Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I Have a Dream

I Have A Dream
by Lyn Hallewell

I’ve been thinking about what to write about for PDL for a few days now, so many ideas have filled my mind. I wanted to write down thoughts that would inspire and were from the heart. Finally I have decided to write about what I envisage the church of the future could be like. Driving home from grocery shopping today Martin Luther King’s great speech “I Have a Dream” came into my mind. I realized that this is what I should base my thoughts around. You see I, along with many others out there, have a dream of what and who the church could and should be. You may not agree with all of my points, which is great! The world would be a very boring place if we all agreed all of the time. One thing I love about being a Christian in bloggosphere is that we have some really interesting, funny, and at times heated discussions. These discussions, I believe, stretch us, open up our minds to different ways of thinking, and help us to grow. I hope what I write stretches and opens up your mind to the potential that is within the church.

I have a dream that one day the church will be a place of unity, that there will be no division, no denominational differences. The past will be in the past and a united Bride of Christ will dance in step with her groom – Jesus.

I have a dream that the church will not be defined and organized by binding programmes and structures, but the Spirit of God will lead her in all of her ways. She will grow like the churches in Africa and China, whether or not she is oppressed.

I have a dream that the church of the future will consist of many different communities, and she will never be known as a building again. There will be no hierarchy, everyone is welcome, and everyone is valued and equal. I dream that the church will be abundant with people. Communities with relationships of increasing wholeness and health, deep relationships that are an inspiration and witness to all humanity. A community who meet whenever they can, drawn by love, who break bread, and share life together. It will be a place where no one feels judged, where people can open up and share, and know that they are supported and loved. It will be a community where everyone is welcome, whatever their social background, ethnicity or creed. Worship will flow spontaneously from the heart, with as many expressions as there are hearts. Children will join in and feel that they are part of the Body of Christ, rather than excluded from it. God will take centre stage and people will be crying out to Him, seeking him in new and powerful ways, really wanting him to be the centre and focus of their lives. Through this new freedom will be found, and lives will feel complete.

I have a dream that the church of the future will see the Spirit of God moving again in powerful ways. There will be miracles, healings, and revelation. Communities of believers will be active and present within their locality, and wider a field. Communities will come together to worship God, but this will not be their primary agenda. First and foremost communities of Christ will be ministering to those in need, serving, loving and caring for people from all walks of life, in all contexts, without judgement or bigotry. Villages, Towns and Cities will be transformed through the power of Christ, as people on the fringes of society are reached.

I have a dream that the church will begin to resemble the early Christian community, and that the corporation it has become will be taken into receivership. In the future people will not grimace when they hear the words “Christian” and “Church” instead they will think of a community which has given food and shelter to the homeless and needy, loved prisoners, served those suffering with addictions, helped to eradicate extreme poverty in the world, blessed the elderly, cared for the sick, looked after the widows and orphans. They will be known as a people group who have impacted and changed the world, a people group who are relevant and trustworthy and respected, a people group who worship and honour God, who don’t just talk the walk, but also walk the talk. The church will finally fulfil the mandate that was given to her.

And when that day comes the church will be free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty she will be free at last!

Lyn Hallewell lives in Hertfordshire, England with her husband, a church pastor, and two turbo-driven children. She is a Registered Nurse, but is currently on a career break as she begins to homeschool her children. She has a passion for social injustice issues and to pioneer the church out of its comfort zones. She blogs at Beyond the 4 Walls.

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