After my first year in ministry my church staff went on a retreat to do some vision casting and team building. During our time together the question was asked, “Where do you see your ministry in five years?” It’s a question many of us have heard before from teachers, and interviewers. It encourages us to think big, because no one wants to say, “I see myself doing the same thing as now.” It just doesn’t sound attractive or cool. When you hear that question you want to respond with something big. I did, I responded, “I want us to have our own youth building.” It’s a pretty bold goal considering a building would mean that I would need hundreds of teens to fill it, the staff to run it and at the time our entire church staff was only 4 people. 7 years later and we still share space with the children’s ministry.
Most of us want to answer that question with something big; however, we are afraid that it might not happen or that people will mock it. On top of our fears our big dreams don’t come true because we don’t:
Give It To God: You need Him to guide you, direct you and show you where to make the bold moves. You need Him to give you the people and resources. You need Him to pick you up when you fail. Give your dreams to God and allow Him to tell you whether or not it is going to come true. And if it doesn’t He’s got something bigger for you.
Make Failure An Option – When dreaming big, know that there is a slight chance that things will either not go according to plan or not happen at all. Dreaming big isn’t about being foolish it’s about realizing that God is in control. It’s about figuring out what you are truly capable of doing when allowing God to lead you.
Write It Down And Revisit Later – Most dreams are lost because they aren’t written down. We sometimes consider those dreams no important because if they were we would have remembered them. The truth is that sometimes are dreams need to mature and if we don’t write them down we will never have the opportunity to revisit them with a new perspective and a little more wisdom.
Speak It And Believe It – A lot of dreams die in vain. We are too ashamed, nervous or embarrassed to share them and because they never see the light of day they wither and die. Dreams that are spoken are given life, because your dreams aren’t always going to be accomplished by just you. When someone hears your dream of a bigger building, more small group leaders, or life change they might see the solution. The more speak a dream, the more we believe it and the more others will embrace it.
You make big dreams happen by offering them up to God, allowing failure, revisiting it and sharing. But above all else include God because everything is possible with Him. Again dreaming is how we help hurting kids, it’s how we commission youth into the world and it’s how we build His kingdom.
What else should we do in order to dream big?
Chris Wesley is the Director of Student Ministry at Church of the Nativity in Timonium, MD. You can read more about his blog Marathon Youth Ministry.