Last month I read a blog post from Mark Batterson, pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C. He said that the church ought to be a dream factory. Yes! Churches need to dream more and imagine what God can do in our neighborhoods and communities.
But then Jeremy Scheller, the communications and design coordinator at The Sanctuary in Minneapolis, made the comment that “the church ought to be a ‘do’ factory. It spends too much time dreaming of crap it never does.” Yes! How many dreams go unrealized in the hearts of frustrated volunteers and church leaders?
Here I am sitting in the midst of contradiction, as usual. So I talked to Jeremy and Mark to get their further thoughts. Should the church be involved in more dreaming or more doing? As usual, the answer is both.
“Too much church activity is nothing more than human effort and human effort isn’t enough,” Mark says. “We need God-ordained dreams.” These “God ideas” are something Mark talks about in his book, Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity. These are the ideas that change the world because they come from God and not us.
But Jeremy also has a point: “The church is still in decline, the broader culture still thinks we’re a bunch of hypocrites, and I think it’s largely because we don’t ‘act’ in a way that adequately represents the faith we claim,” he says. “Our production time might be better spent engaging and living a life in which people benefit more from our actions than our thoughts.”
Mark agrees: “It’s a two-sided coin. We have a value at NCC: Pray like it depends on God and work like it depends on you. It has to be both/and.”
Mark even gave us a handy formula:
- Doing – Dreaming = Waste of Energy.
- Dreaming – Doing = Disobedience
- Dreaming + Doing = Exponential Kingdom Impact
Is your church dreaming, doing or both?