“If you can dream it, you can do it!” said Walt Disney… and then came Disneyland!
“I have a dream,” shouted Martin Luther King on the National Mall to 250,000 people.
“Through hard work, perseverance and a faith in God, you can live your dreams,” wrote Dr. Ben Carson whose life was one of hardship before becoming a surgeon.
So, how’s it going with your dreams? Do you have a big dream that you’re working on achieving? Have you given up on one that was not working quickly enough? Is your dream rooted in God speaking to you? Is your dream something you dreamed up on your own? If you employ people, do you know what their dreams are? Do you know your kids’ dreams? Do you know your spouse’s dreams?
Not too long ago, five amazing leaders who have partnered with God and dreamed big for Kingdom impact got together to talk about faith in the midst of building movements from the big dreams God gave them. The panel participants were Lorne Cunningham, who founded a global missions enterprise called Youth with a Mission (YWAM); Paul Eshelman, who made The Jesus Film come to reality which brought over 500 million to faith in Jesus; Rick Warren, who wrote one of the bestselling non-fiction books of all time and started a mega church in Southern California called Saddleback Church; Amani Mustafa of Al Hayat, who operates a television program that reaches 300 million Muslim households; and Pastor Jimmy Siebert, the founder and senior pastor of Antioch Community Church in Waco, TX.
During the hour-long discussion, Dr. Rick Warren shared the six phases of what happens after you hear from God about a dream he wants you to pursue. You may be thinking the phases are: 1) Dream, and 2) Dream accomplished! However, it seems that God has a significantly longer process in mind. He uses the dreams he gives you to build your faith and your character, not just to achieve something.
Here are Dr. Rick Warren’s 6 phases of a dream:
God gives you a dream to create something, do something. Some examples are when God gave Noah the dream of building an arc, and God giving Nehemiah the dream of building the wall around Jerusalem. Great leaders dream of things that are yet unseen.
You decide to do something about the dream God gave you. Leaders act, leaders move out, leaders make things happen, leaders turn dreams into reality and leaders create change.
Question: Is there a dream you put in the hold file? Is that dream gathering dust? Should you revive it and let it live again in concert with God’s plan for your life, family or company?
There is always a delay when it comes to God laying His plans… this is meant to shape you. While you’re working on the problem, God is getting you ready. Remember Noah’s arc? The time between hearing God and the rain beginning was 120 years!
Question: How are you doing in the God’s waiting room? Are you pressing your team members too hard to speed up God’s plans?
It’s not as easy as you think it will be. Think of Joseph; he dreamed of being a ruler but had to take a lengthy trip into captivity on the way to his leadership.
This must not be something that will happen after all. Imagine getting to the Red Sea with the Egyptian army on your tail. That’s a big dead end!
Question: Did you get to a dead end, stop trusting God and give up on your dream?
The Dream happens in God’s timing and God gets all the glory.
God is building you, and He allows you to be an agent in building His dreams for your life. He invites us as leaders, to come help change the part of the world He has called us to. If you’re willing to join Him, the journey will not be quick, it will not be easy and it will not be without hardship. That’s all part of the shaping process God designed for you as the leader He has chosen to accomplish His purposes. Buckle up! The journey will honor God and you’ll grow in the process.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Greg Leith is the CEO of Convene. He was born in Canada and lived in all four corners of North America. His career spans over 35 years of senior leadership roles in corporate, non-profit and academic sectors. Recently, he served as Director of Strategic Alliances for 13 years at Biola University in California.