What do you long for, for the Church in Canada or even all of North America?
One day while on a rest leave during my time as an institutional church pastor, in desperation, I asked the Lord what His dream was for the church – both local and global. I began to write pages and this is what came out. I would later share this with my church leadership at the time and I was met with grown men weeping. It has since reached other church networks around the world.
Come dream with me…
My (God’s) Dream for the Church in Canada
I pray for the Church to be so blessed by, and hungry and thirsty for Holy Spirit.
I dream of…
- People hungrily meditating on the Living Word… not for knowing about God, but for knowing Him personally and for heart transformation, enjoying rich fellowship, breaking bread together with loving hearts, fervent praying, sharing with each other in unity, worshiping God together, joyfully serving together, giving, empowering, with external missional focus, flowing in love and grace.
- People bearing fruit of Holy Spirit because they are first abiding in Christ, seeking His kingdom (not our own), relying on the strength of Holy Spirit and not on human talent or ambition.
- God wanting to draw the Church closer to Himself and away from relying on tradition and mere intellect. (People are hungry for testimony and spiritual relationship with a relational God. We are in a post-modern age of people who want to know our story, not how much we know.) God is wanting us to be in love with Him, trusting Holy Spirit, truly doing life with Him that we are willing to hear His voice because we are His sheep, and He is our Shepherd.
- The Church being a community of dreamers and not dream squashers.
- Love being the greatest in the Church– because principles without love is legalism / rules without relationship leads to rebellion / because lacking in love and lacking in 2 way relational prayer puts tradition and religion in the way of the Gospel.
- The Church introducing people to our loving God, and showing His love, with people being drawn to Him and His abundant life within us, instead of spending our energies on arguing, and aligning with the enemy who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy.
- The Church understanding that lingering and resting in God’s love is the starting place. We do not earn His love by doing things for Him, nor do we earn other people’s love by serving. We serve out of loving intimacy with our Father – practicing prayer, rest and worship, and not serving out of anxiety, guilt, neediness, and a never-ending to-do list.
- The Church known as a community that lovingly develops leaders and not as the organization that burns out leaders and volunteers.
- The Church playing a strong part in bringing God’s love to the world, truly knowing His love and showing His love to each other.
- The Church becoming a community where broken relationships are restored because of a hunger for righteousness and God’s love far above a hunger to be right.
- The Church being a community where friendships are forged for building God’s kingdom and not for meeting selfish needs.
- The Church as being a community of inclusive welcome and not exclusive cliques.
- The Church being a community of loving, edifying language that is helpful for building up the community.
- The Church being known for admitting mistakes and seeking to repair and restore hurts previously caused in Church history.
I dream of…
- Disciples multiplying disciples because they are simply contagious in their faith.
- Every day, the Church people experiencing Divine appointments and conversations with people on the street, in the marketplace, etc.
- People who can’t help but bring the presence of God everywhere they go. If you seek to build a church, you rarely produce disciples…If you seek to make disciples, you get the church.
- Each believer praying for God to give them 3-5 people to invest life in for the next 12 months, and challenging them at the end of 12 months to replicate the process, and watching what God does. Jesus spent 90 percent of his time with 12 men and a few women. And out of that, he focused on three: James, John, and Peter.
I dream of…
- Men being spiritual fathers and women being spiritual mothers.
- Men recognizing women as sisters in Christ.
- Women recognizing men as brothers in Christ and not threats to favour, or competition.
- Women seeing each other as sisters in building God’s kingdom and not threats to friendship or favour.
- Women with leadership gifts not seen as usurping Christ’s authority but seen as faithful stewards of their gifts.
- Holy Spirit not being quenched in the silencing of both women and men.
- Women finding the Church to be a place of freedom and safety – empowered to bear His image and serve faithfully.
- Men finding the Church to be a community of safety where they don’t have to be stoic, but can be authentic and vulnerable with other men, with no shame of sharing struggles because Holy Spirit’s love is stronger.
I dream of…
- The Church being a community of celebration and empowering each other – rather than comparison and competition.
- A people who seek to bless each other during gatherings – seeing themselves as priestly brothers and sisters partnering with any hired pastors.
