is that the youth pastor meeting for the ECC in Minneapolis? I heard about it, but I don’t think I have any info. Wanna send me some?

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