Reaching W.I.D.E – Big Dreams

Scripture: Luke 5: 1-11

I bring you warm greetings from my mission travels to Mbeya, Tz and Kampala Uganda where I visited our missionary couples the Khamadis in Mbeya and the Mutuas in Kampala. I was also privileged to be part of a team that was conducting a church planting training in western part of Uganda and excited to see God at work even in remote and foreign cultures of this continent.
Part of my travels was through the beautiful country and city of Kigali Rwanda. The hilly scenery of the city is beautiful and breathtaking. The roads are in very good, well maintained conditions, the streets are clean and organized, security is well organized and assured and city is well laid out planned and with modern buildings.
I reflected on what would it take for a country to get here, what kind of leadership, what kind of ethos, what kind of history would this country have.
I know I have said it here before, But my trip, down to the Genocide Memorial Park brought those statistics and articles we read to life. It was a sobering realization of how frail, lost and vulnerable our African humanity is. The dark corridors of the museum told a horrendous story of the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda that wiped out almost 1 million people dead in 3 months and left hundreds of thousands homeless and displaced. The Rwandan genocide became known as one of the most ruthless spates of violence in modern history. Young men, old men, babies, children, women and young girls were lost in some of the most brutal and heinous ways. I was surprised and incensed even more at the thought that this dark history began among a few leaders and colonialists who planted the seeds of hatred among 2 communities for their political gain. I shrunk in fear and shame that some of the churches played a role and were part of the killing fields.
I asked 2 young ladies of why they worked at the memorial park and they said even though they had not experienced the violence, as the new generation, they have had to almost forget their history and relearn a practice of one Rwandese people. When I met an older man and asked- He simply said, I can’t tell you, because you can handle my pain and my tears. It was obvious that while the new city is beaming with infrastructure and development, the history and pain still lingers, the country has far from healed as the stories are still fresh. The current government has imposed dictatorial procedures alongside many social justice mechanisms to try and numb the silent wounds and hearts as well as engaged in rapid development, beautification and clean up. While the city appears clean and reformed, over 24 years later the country is yet to heal. While the surface and the skin seems to have healed, inwardly hearts are still tense, numbed and still not redeemed.

Unfortunately this is the typical story of Africa. Kenya in particular has also sampled a dark history, but our economy and pace of life is not any easier now. Kenyans are on the edge, As it is said we are one pay cheque to poverty, We are easily angered and bitter. Betrayals and competition characterize the business, political and even social world. It’s like a dynamite waiting to explode. In my view we have pushed all our systems to the edge and unless a revival of the country’s ethos happens, we will soon hit a slippery path to apathy and destruction.

Why do I paint this gloomy picture? Because there is a possibility for a different kind of picture. I have come to believe and convince you that Africa needs the Gospel of Jesus now even more than before and we as believers have a greater call to engage in the mission of Jesus to Reach the Lost, Restore God’s world and Reproduce Disciples. We believe that the Gospel of Jesus is the much needed medicine, hope and solution to Africa and the world. This in the words of Hudson Taylor is the great commissioning that we must all awaken to.
But what do the statistics say about the growth of the Christianity in today’s world?
It is estimated that Africa has about 1.5Billion people and in the next 30 years this will double and double again after that. In 2100 Africa will have about 4-5Billion People.
Currently Africa is about 1/7th of the world’s population.
It is said that Africa is growing at a phenomenal rate and will add the next Billion into the world. Africa will have the most increase by 2100.
This growth is mostly going to be in Urban Cities, with about 62% living in urban cities. Nairobi for instance is estimated that in 2100 will be about the 12th largest city in the world with 46Million people and Lagos toping with 88Million people. If you think Nairobi is congested now, imagine the traffic then.
Africa is now the largest Christian Continent with about 45% of the world’s Christian faiths. Of this 49% are Catholics and 22% are the Protestants.
The population growth of Africa demands a radical increase and growth of the Christian Population if we are to be salt and light and shape the ethos of this continent. If we do not we will quickly become the minority and worse is the world that does not know God. Simply put- Hells doors stand open on us.

