In response to a number of prophetic words, and sensing anyway that this is such an important time in the life of the Church, we want to use this time to come before the Lord, get our hearts right, and above all else pray for God to come in renewing power, so that whatever we do will not be in our strength but in the Lord’s strength.

With regards to the building we are pressing on, but the intention here is simply to stir one another up to seek the Lord in whatever context we are in. From Easter Monday to Ascension Day, Ian has been posting some reflections here each day on each of the 40 dreams of the Church, and you might want to use these in your daily quiet time, or as a pastorate or small group.

Thoughts for the Day

Friday May 18

Fri 18th May 2012

Dream 40: I have a dream to be a church where we learn to thank God for what we are, rather than complaining about what we are not. Churches are a bit like those infamous report cards: they can always … Read More

Thursday May 17

Thu 17th May 2012

Dream 39: I have a dream to be a church where what we don’t do is as important as what we do. If I am honest, one of the biggest struggles I have had at Millmead has been handling the sheer plethora … Read More

Wednesday May 16

Wed 16th May 2012

Dream 38: I have a dream to be a church where our gifts and resources are made available to the community and to the wider church. At Millmead we have an embarrassment of riches. Compared to many churches I can … Read More

Tuesday May 15

Tue 15th May 2012

Dream 37: I have a dream to be a church where the cause of global mission continues to feature as a large part of our overall budget.   I was asked the other day why it was that our church is … Read More

Monday May 14

Mon 14th May 2012

Dream 35: I have a dream to be a church where a spirit of generosity prevails in every aspect of church life. You could never say that God is niggardly. When God saves, he doesn’t dish out ‘just enough’ love to … Read More

Sunday May 13

Sun 13th May 2012

Dream 34: I have a dream to be a church where we are known not so much for those things that we stand against, but those things that we are for. Ask the average person on the street what they … Read More

Saturday May 12

Sat 12th May 2012

Dream 34: I have a dream to be a church where evangelism is driven by the love of God and not by the agenda of church growth. I love it when churches grow. Trying to find bigger premises because the … Read More

Friday May 11

Fri 11th May 2012

  Dream 33: I have a dream to be a church where we affirm not just those on the mission field but the missionary potential of each member and every vocation. One of the downsides of being a church with … Read More

Thursday May 10

Thu 10th May 2012

Dream 32: I have a dream to be a church where we recognise those things that are good in our culture and resist living only in the Christian ghetto. Not everything out there is bad. The danger of living so … Read More

Wednesday May 9

Wed 9th May 2012

Dream 31: I have a dream to be a church where a visitor among us can enjoy anonymity among us but not leave as a complete stranger. Churches can sometimes try too hard with new people. Sometimes visiting a church is … Read More

Tuesday May 8

Tue 8th May 2012

Dream 30: I have a dream to be a church where our homes and our engagement in the community become the mission base of the church rather than our programmes. Churches need programmes. Just as a house renovation needs scaffolding, … Read More

Monday May 7

Mon 7th May 2012

Dream 29: I have a dream to be a church where we move beyond welcome towards hospitality. Welcoming someone to our church, especially a first-time visitor, is a really important thing to do. Indeed, churches spend a lot of time … Read More

Sunday May 6

Sun 6th May 2012

Dream 28: I have a dream to be a church where we give space to embrace the wintry as well as the sunny seasons of our lives. Suffering, in all its various forms, is an indispensable part of spiritual formation. … Read More

Saturday May 5

Sat 5th May 2012

Dream 27: I have a dream to be a church where there are meaningful mid-size groups that help people find fellowship and develop spiritual gifts. It is not true that you can’t find fellowship in a large crowd of people. … Read More

Friday May 4

Fri 4th May 2012

Dream 26: I have a dream to be a church were Lord’s Day worship is taken more seriously as an expression of Christian discipleship. There was a time, not too long ago, when people prided themselves on being a ‘twicer’ … Read More

Thursday May 3

Thu 3rd May 2012

Dream 25: I have a dream to be a church where there is an expectation of healing but not in such a way as to induce guilt among those not healed, nor in such a way as to deny the … Read More

Wednesday May 2

Wed 2nd May 2012

Dream 24: I have a dream to be a church where congregational singing is encouraged whilst never reducing worship to just singing. I love it when we sing. Maybe it is just my Welsh roots (my mother is Welsh and used to … Read More

Tuesday May 1

Tue 1st May 2012

Dream 23: I have a dream to be a church where the definition of what is charismatic includes preaching and sacraments as well as the more overt gifts of prophecy and tongues. What a joy to have lived through the … Read More

Monday April 30

Mon 30th Apr 2012

Dream 22: I dream to be a church where congregational involvement is encouraged in the decision making of the church. Leaders are important in any church community. It is important to have people set aside for the task of leading … Read More

