Tomorrow is the fifth anniversary of my first day as pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church. I can still clearly remember talking to the pastor nominating committee at my face-to-face interview with them back in 2003. After they asked me their questions, I asked them a few, including what would you to see happen in the next 5 to 10 years. Now that’s a pretty safe sandbox to play in, right? Five to 10 years is a long way out. You can really dream. And they did.
They started with some basic, practical ideas. We’d like to have some younger people in the church. We’d like to be able to meet our current budget. (They church was a long way from that back in 2003 and was using a bequest to make up the shortfall.) We need a new generation of leaders. Then the big dreams started – we’d like to have an associate pastor. We need a new church building – but let’s keep the existing one too.
Everyone was excited about those ideas then. But it hadn’t occurred to me that part of the reason dreaming is fun is that the dream is not going to become real. You don’t have to deal with the details, the scary parts, or what you might lose if the dream came true…
What’s happened at our church is that it looks like we will actually need a larger space in the not-so-distant future. What will we do? Dreams are a lot of fun. Solving real space, staffing, and budget problems is real work! Our church leadership will have to be very careful to bring along the whole congregation as we work toward being the church we’re called to be!