For years it’s been a dream. An idea. Something that I hoped for and thought would be amazing, but that’s all it was. It typically floated somewhere between unlikely and impossible because it was just that, a dream.
But then it changed.
Instead of being a dream, it became a burden. This thing I couldn’t shake. This thing that moved my six foot four, two-hundred and (umm)… self to tears. Real tears. I didn’t ask for it, but it asked for me. For my heart. For my effort and attention. It asked me to believe.
My wife and I haven’t sold our house, moved our family, left jobs, Craigslisted stuff, raised money, asked people to join us in starting a church, invited in craziness like never before, and reorganized every detail of our lives for a dream. No. We’ve done it because of a burden. Most people choose to run from their burdens because they hurt too much. I believe we should run toward them.
In the Bible there’s an account of a leader, Nehemiah. He’s amazing. He’s a hero of mine. In some ways, he laid out a path for us to follow. He risked it all for a burden that found him. A burden deposited in his soul. He didn’t have a dream of rebuilding the walls in his hometown. No. He had a burden for it. So he got to work.
I think I like dreams better. They’re cleaner. Less risky. Oh, and they don’t have to happen. But burdens are different. You gotta do something with your burden. I like the way The Message translation depicts the resolve Nehemiah had concerning his burden. It basically says that when he heard about the devastation in his homeland, he came to the realization that “somebody has to do something, and it might as well be me.”
That’s our resolve too. We love Memphis. We believe in this city. We believe in the people within this city. The ones far from God. The ones burned by church. The ones hurt, lonely, and forgotten. The ones who act like they have everything and the ones who look like they have nothing. We believe in Memphis. We believe that Memphis needs life-giving churches full of faith and determination that passionately, creatively, and tangibly communicate the love of Jesus throughout this city so that people far from God might believe in God.
It’s time to start Believing.
So that’s what we’re doing. We’re gonna start Believing. February 1, 2015. Mark it down. Join us. Be a part of it. Support us. Pray for the team of people God is assembling to start this new work. We’d love for you to be a part. Each week, I’ll be sharing some thoughts here, some updates on the progress, a truth from the Bible… stuff like that. But there’s something else I’d like to encourage you to do…
Forget your dream, and run to your burden.