by David Reneau/ February 28, 2017
Eight years ago my lead pastor said something I will never forget. He had just cast the vision to go multisite and had received approval from the board. I was ecstatic for the upcoming challenges and the “prestige” of becoming a children’s pastor of multiple campuses. As we were walking to the children’s area, I started to share with him my plans for the ministry when he abruptly stopped me. He said, “David, I’m not planning on you being the children’s pastor of both campuses. You have to grow in leadership before I can trust you to do that. You will probably just be here at this campus.”
I’ll be honest. That knocked me down a couple of pegs. I was devastated to say the least, but the dream was born. It was big. It was scary. It was roaring at me like a 500-pound lion. I didn’t know what to do or where to go, but I knew I had my marching orders.
What is your 500-pound dream? What is the one thing you know God has called you to do? Does it scare you? If so, good. Is it risky? If so, even better. Do you have no idea how it might happen? Not a problem.
We each have a God-given dream. It may be something God has given just to you or passed down to you from a spiritual parent. Either way the dream is dangerous. In his book Chase the Lion, Mark Batterson shows us the sequel to “In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day” to face our fears and overcome the biggest obstacles.
When pursuing our dreams, we want it to happen now. I know I did. I was expecting the church to be multisite within a year. God-given dreams take much longer. A few months after that conversation, my pastor was diagnosed with brain cancer and passed away 18 months later. My dream was dead. What I didn’t realize is that pursuing dreams is a “game of inches” as Batterson calls it. We slowly chip away at the dream every day until it finally becomes a reality. That conversation I had with my pastor was my decisive moment—the one moment that when you look back on it, you realize that’s when everything changed.
Batterson shows us through real-life examples and the stories of David’s mighty men in 2 Samuel 23 how to stand our ground when adversity comes. Take, for instance, Eleazar, who fought 300 hundred men until his hand froze around his spear. Or consider how to run toward danger instead of following the instinct to run away, like Benaiah in a pit on a snowy day.
Sometimes in our lives, the dreams we have are not given to us by God, like mine was. They are given to us by our leaders. That’s what Batterson calls a dream within a dream. We can catch hold of someone else’s vision and make it our own.
When I moved to my new church, multisite wasn’t on the radar, but I continued to work and grow and develop. Every day I worked to become a better leader and pastor. Then that day came. My pastor said he thought it was time for us to go multisite. He’d been thinking about it for a few years. In fact, he had met my former lead pastor at a multisite conference months before I knew what “multisite” even meant.
Now two years later and less than a month away from our second campus launch, I can’t help but be overwhelmed by God’s goodness. He gave me a lion to chase, and I’ve almost got it. Batterson believes you can too.
We all have dreams. The question is, are you going to pursue it with ferocity or just sit on your laurels because you’re too scared, too tired, or too overwhelmed?
Chase the Lion is a clarion call to action. It will help you find your dream and resolve to accomplish it no matter what the cost.