My previous post is based on fact, not theory.
A lot of people talk and write about living your dreams yet for many it’s just theory. Their talk is just a way for them to escape their present reality.
I can sincerely say that I have seen God’s dream for my life come true. I celebrated it yesterday with over 1500 people.
For those of you who know me, you’ve heard this story before. But I’d like to share it today for newer readers.
In the early 1980′s I was a big fan of a fledgling industry called contemporary Christian music. I loved rock ‘n roll music like all good children of the 70′s and shortly after my conversion to Christianity I began seeking out a music style that shared my new values.
I’d go to Christian concerts and wonder why we couldn’t sing contemporary songs in church. Why did we have to sing hymns that were written over 100 years ago? Beth and I would drive miles to try to catch a Christian concert and we usually left them feeling like we’d worshiped more than we ever did in a church service.
Why couldn’t we do that on a Sunday morning?
When I was in seminary in 1987, I learned about a movement happening in “church world” where new churches were starting up using contemporary music. They had bands instead of choirs. They wore jeans instead of suits. That was my kind of church!
It was then that I first told God, “My hometown (North Augusta, SC) needs a church like that.” I already knew where the church should meet – at my old high school. It was one of the few venues in our city large enough to hold a crowd.
I kept my eye on the contemporary church movement. I studied it. Attended conferences. Corresponded with guys who were doing it. I knew Rick Warren before Rick Warren was cool. I used to call his secretary (Harriet) with all kinds of crazy questions. He spoke to a small group of church planters at my seminary (and his alma mater). I attended one of his first conferences in 1990 along with about 150 other pastors. In fact, Rick’s now famous The Purpose Driven Life book was the core of what he taught then. (But he only had 4 purposes then. He added the 5th purpose later.)
My point is that since 1987 I dreamed of being a part of a cool, contemporary church where worship would be enjoyed in a relaxed setting with a music and teaching style that fit me. I knew my hometown needed one and I prayed that one would begin – with or without me.
24 years later, most of my ministry experience has been in contemporary churches. It’s been a great ride so far. But the dream really came true 5 years ago. In August 2006, I joined the staff at TrueNorth Church – a 2 year old contemporary church that met at my old high school. The very place I envisioned it to be. Yesterday, TNC celebrated its 7th “birthiversary.” (We couldn’t decide whether to call it a birthday or an anniversary.)
It has been an incredible ride – and we are just getting started! Under the enthusiastic leadership of our humble Lead Pastor, Steve Davis, TNC has grown from just a few people with a vision for this community to an average weekly attendance of over 1500 people. I am so grateful that God has led me to this point.
But here’s something else you should know. Even when we experience God’s dreams for our lives, we are not finished. There is more to come. I don’t want to rest on this mountaintop. Just because this dream has come true doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have more to come.
I have new dreams now – and because old dreams have come true I know that the new dreams can come true too. (I’ll be unveiling a new dream here soon. Stay tuned!)
It took 19 years for my dream church experience to become a reality. I have to trust God’s timing with the new dreams. His done it before. He can do it again.
What are God’s dreams for your life?
You can read more about living the dream in my free eGuide 2 Big Questions, 1 Amazing Life! It’s not theory. It’s for real.
If you like this post, please share it using one of the buttons below. Thanks!