Recently, I served my last day as a Youth Pastor. The title of my message was , “Hello, from the other side”. Not because I’m happy to be moving on, it’s actually really sad. It’s because I’m done with something I worked hard for and after all this effort and time, I did it and it’s accomplished. I was given, fought for, fought through, and accomplished A DREAM. I did it, I lived the dream.
In GENESIS 37:5 we read this – Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. 6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7 We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.” 8 His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said. 9 Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10 When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
Being a Youth Pastor was always been my dream, it was always THE dream. After almost 5 years, 2015 had been a great year to reflect on the fact that with God’s help…I had really done it.
- Youth Pastor ✓
- Grow that youth group (Over 400 decisions for Christ in 2015 alone) ✓
- Release an album with that Youth Group that hits the top 10 on iTunes ✓
- Write a Best-Selling Book about that Youth Group that hits #1 on Amazon ✓
- Impact a city with that Youth Group ✓
- Invest & develop someone who would go on to do it better than me. ✓
I’ve lived my dream. I’m on the other side of it, and now I see everything I wish I knew about before I started. When Joseph shared his dream with his brothers and father, he was on the wrong side of it; the unfulfilled side. It didn’t make any sense, and seemed impossible. It’s a frustrating place to be, and I’m betting a lot of you are there today. God has placed an impossible dream inside of you, you’ve been holding on to it for a while, yet nothing’s happening. Through my own personal dreams, I began to understand how we as the church should dream better.
1. Don’t dream of success. Dream on purpose.
Dreams of success are unfulfilling dreams. They usually come after leaving a concert or a conference, after watching a Music video, Shark Tank, or DJ Khaled’s snapchat. They’re centered around possessions, money, and recognition. They always start with sentences like, “To be the biggest____” “To be the best ______” To sell _______ many CD’s”. The problem with that is that its definition is based on comparison to others. It requires being better than “others”, the recognition of “others”, and the praise of “others”. Success comes from man, but purpose comes from God.
When you dream on Purpose, you’re not subject to what other people think. Only you can, others can’t measure that. When Joseph told his brothers what he saw, they laughed and got upset at him. Yet, Joseph didn’t care, he was just going to do what he was called to do. When you grasp this concept of purpose, then it doesn’t matter how many cd’s, people, followers, subscribers, money or likes you get. When you get to heaven God will say “well done; you did what I put in your heart.” It’s not that success and purpose are mutually exclusive. You can have both, but you can only chase one.
If you chase your purpose, you’ll find success. But if you chase success, you just might lose your purpose.
2. There will be a million chances to quit, moments of captivity, and a hundred calls to “get real”. Keep walking.
You’ll never know how hard being a youth pastor can be sometimes. My wife and I spent countless nights crying. We thought often about quitting or giving up, yet here we are. We made it. cGenesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”
Have you ever been to a haunted house? It’s a maze. You’d be in there for hours, and never get to your destination, if it wasn’t for the monsters. They pop-out and scare you when you least expect it! Not fun, but you know what I’ve realized? They always scare you AWAY from where your coming from and TOWARDS where you want to go. The maker of the house placed them, strategically and intentionally, to get you where he wants you.
The challenges of life are not there to ruin you. They’re there to reroute you.
The scary moments in Joseph’s life were actually placed there by God, and I can say I’m so grateful for the challenges he placed in my family’s lives these past years. Every fearful moment when I thought I thought I was done and wasn’t going to make it, was actually the GPS of my destiny sending me to my next step. I wouldn’t have made it to the other side without them.
3. At the end of your dream, is another dream.
When Joseph dreamed, he had 2 dreams. When Pharaoh dreamed, he had 2 dreams. In the prison, with the baker and the cup bearer, there were 2 dreams. I had no idea what to expect when I got to the other side of my dream. Everything in my life up until that point was lived for my dream of leading a youth group, but I’m here now and I see it.
When you do finally get to the other side of your dream, (and you will), you know what’s waiting?