Sunday April 29

Sun 29th Apr 2012

Dream 21: I have a dream to be a church where the church meeting is less a business meeting and more like a place to discern the mind of Christ together. Strange things happen to people, noted Spurgeon somewhat wryly, … Read More

Saturday April 28

Sat 28th Apr 2012

Dream 20: Where the task of initiation into the ways of the kingdom and the membership of the church is not rushed but given time to develop. A few years ago Alan Kreider, an Anabaptist theologian, spoke at a conference … Read More

Friday April 27

Fri 27th Apr 2012

Dream 19: I have a dream to be a church where basic devotional practices such as prayer and Bible study are fostered. Church can sometimes be the last place you would expect to find a rhythm of prayer and study. … Read More

Thursday April 26

Thu 26th Apr 2012

Dream 18: I have a dream to be a church where we learn a counter-cultural rhythm of prayer, solitude and Sabbath rest. Busy is a four letter word. In a strange kind of way it is a form of laziness. … Read More

Wednesday April 25

Wed 25th Apr 2012

Dream 17: I have a dream to be a church where retirement is viewed as an opportunity for further adventures in the Spirit and not as the end of Christian service. The Bible knows no such thing as retirement. For … Read More

Tuesday April 24

Tue 24th Apr 2012

Dream 16: I have a dream to be a church where students feel they can get involved without losing touch with the campus.  It’s some thirty years ago now since I was a student at university. Actually, I had become … Read More

Monday April 23

Mon 23rd Apr 2012

Dream 15: I have a dream to be a church where children and young people are not seen as separate departments but as part of the whole church. One of the consequences of numerical growth in a church is the phenomenon of departmentalisation. Instead … Read More

Sunday April 22

Sun 22nd Apr 2012

Dream 14: I have a dream to be a church where young people are catered for in terms of their needs, but challenged in the way of discipleship. Catering for needs, young people's needs in particular, is a very important … Read More

Saturday April 21

Sat 21st Apr 2012

Dream 13: I have a dream to be a church where the differences between men and women are celebrated, but not in a way that limits the opportunities for women to fully participate in the life of the church. Given … Read More

Friday April 20

Fri 20th Apr 2012

Dream 12  I have a dream to be a church where people of a homosexual orientation but committed to a life of celibacy can be fully participating members of the church. Being an evangelical with homosexual feelings must be a … Read More

Thursday April 19

Thu 19th Apr 2012

Dream 11: I have a dream to be a church where old people are honoured, loved and cared for. A few years ago one of our young people asked me if I knew of any older people in the church … Read More

Wednesday April 18

Wed 18th Apr 2012

Dream 10: Where childhood is celebrated as a sign of the kingdom and not simply as a stepping stone to adulthood. The loss of childhood is truly one of the great tragedies of our day. It seems to me that many … Read More

Tuesday April 17

Tue 17th Apr 2012

Dream 9: I have a dream to be a church where, in a culture of league tables and statistics, we celebrate the uniqueness and importance of each and every individual in the body of Christ. One of the things I … Read More

Monday April 16

Mon 16th Apr 2012

Dream 8: Where there is a healthy respect for ordained ministry but never at the expense of every member ministry and the value of the workplace. I really believe in ordained ministry. I believe in it not simply because I … Read More

Sunday April 15

Sun 15th Apr 2012

Dream 7: I have a dream to be a church where the importance of the nuclear family works alongside the need to be a church family where friendships can form across generations, ethnicity and gender.  For all the focus on … Read More

Saturday April 14

Sat 14th Apr 2012

Dream 6: I have a dream to be a church where eating together features as one of the most spiritual things we do. Given the association of the word ‘spiritual’ with things like prayer or fasting, I guess it is … Read More

Friday April 13

Fri 13th Apr 2012

Dream 5: Where we undertake to ensure that there are no needy persons among us. Pentecost is renowned in the church’s memory as the great outpouring of the Spirit. We remember it for the miraculous tongues of fire that rested … Read More

Thursday April 12

Thu 12th Apr 2012

Dream 4 I have a dream to be in a church where holiness is determined by the big themes of justice and mercy as well as the more traditional themes of personal purity. Personal purity is a really important thing … Read More

Wednesday April 11

Wed 11th Apr 2012

Dream 3: I have a dream to be in a church where people can come to know and follow Christ in ways appropriate to their culture and background. We have a hard time in churches distinguishing what is gospel from … Read More

Tuesday April 10

Tue 10th Apr 2012

Dream 2: I have a dream to be a church where there is a wide diversity of personalities, generations and social backgrounds.   It has become quite trendy these days to set up churches based on one kind of constituency of people. … Read More

Monday April 9

Sun 8th Apr 2012

Dream 1:  I have a dream to be a church where we take seriously the gospel message that we are sinners in need of grace.  C.S. Lewis was once asked by a group of professors what he thought was the … Read More
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