Clarify your dream for your life.

Many of us are thinking this week about our accomplishments in the year past, and the things we hope to do in the year ahead. Some of these are personal quality of life topics, while others are more about our professional or work lives. Often we try to think and function as though these were separate and disconnected spheres, only overlapping or impacting each other during a heavy work project, on sick days or at the company holiday party. My own experience and observation indicates that an integrated life is a happier and healthier life – one where our personal and work lives overlap in healthy and beneficial ways. A great example of this is the growing trend in flexible work situations where people can be more effective and efficient at work because they are able to also accommodate their family needs, including caring for children, spouses and aging parents.

As we move into the new year, we do well to clarify our life dreams alongside our short term personal and professional goals. Otherwise, we may invest years and even decades into valuable endeavors only to discover far too late that we have failed to build the life we most wanted. When we have clarity around our life dream(s), then we can make choices each day that will move us in that direction, and can gather a community of advocates who will help us along the way.

Consider the possibility that your life needs more DASL. I’m not asking you to add bling with glitter and rhinestones. No, DASL stands for Dream ~ Articulate  ~ Share ~ Live. Dreaming is something that happens inside of our hearts, minds and imaginations. Our dreams want to come out, so we learn to articulate them, even when they do not seem to make sense to us, or seem irrational, unbelievable, impossible. Next we share this articulation of our dreams with others. We do this for several reasons. When we share, we hear ourselves and our dreams, and we come to believe in them more. We also continue to refine our articulation of our dreams. Plus, when others hear our articulation of our dreams, then they ask questions, catch the vision, begin sharing our dream, and experience an upwelling of their own dreams. This process naturally unfolds into the reality of living our dreams. When you see it, clarify it, and tell it, you begin organically to live it, and you find resources in people, ideas, tools, and energy that will help make the dream a reality.

Where is my dream?
If you already have a dream trying to burst forth, and you know it intimately, then the hardest work is already done. But what if you don’t have a dream, or can’t see/remember because it lies buried under obligation, fear or grief? In an upcoming post we will consider some techniques to uncover or discover your dream (personally or professionally). For now, go back to the last dream you remember having, and practice DASL with that. And when you’re ready to talk, let me know.

Dream Discovery Process Conversation – 05012012

Jeremiah 29

The Lord promises that he will redeem and restore the people of God. In the meantime, we are called to bless those around us –for “your welfare depends on the welfare of your community around you.”


Our Quest From Numbers 1-3 & 13, we are instructed to “take a census of the people” (making an assessment of our group/congregation), and to “scout out the land” (making an assessment of our neighbors).

  1. Taking the Census: Compile the congregational data on internal needs, resources, and current energy focus.
  2. Scouting the Land: Gather community demographic information from Link2Lead and other sources. Survey the community regarding “ministry gaps” and untapped resources – door to door in the surrounding neighborhood, among our own neighbors and friends and our circles of acquaintance.
  3. Articulate a focused vision: within this vision diverse folks can find a place to be served and to serve.
  4. Determine how to live into that dream: In light of the needs and resources of congregation and community, (#1 & #2 above) how will we fulfill God’s call on our congregation (#3 above) – God’s dream for us of “a future with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11)? This will be a concrete plan with action steps to be carried out by a variety of smaller teams (the ministry and administrative committees, for instance) gathering probably monthly for celebration and calibration to keep on track.

PRAY: All of this of course is bathed in prayer and guided by biblical and theological reflection.


  1. Internal
    1. Needs – CA and CK
    2. Gifts – GP and TF
    3. Energies – KR and JM
  2. External
    1. Gather Demographic Info – KC
    2. Describe the “Door to Door” survey process – SJ & GW

*** Meet on Tuesday, 5/8 from 6:30-8pm at FGCC to share our results of this work and decide what’s next

In the meantime, we’ll keep in mind: a) How to get buy in from the congregation? If we are engaging them fully in the process, this won’t be a problem because the vision will be shared by them and grow from what God has placed in their own hearts and minds. B) Don’t take on too much. We will need to understand how the vision honors the capacities of the congregation – an honest assessement of “Internal Needs and Resources” will take this into account. C) Getting “back to basics”. The essence of our life of faith together is represented by our ministry areas – Worship, Fellowship, Member Care, Discipleship, Evangelism and Outreach – each of these need to be lived out deeply. D) To be “fed spiritually”. We need to recognize that this means different things for each of us. How do we help each person take responsibility for their own spiritual growth while also attending to the needs of one another?

THE DREAM: What do we recognize now as a part of God’s Dream/Vision for FGCC? Whatever else is true, it will be marked by: 1) a strong and central commitment to serving those outside the congregation – the church exists for the sake of the world. It will also be 2) rooted and grounded in a comprehensive life of prayer, bible study and theological reflection – the basics of formation for Christian discipleship.

Dream Discovery Process Conversation 05012012 pdf