- Children celebrated and encouraged as powerful prayer warriors, worshipers and kingdom builders, that they inspire their parents, their teachers, and their friends with their faith, their prayers, and their unselfish service.
- Youth so hungry and thirsty to see God at work, that the older generation is inspired and blessed to join them in the hunger and thirst – not caring if their music is loud, their jeans have holes, or arms have tattoos because their hearts are filled with grace.
- The older generation recognizing the younger as arrows to invest in, craft and shape with gentle loving care (Titus 2 intentional discipleship of the next generation).
- Families adopting other families into a discipleship lifestyle.
- Couples mentoring other couples in marriage.
- Parents mentoring other parents in the journey.
- Parents discipling their children and partnering with the Church (who is intentionally discipling parents), rather than expecting volunteers and leaders to do it all.
- Pastors equipping the saints to do the work of ministry, not the pastor or the staff executing all the ministry.
- Pastors leading with a kingdom mindset – not envious of other leaders/ministry areas.
- Congregation seeking to bless and pray for leaders and not worshiping them as idols or resorting to devour them when expectations are unmet.
- Pastors, elders, and congregation loving and trusting each other in transparency.
I dream of…
- The Church viewing hardship as necessary to rest in our identity and rise up against the enemy’s lies and proving God’s goodness.
- Leaders resting in patience and perseverance to stand ground in Holy Spirit conviction, not intimidated by fear of people or money. People may choose to leave, but Spirit-led leaders stand their ground.
- The Church not afraid of people, or money leaving the Church when we stand for truth, because we worship a God who has the largest bank in the universe and we are building His kingdom, not our own. He cares more about our obedience and sacrifice than people-pleasing which is idolatry.
- The Church believing God is working something out on our behalf.
- The Church going in with a few small stones and trusting God to deliver as we stand up against intimidation of Goliath or like the little boy with his lunch not expecting to eat a bite only to discover God can feed a crowd and provide leftovers.
- Fear not being our motivating factor, but Faith!
- Choosing to fight from victory, rather than for victory.
- God seeing that He can then trust us, and birth a greater anointing over us and trust us with more.
- The Church being a community that selects pastors only because Holy Spirit called us to appoint them.
- The Church not being afraid of bad reports like the spies to Canaan, but instead we trust in God who has promised us the land and His protection.
- The Church being an apostolic sending station/missional outpost/church planting/kingdom building church – to the city, the province, the country, and around the world.
- The Church in Canada continuing to financially provide for missionaries while seeing themselves as daily missionaries too.
- People going out healing the sick, bringing life from death, driving out evil in Jesus name.
- The Church moving outside the doors of buildings to bring the love and kindness of God to the city and beyond recognizing that Jesus left the building. (Interestingly, statistics still indicate that people are leaving the church in North America in increasing numbers to find …Jesus.)
- The Church seeing the bigger picture together of kingdom building, dreaming and listening to Holy Spirit for each assignment.
- The Church not limiting who is allowed to spread the Gospel of God’s redeeming love based on gender, or age, or education, etc… but on the anointing of Holy Spirit.
I dream of…
- Prayer (2 way conversations with God) being a main activity because we are hungry for the voice and move of God – in community, not with just one person praying at the front, but clusters in homes, in gyms, in the sanctuaries, prayer walks throughout Church buildings and neighbourhoods, and throughout the city as the Spirit leads because we are commissioned with the building of God’s kingdom.
- The Church not guilty of silencing God’s voice by shying away from facilitating corporate prayer in gatherings and events because it may cause seekers or even long time followers to feel uncomfortable. I dream of the Church to be unapologetically a House of Prayer where people can take part and listen in on the greatest 2-way conversation we have ever been gifted, and to come away knowing they were in the presence of God and His people.
I dream of…
- The Church not driven by flesh, or fear, not by arrogance, and not making each other angry or resorting to jealousy, but being a Spirit-led church as in Galatians 5 – being a loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, self-controlled family who daily die to self, and who live by Holy Spirit. When God’s people truly follow Him both in Spirit, and in Truth, His kingdom increases and a world is introduced to His true nature. Hallelujah!
How do we turn these dreams into reality? Pray them! 🙂
For myself, I once crafted a 31 days of prayer guide to ask Holy Spirit to lead and fill the Church in Canada.