Brother Andrew Connally used to preach that overcoming mediocrity involves three dynamics of Christian excellence: the courage to care, the dare to dream, and the willingness to work. Having examined the courage to care last week, we now come to the dare to dream.
Does the great commission seem big to you (Mat. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-48)? The thought of going “into all the world” to “preach the gospel to every creature” can be overwhelming. Zoom in from the global level to a personal level and the task is magnified. As discussed last week, it is not easy to invite someone to have a Bible study or to come to worship. However, there is no room for negativity in the Christian’s life. We have the greatest Helper who will guide us and bless our efforts, however small they may be. It is amazing what God’s people can do when they trust in Him!
We often achieve and feel successful simply because we set our goals so low. As children, we would dream big, but it seems that, as we grew, our dreams became smaller. We brand these small dreams as “realistic” and “possible,” all the while limiting God’s power and our own God-given potential. Does this describe your view of soul winning? If so, you are not alone. Our challenge is to overcome the sentiments of the nay-sayers and to cultivate the enthusiasm of our first-century brethren who actively fulfilled the Lord’s commission (cf. Col. 1:23).
Michael Hyatt, former CEO and current chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers in Nashville, wrote a blog post in which he described big dreams as “God sized dreams.” Hyatt, though not a New Testament Christian, offers three great insights to the benefits of God-sized dreams.
First, God-sized dreams ensure our growth. Small dreams require the least effort. By contrast, big dreams often force us to push ourselves beyond our previous limits. In other words, big dreams cause big growth. Hyatt said, “[God] is not just interested in what we can accomplish for Him, but in who we are becoming along the way.” The one talent man exerted little effort, while the two and five talent men went out and doubled what they had been given (Mat. 25:14-30). That is God-sized dreaming.
Second, God-sized dreams force us to invite others into a bigger story. I am not much for self-promotion. When inviting someone to worship, I never want to say, “I wish you would come hear me preach.” Instead, I want to invite that person to come experience God’s people offering their worship to God. Evangelism is not about us, it is about inviting the lost to learn about Jesus Christ and His way that leads to eternal life (Mat. 7:13-14). The cause of evangelism is so much bigger than we are. In fact, we wil be amazed at what is possible for ordinary people who have a God-sized dream when those people put their faith in Him. “With God all things are possible” (Mat. 19:26).
Third, God-sized dreams give glory to Him, not us. Our policy at East Hill is that numbers are not everything, but numbers are important because each number represents at soul. Can the church at East Hill double in size within the next five to ten years? It can if God’s people will pray hard, work hard, and get out of the way to give God all of the glory. “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created” (Rev. 4:11).
Brother Connally said, “We have to learn to dream again!” Let’s break the mold of the status quo, and dare to dream God-sized dreams. “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Eph. 3:20-21).