Sometimes, no matter how tired I am, I find myself unable to sleep at 3 A.M. in the morning. I lie in bed tossing around as my mind runs.
As long as I can remember, this has been true for me.
3 A.M. would be my best prayer time, journaling time, problem-solving time — and ironically — dream time. (Ironically because I couldn’t sleep).
In ministry or leadership, when there was a big challenge or decision, there I would be at 3AM. Through seasons of transitions and trials…. 3AM. Relational crisis? 3AM. Pastoral challenge? 3AM. Guilt and shame? 3AM.
I have been up at 3AM a lot recently — and not by choice. But God keeps waking me up.
I am very serious when I say that I am very hesitant to get back into ministry again. As I have said before, it just doesn’t seem worth it. It would be easier to not do it. And given my situation, I have a hard time even imagining a scenario where it could work. There just isn’t a lot of demand for Jewish-Gay-Democratic-Evangelicals who are moral failures. I know because I checked Craig’s List and there was nothing listed.
And if I were a betting man I would say I will never be a full time lead pastor again. (But those who have played poker with me also know I am terrible betting man.)
But that doesn’t stop me from dreaming about what church could look like… at 3AM.
The kind of church I dream about these days…
Is a church where all are welcomed. A church where people can come as they are… know and be known… and experience what it means to really have community and do life together.
I dream of a church where the journey is as important as the destination, a big tent isn’t just something we talk about but celebrate, and life transformation is the norm. I dream of a church where seeking justice is a moral issue and feeding the poor is not considered an optional activity. I dream of a church that goes all in for an Acts 2 vision… and is willing to pay the cost.
I dream of a church that is committed to God’s Word — and even more to following Jesus. I dream of a church that is grassroots, under-the-radar, subversive and transformative. I dream of a church that is counter-cultural and unapologetically evangelistic while being unabashedly loving and grace-filled. i dream of a church where leadership is a role more than position, community the goal not a slogan, and reproduction is built into the DNA.
I dream of a church where Jesus is King and Lord and Leader… where relationships trump programs… where full-life worship is the norm… where missional is more than an idea… where discipleship is lived out life-on-life, where ministry flows through our veins, and fellowship is more about family than potlucks. I dream of a church where His name is lifted high… where the Kingdom is tasted… where Jesus is glorified. I dream of a church for people with dirty feet and dirty hands… a church for broken people… a church for people who others have given up on… and maybe they have given up on themselves… but God will never give up on.
It is 3A.M. and that is the kind of church I am dreaming about.
Maybe I am just a dreamer… what do you dream about at 3AM?