…but I can’t help it. I have had it for years.
Before I tell you what it is, let me say something. You and I, all of us, are notorious for shooting down a dream before it even has a chance. We encourage people to dream, but then, when someone actually dreams a dream, we do everything possible to jerk them back down to the ground. Let them fly for a second, but quickly grab the string. The kite has had long enough.
Afterall, there is work to be done.
Afterall, there are the duties of today and tomorrow.
Afterall, look how limited your resources are (i.e. time and money).
Afterall, what are the chances that you, among others, will be the one to do something special.
Afterall, it isn’t practical.
Goals can be reached with hard work. But dreams? Hard work isn’t enough. Hard work and sacrifice is absolutely required. However, even then, an act of God is required in order for the dream to come to pass.
Quite often a person kills another person’s dream so that in the end, the person will not suffer from a broken, disappointed heart. Little do we know that to not dream at all results in a numbness that is 10x more piercing than a season disappointment.
So here is my dream. What if every mega-church in the United States prayerfully adopted a third world country? Yes, I said country. Now, some of these countries are large and would require multiple churches to partner together. I get that. But remember, this is my dream. When giving yourself some “dreamtime,” do not even consider practicals. Just throw paint on the canvas. Sort it out later. Revise it later. A door unhinged can be taken anywhere.
Would there be logistical nightmares? Yes! Political roadblocks? No doubt. Matter of fact, insurmountable without God’s powerful intervention. But remember, this is dreamtime. So, back to my dream. Details later. We need fire first. We can control it later.
Mega-churches would have to make budget cuts, evaluate the size of their staff, still maintain compassionate care for their local communities, and still offer excellent service in a society that values excellence. I get that. But this is dreamtime.
And then, for smaller churches, there could be an organization in place that networks groups so that resources could be compiled. Maybe a network of smaller churches could be grouped together to adopt/sponsor smaller countries.
Why not? I know two things as a pastor on staff: Churches are going to spend their money on something. Second, people usually do not have trouble giving when the story they are being invited into is deeply significant. I wonder if pastors are having to beg for money in some instances because the vision just doesn’t quite seem big enough for people to let go of hard-earned (and hard to come by in our economy) money.
Maybe people aren’t that greedy. It could be they just need something more compelling. A compelling vision might move people to empty their pockets. They might even do so without the word “sacrifice” ever even surfacing.
Mega-churches…adopt a nation. Improve education. Help create self-sustaining businesses. Provide transportation (e.g. bikes). Help build simple shelters.
Here is a thought. What if a church is buying 10,000 chairs. They want nice chairs. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH NICE CHAIRS. To say other wise is to speak out of a spirit of poverty. But, nice does not mean top-of-the-line. Let us say that the top-of-the-line chair is $75 a chair. $75 multiplied by 10,000 is $750,000. Insane, right? Now, pretend a church picked up this dream and ran with it. This specific local church family would have to make some cuts. In order to sponsor a nation, one of the first steps the church could take could be to buy the $35 really nice chair (though not top-of-the-line) and save $40 a chair. $35 multiplied by 10,000 is $350,000. I hope this just struck you between the eyes. Wow! Just in this one area this one decision would free up $400,000. Digging a well usually cost around $5,000 (it varies depending on several factors). By choosing the nice chair rather than the top-of-the-line chair, this church could dig approximately 80 water wells. 80!!! Or, this church could dig 40 water wells strategically spaced throughout the nation and use the other $200,000 for other purposes. Again, this is ONLY after scaling down in ONE area. Imagine if each mega-church was this intentional across the board in every area of that church’s operation.
Are there political complications? Militias? Certain situations where it just will not work. Sure. But, remember, this is dreamtime, and just because it might not work everywhere does not mean it can’t work in several places.
I have a dream: Mega-churches that empty their pockets for the poor nations of the earth. I bet Jesus would be all about that.
(Note: I am not encouraging churches to go their own way and do their own thing. Great organizations such as Compassion International are already in place to use money responsibly. It would be foolish to not leverage these type Christian organizations that have proven, financial track records and already have the experience, machinery, details, and in some cases, people in place.)