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How’s the Dream Going?

In the late spring of 2011, Angie and I spent a lot of time dreaming and talking about what Grace Hills Church would look like. I wrote our conversations out in a form that I later presented at our very first informational meeting about Grace Hills Church on July 17, 2011. Since then, I’ve looked back at what I wrote often. In fact, it’s part of our Membership Matters course.

Today, on a Sunday like most others, we will present Membership Matters as our morning worship time, without music, to challenge our newly formed church with this same dream. Many people have come alongside us since the original 30 or so who gathered for that first meeting, and I wanted the opportunity to challenge this new family of believers with our big mission in northwest Arkansas. We’ve delighted to welcome new people into the fold, but the dream hasn’t changed.

We dream of being a home for spiritually homeless people. We envision a place where people can begin and build a deep relationship with Jesus Christ and with fellow believers, where people do life together in genuine community, and where people grow spiritually in an atmosphere where the grace of God is highly celebrated.

We dream of a church where real problems are solved and real needs are met as people are drawn closer to God, where people recover from hurts, habits, and hang-ups that prevent them from enjoying meaningful relationships with God and each other.

We dream of a church where God’s Word is honored as our highest authority on earth and as the source of real and abundant life.

We dream of a church that joins in a conversation with the world and community around us about matters of faith and life, that is always bringing the relevance of God’s perspective to the issues that face us, and that is willing to engage with the honest questions people have about life, death, God, and eternity.

We dream of a church where people serve one another according to the way that God has shaped them, where spiritual gifts, passion, talents, and experiences are a part of how we meet the needs of others inside and outside of our church family.

We dream of a church that matters to its community, that makes a visible, noticeable, and tangible difference on behalf of Christ in the real problems that exist.

We dream of a church that celebrates changed lives, that cultivates an atmosphere of freedom to grow and serve, and that empowers people with the confidence to do so.

So how’s the dream going? God has been faithful! We see the dream being fulfilled week after week. Lives are being changed. People who were once dead in sin are alive in Christ. Hurt and wounded people are finding healing in a community of believers. But we are far from satisfied. Until Jesus comes, we will chase this vision together.

Dreaming big dreams is vital to any abundant life and to any thriving fellowship. But dreams that we want to see fulfilled need to be written down, articulated with boldness publicly, and measured along the way. In this way they will serve as a guide for the journey, a reminder of our original purpose, and something to celebrate as victories are experienced.

Go dream a dream. Catch it from your personal walk with God and communicate it loudly to others. Then give your life to it!

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Brandon Cox is Lead Pastor of Grace Hills Church, a new church plant in northwest Arkansas. He also serves as Editor and Community Facilitator for Pastors.com and Rick Warren's Pastor's Toolbox and was formerly a Pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. In his spare time, he offers consultation to church leaders about communication, branding, and social media. He and his wife, Angie, live with their two awesome kids in Bentonville, Arkansas.