Here is our Syokimau and Nth of this continent.
Each of those squares represents a 5 acre block, currently over 700 blocks. About 60% of the entire region is occupied. There is estimated about 20000 families, with an average of 4 people that’s over 80-100,000 people. Of these people there are estimated 70 churches and yes despite the noise being made this estimates to an average of every church has a potential reach of about 1142 people.
Our conclusion: We cannot build Churches Fast Enough or Big Enough to accommodate the Urgency and the need for the Gospel.
We launched our theme this year as Exponential. Growing Deeper, Moving Forward and Reaching Wider. Exponential is a radical way of doing church where every believer is energized to multiply themselves through the power of God’s LIFE working in them. We looked at Growing Deeper in Term 1, Moving Forward in Term 2 and we begin this last Term on Reaching Wide.
REACHING WIDE.
“From a growing Church Institution to a Multiplying Mission community”

It is amazing how what you own tends to “own” us. Often the church buildings and the ministry programs we have and run, form and shape us more than the gospel we proclaim. In other words, the size of the building often dictates the size of the congregation. Like Gideon and his small band of warriors, these small buildings are like the birth places of congregations that soon grow to fit the shoe, but unfortunately we forget the shoe was too small for the gospel opportunity.
Churches are not buildings. Churches are people. Jesus did not lay down His life for an institution. Jesus laid down His life for People, everyone and everywhere. Jesus came to launch a “movement” not an “institution”. The Gospel is a Movement whose Mission is to Reach the Lost, Restore the World and Reproduce Disciples. Together with the global body of Christ, As Lifespring we have a part to play in this mission. This term we engage in another gear as we seek to ignite a culture of multiplication to Reach WIDE. We Must Reach: Where WIDE means
W-hole World: Expand our horizon and Scope beyond our 4 walls
I-nfluence: Every one of us as believers is gifted and position for Impact
D-isciples: Model a life of obedience and followership of the Lord
E-vangelize: Actively invite others to believe by sharing the Good News about Jesus.
Today, my thesis is simply we Must Dream BIG. We expand our horizons. We must adjust our visions, we cannot do things the same way, we must Dream BIG. As Lifespring Chapel we must have bigger Dreams and pictures if we are to make contribution to the mission of God in our location, city, and nation and across the globe.
In 20 or 50 years to come, if we looked back as Lifespring Chapel and said “We Did It”, what is it that we did? And what will your role or contribution be?
This is the question we must all wrestle with as leaders but as believers, every one of us. Today I challenge you not just to Dream, but to Dream Big.

“Your dream is still too small”
God’s Dream is that His LIFE is lived out fully in every person, everywhere. This is the Dream we are to measure up to. The Gospel to everyone and everywhere. The Church is a movement of God’s Dream, Not an Institution of Human plans, ideas or religious rituals.
We learn from the Calling of Peter by the Lord Jesus taken from the book of

Luke 5: 1-11. Read
Christianity is a story of God on the move, God revealing himself to his treasured possession man. From one man Adam, he has been on a journey to restore the world to himself. Through Abraham, He chose Israel to reveal himself to the nations and all the way to his coming in the flesh through Jesus. Jesus then is the passion, reason and fulfillment of this movement. Until everyone has believed in Jesus, the Church is then the vehicle of this movement not an end in itself.
Jesus is recruiting disciples to come alongside him in this movement. His choice was simple ordinary men of the time. People without titles, people without much status or much gold. People like you and me. People like peter. Peter was a simple middle class of his time with a decent trade to make a living. He was a fisherman. He possibly had his dreams to succeed in his business, catch more fish, and make more sales, probably buy a bigger boat and expand the family business and may be have something to leave behind for his family. His Dreams of a good catch that day had been shattered after many hours of the night trying to catch fish. This night was another one of those no catch nights. He was retiring to rest for the day. But His Dreams were about to Change.
He did not think much of Jesus then, having heard Jesus teach he extended a nice gesture to Jesus to use his boat. But the request from Jesus was strange. When Jesus asked him to launch deep for fishing- He had just had enough.
“What do you mean cast your nets- first fish are caught at night and not during the day and secondly, we’ve tried all night without anything what makes you think so now” His best response would be “You stick to what you are good at-Preaching, And I’ll stick to fishing. He was limited by his small dream.
Our current circumstances and situations can give us a small view of life. As we pursue self –preservation, life can simply be how can I make it to the next catch, next sale, next pay check, next service. This myopic self- preservation world view limits us to just think about myself, my problems, my situations and my needs. This leads to a state of self-reliance and Status quo. Sadly we forget that it’s not about me.
“Walking with chicken, you only measure the size of the world with worms but when you fly with eagles, your small issues disappear.”
A small dream limits us to our small traditional methods. For Peter, He had reached his ceiling of life. His best life was characterized by a simple days catch and a good market day to sell the fish. In other words a constant routine. This next catch would defy all the limits. Unfortunately this can be the state of the church today. Church can be about managing our in-house problems well, our budgets, programs and methods are working for us. The same methods of catching fish won’t work.

