This morning I was reading Perry Noble's post called "I Dream of a Church Where...". Reading his words instantly pulled me back nearly 10 years when we took our church through a process of dreaming for the future. I scanned my hard drive and found the following document.
Here's the setting: It was February 1998, and we were running 1400 in total attendance. We brought some of our leaders together to dream about what Granger might look like 10 or 20 years into the future. We each wrote out our dreams and read them to the group. A few months later, we had compiled the dreams of over 400 people in the church and developed a vision statement (you can see the final version here). As you read the words below that I wrote in February 1998, let me encourage you, if you are leading a church, dream big! You'll have plenty of people tell you your dream is ridiculous, but it is the dreams of leaders that can change families, churches and entire communities. So, dream big!
What is Granger Community Church?
It is the dream of a biblically functioning community, where Christ-followers are continually taking steps in their walk with Jesus. It is a place where all are quickly connected in meaningful and life-changing relationship with others; where care and comfort happens in the context of shared life together; where a plethora of opportunities are available to help seekers and believers take their next step toward Christ.
It is the dream of sending scores of our people all around the world as career missionaries, and sending hundreds on short-term mission projects to every continent.
It is the dream of a campus large enough to support a regional ministry and national training site. It will include a state-of-the-art auditorium seating thousands, a comfortable gathering area for discussion and fellowship for hundreds, a care and counseling center, a technologically advanced and flexible training center, and top-notch childcare facilities. It will be set in a peaceful environment with bright flowers, beautiful trees, pools of still water and sparkling fountains.
It is the dream of 10,000 gathering each weekend to explore Christianity and take their first steps toward Christ, and 4,000 growing together in spiritual maturity through worship, study and fellowship – loving, laughing, and learning together, understanding God’s plan and living life to its’ greatest potential.
It is the dream of a truly cohesive ministry strategy to reach all generations with the love of Jesus. A place where we celebrate the strengths of all and focus on the similarities while accepting the differences.
It is the dream of a people who never shrink back from communicating the truth of God’s Word using relevant and innovative means; where “cutting-edge” is normal and change is readily accepted; where artists are pursued, affirmed, cultivated, loved, and released to use their gift in the church.
It is the dream of a church that makes an indisputable impact on our region, where people of all races and religions will wonder aloud what God is up to at GCC.
-- Tim Stevens, February 12, 1998