ministry dream, student ministry, youth ministry

Free to Dream

By Guest Contributor May 5, 2014

By: Chris Maxwell

Portions of this story are from Chris Maxwell’s book, Pause for Moms.

Do you know about the two Ds of ministry—dreams and disappointments? Those Ds can dominate our minds and control our moods. So often, the normal but painful disappointments in life have prompted us to give up on our dreams.

While some selfish fantasies should die, many ideas should stay alive. We should nourish and cultivate and encourage them. We should test them to be sure they’re a part of God’s plan. We should let trustworthy people—not those negative-about-everything people, not those come-back-to-reality folks—help guide our dreaming process.

Dreams can keep us working and pursuing goals. They can help us know what to push aside and what to keep nearby. They can remind us of priorities.

Pie in the sky

Should youth workers chase foolish dreams? That would never be right, would it?

We shouldn’t build an ark when we need to save money for suntan lotion and sunglasses and better clothes and home improvements. Right, Noah?

We shouldn’t believe having a child is possible when too many decades have passed and other practical options make more sense. Right, Abraham and Sarah?

We shouldn’t go toe-to-toe with a giant if we’re tiny poets, untrained and unselected by the government. Right, David?

We shouldn’t pick 12 common, uneducated doubters and sinners to help build a new kingdom. Right, Jesus?

We shouldn’t suppose the person staring back at us when we look in the mirror is a person who can change the world. Right?

We can dream. We should dream.

You can dream. You should dream.

Dealing with disappointment

Refuse to let the D of disappointments delete the D of dreams. Face the pain of disappointment but keep on dreaming.

In fact, think about some of your dreams now. Dreams from your childhood. Dreams to change the world.

You’ve waited and waited. You’ve prayed. You’ve received counsel and confirmation—you didn’t want to act based on a selfish motive.

But maybe you’re tired of waiting. Maybe you got tired of being disappointed. So you waved the dreams goodbye.

It’s time to let your dream return. Today, consider welcoming that dream home. That’s where it belongs.

Your dream won’t come true when you expect or how you expect. The timing may confuse and discourage you. The method may frustrate and anger you. But in the midst of frustration, keep dreaming.

Find a few dear friends to join you on the journey of your dream. Others will turn away. You’ll be tempted to obsess over busyness and crowds or denial and escapism. Fight those inclinations and keep dreaming. Bruce Wilkinson says in The Dream Giver,

  • Your Dream may not look quite the same as it did years ago. But the essence of the Dream—the tug of longing you feel to do what God made you to do—is still there. No matter what’s happened in your past, or what circumstances you’re in, you can turn your heart toward your Dream, starting now.…
  1. A Big Dream always seems overwhelming at first.

  2. Ultimately, a Big Dream is aimed at meeting a Big Need in the world.

  3. While you still have breath, it’s never too late to act on your Dream!

Have you been disappointed when others have experienced what you wish you had experienced? What’s holding you back from realizing your dreams? Do you even let yourself dream anymore? Or are you handcuffed by past disappointments?

Don’t let doubt influence you. Make a list of five dreams, and start forming a vision of the amazing things God has in store for you.



About the Author

Guest Contributor

The LeaderTreks Blog is proud to share the hard-earned wisdom of student ministry leaders from many different backgrounds and professions. From time to time, we will feature guest blog posts from writers other than our regular contributors. We include these posts to provide additional perspectives and insight that we’re sure will help develop you and your ministry…  Read More