Launch Deep
Jesus tells peter to move from waddling in the shallow comfortable places and launch deep. A small dream keeps us on the shallow safe end. We forget that real fish is out in the deep. The deep is uncomfortable, its risky, its unconventional but that’s where God calls us to catch the fish.
Fishermen also know that fish don’t give themselves up, they don’t swim into the net, and they have to be caught in the deep. That sometimes is what our faith feels like. Church can quickly become short sited of the urgency to Go and catch fish and become a comfortable place as we wait for souls to stumble into our nets. Unfortunately when we lean so much on being comfortable, close knit community, we lose site of the mission and the dream. Our appetite for adventure in the deep and the souls yet to be reached diminishes in the confusion of managing our programs and comfort. A little adventure is good for us. In the deep our trust is ‘foolish’ in the deep our trust is God.
Jesus opens Peter’s eyes through this miracles to acknowledge his inadequacy and short sidedness. His Faith in Jesus is lifted as he realizes his inadequacy and limitations. Deep sea fishing will take absolute trust in God. It is possible that after this experience when all the other disciples could not think of walking outside the boat, only Peter stepped out of the boat during the storm and walked on water towards Jesus. As we began, Jesus is calling us to the deep, to walk on water and to a plentiful harvest.
The invite makes expands his horizons, Jesus now calls him to a bigger Dream “Fisher of men” and later Peter is called the Rock on which Jesus said He will build his church. Peter joined Jesus on the mission to change the world. A God sized dream is born.
Today God is calling us to a bigger Dream. My question is what is your Dream size?

Movements are born where there is a BIG DREAMS

Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Big Dream” was racial equality for ALL PEOPLE.
That dream is still UNACHIEVED – and it MAY NEVER be achieved – but MUCH PROGRESS has been made.
AND, it’s still inspiring people today.
Kwame Nkrumah’s “Big Dream” was to bring unity to ALL OF AFRICA.
That dream is still UNACHIEVED – and it MAY NEVER be achieved – but MUCH PROGRESS has been made.
AND, it’s still inspiring people today.
Bill Gates’ “Big Dream” was to put a computer in EVERY HOME.
That dream is still UNACHIEVED – and it MAY NEVER be achieved – but MUCH PROGRESS has been made.
AND, it’s still inspiring people today.

Movements are STARTED and ENERGIZED by Big Dreams. Our Dreams must find alignment with God’s Dream. For Peter, He lived in the realm of Possible and what Jesus was asking was Impossible. Without Big Dreams for Gods we remain an institution. But Big dreams gets us out of these 4 walls. Big Dreams take something that SEEMED IMPOSSIBLE and make it POSSIBLE. Big Dreams SPARK the IMAGINATION.
BIG DREAMS CHANGE…

As Lifespring God is challenging us to a new dream. As the leadership we believe God is calling us to ignite a culture of multiplication through LIFE communities. This simply explained is we have the choice to become rhinos and elephants established big institutions with significant influence in a limited area or must become lighter like rabbits to cover more ground. We will be expounding on this more next week. Because eternity is at stake, every one of us must rise up to the God size dream of asking how can I join Jesus to change the world.
There’s something very profound that Big Dreams do. We’ve found that Big

