Thursday, August 4, 2011

"I had a dream" but not in a MLK way... But Helpful None The Less

" I have a dream" but not in a MLK kind of way, rather "I had  a dream" last night. It may not really have been a deep spiritual encounter it may have been that last night started out cold, so as well as two blankets a duvet I threw my sleeping bag over the bed as well, then over heated.

It was a weird dream. It was about an embarrassing moment in my life, but turned out good and helpful.

When I had been a Youth Pastor in Rotorua we'd taken our youth group to a Youth Rally run by Lake City Church, the home of Destiny Church, that churches Youth Pastor had invited all the leaders from other groups to join him on the stage (Lake City use an old movie theatre). I went up reluctantly, hoping it was for prayer rather than some prank or silly game... When we all there he whipped off his shirt and invited us all to have a pose off against him. Now he was a very athletic Samoan guy and Lake City staff may not have theological degrees but they all get free gym membership.  I hid down the back, felt embarrassed  and refused to be involved.

However in my dream something strange happened then, different from real life... and here maybe is where my subconscious or God (I'm not sure which yet) stepped in. You see I have been questioning my sense of call in the light of Studentsoul Auckland coming to a close and other events that have happened recently. The Youth Pastor (in my dream) said I challenge one of you to come up on the spot and preach what is on their heart. I found myself rising to the challenge... What was on my heart?

1 Thessalonians 2:1-10

 1 You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. 2 We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. 3 For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. 4 On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. 5 You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. 6 We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. 7 Instead, we were like young children among you.
Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, 8 so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. 9 Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.

This is a passage I have always seen as being at the core of my philosophy of youth ministry or all ministry.  A faithfulness to God even if it seems the results are not obvious to those looking on, and a love of people.To love them so much that "not only do we want share the gospel with them but our lives as well, they had become so dear to us." Us of course saying that it's about growing a leadership team as well, like Paul had.

Yeah! That is at the heart of God's call on my life,  to faithfully proclaim the gospel, and to love God's people enough to share the gospel and my life with them.  I don't know where, that's Gods thing, all I know is that the call is to be faithful to that dream and vision... God takes care of the rest.

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