Dreams don’t run out of steam – people do. Too often we give up too soon. We listen to the voice of the critics, who’ve never accomplished anything themselves and never will. That’s why they criticize, saying, “it can’t be done,” because they haven’t done it. Or, we start looking at the odds instead of the evens; the minuses instead of the plusses; the negatives instead of the positives, or we look at the wind and the waves (like Peter), take our eyes off the Lord and start to sink.
In short, we give up on our dream and our whole world turns into a nightmare. Always has, always will.
The Bible encourages us to “fix our eyes on JESUS, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). What do you think kept JESUS going? A dream? Absolutely! His dream was seeing people, like you and me, get the opportunity to have our sins forgiven and a home in Heaven. His dream came at a high price. Most dreams do. His dream meant His own death in order that you and I might have life. And not just any old life, but “life more abundant!”
A great dream usually means a great deal of sacrifice and self-denial. Especially if the dream comes from God. Pete Wilson says, “There is overwhelming evidence that pursuing a God-given dream – whatever the dream may be – is guaranteed to bring you up against opposition. That opposition can come from many sources: naysayers and critics, well-meaning friends and family members, negative circumstances, and, most of all, from the fear in you own mind.”1
But if we persevere and press on, the day will come when we can see our dreams become realities.
We’ve seen that happen here. Who would’ve ever dreamed in those hot August days of 1992 that we’d be where we are today as a church? None of us. Over 7,000 people now call Crossroads their church home. More people are in worship, more people in small groups, more missionaries being supported and more money being given to missions, more students studying for full-time Christian ministry, more leaders being raised up, more marriages being strengthened, more homes being healed, more lives being changed, and God is being glorified more than ever.
In just a few days, Lord willing, we’ll be opening an incredible new children’s building where thousands of young children will have the opportunity to hear about JESUS, and we’re raising funds to build a similar building for teenagers.
I guess what I’m trying to say is: Thanks to all of you who’ve hung in there and held on to the dream of building a great church for the glory of God! It hasn’t been easy. Nor has it come without opposition and great sacrifice. But the truth is we are seeing our dreams become realities, and it’s been an incredibly rewarding experience.
As we look forward to the future, especially the upcoming summer season, I’m absolutely convinced God wants us to dream even greater dreams as a church family. Will you join me in dreaming what God might want us to accomplish here in the weeks, months and years ahead?
Let’s dream even greater dreams, together, of what God can do here and then, never look back or give up until we see those dreams become reality.
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).
© 2015. Barry L. Cameron
1 Pete Wilson, What Keeps You Up At Night (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2015) 6-7.
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.