Dreams CHANGE US: BIG DREAMS CHANGE YOUR QUESTIONS
Dave Ferguson, Lead Visionary of NewThing, said this, “Small dreams that are within your grasp and are easily managed require one set of questions. Big dreams lead you to ask an entirely different set of questions – questions you would probably never ask otherwise.”
If Martin Luther King Jr. only wanted RACIAL EQUALITY for his family or his town he would’ve ASKED a certain set of questions. But dreaming of racial equality for THE ENTIRE COUNTRY FORCED HIM to ask a totally different set of questions.
Had Bill Gates only wanted create a USER FRIENDLY COMPUTER he would’ve ASKED a certain set of questions. But dreaming of putting a computer IN EVERY HOME IN AMERICA FORCED HIM to ask a totally different set of questions.
From GOOD Question to the BEST Questions
Big Dreams CHALLENGE us to go from asking really GOOD QUESTIONS to asking the BEST QUESTIONS.
What do we do to bring people to church- How do we ensure church is everywhere for people.
What can we do to improve the quality of our worship services- How can we invest in our members being able to worship everywhere and anywhere?
How can we improve our giving?- What can we do to make sure that resources are never a hindrance to God’s mission?
Nairobi Chapel stepped out to plant 300 churches by 2020- they have had to ask a different set of questions.
For Peter, it was how do I catch fish at this hour- to how will my fishing change the world?
Now, those are GOOD QUESTIONS but they are NOT the BEST QUESTIONS because after they: Big Dreams CHANGE YOUR QUESTIONS.
2. BIG DREAMS CHANGE YOUR PRAYERS
Dave Ferguson “Big dreams force us to ask the types of questions that lead to greater dependence on God. If you don’t have a dream that leads you to greater dependence on God, then you need to get a bigger dream!”
Bishop Oscar Muriu of Nairobi Chapel, “You need to dream dreams that force you to pray prayers that make God sweat!” If we can accomplish our dream WITHOUT GOD then what’s the point of calling ourselves Christians?
This is the kind of prayer David made before fighting Goliath. It all depends on you Lord. Peter realized that for him to achieve the dream, He would have to abandon his fishing career and follow Jesus.
Our prayers are too often EMBARRASSINGLY SMALL.
We serve the God who created the Universe and YET, our BOLDEST PRAYERS are asking for a good parking spot at the Mall. Or to keep us safe as we travel. Or to help us pay rent.
These are all fine prayers but they CANNOT be our MOST AUDACIOUS prayers.

Our dreams need to be God-sized DREAMS, which lead us to pray God-sized PRAYERS. Our BIG DREAMS should force us TO DEPEND ON GOD in ways we NEVER HAVE BEFORE. This DEPENDENCE ON GOD should force us TO PRAY in ways we NEVER HAVE BEFORE. Our BIG DREAMS should keep us up at night making BIG PRAYERS to a BIG GOD.
Big Dreams SHOULD bring about a humility that reveal how HELPLESS WE ARE without God. We should be saying, “There’s no way we can do this in our own power. If God doesn’t show up we’re sunk!”
I wonder if Peter slept that evening. It was no longer about the fish he would sell the next day? Big Dream CHANGE OUR PRAYERS.

BIG DREAMS CHANGE OTHERS
Dave Ferguson has this to say about how Big Dreams change others, “Big dreams attract those who want to follow your example and step out in faith.”
Our Big Dreams have the power to ATTRACT and CHANGE others around us.
We are all here because of someone’s dream
My time at Lifespring Chapel under Pst. Bob, Pst. Maish has changed me and my dreams. Believe me I never saw myself possibly leading a congregation let alone a small team.
So what’s our dream for Syokimau, for our city, for our country- Tell your neighbor it’s still too small? (Picture)

Tell your neighbor to launch deep.

Conclusion.
The outcome of Big Dreams is big Sacrifices. Because God had a big dream, what bigger of a sacrifice could he offer than himself. He calls us to have big dreams that will call for the sacrifice of our lives, and our resources, our time. Peter later would even die for the sake of the Gospel. So before you give today? Consider how does your sacrifice compare to your dream, How does it match the Dream God is calling us to? If you are playing safe with your sacrifice- you will never catch the fish. But as you give consider how have you given your life to God’s dream for us here and secondly how have you given your resources?
So let me stop to ask is there anyone who has not given your life to Jesus- God is calling you into mission, but you have to launch deep.

Questions for discussionR

Read Luke 5:1-12

1. Share your dreams with one another. How does it compare to Jesus mission.

2. In 20years as Lifespring if we said ‘We did it’  what did we do….What needs to stop, change, continue,start.

3. What keeps you from launching deep. How does Jesus mission challenge you. Which poverty is God calling you to meet?

4. Pray for one another.

 

 

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