The Dream Discovery Process – Approved by the FGCC Board on 8/15/2011

God calls us to be both prayerful and strategic in our ministry. We are called to understand who we are and how we are blessed to be a blessing. We are also called to clearly understand the context in which God works through us. Jeremiah 29:11 says:

For surely I know the dreams I have for you, says the Lord,
dreams of your welfare and not of harm, to give you a future with hope.

We want to discover God’s dream, to discern who we are and who we serve, and develop ministries under the Lord’s guidance that will help us to live into God’s dream for us. It is God who has the dream, and God who makes the dream come true – and we have the opportunity to partner with God in that work. As we undertake to discover God’s dream for us, we want to be both prayerful and thoughtful. We need an organized approach to the work ahead. The process may be understood to take the following path:

  1. Focus on scriptures which emphasis God’s call
  1. Join in individual and community prayer for this process

    – How will we pray more intently and intentionally?

  1. Put together the leadership team
  1. Plan the details of the Information Gathering
  1. “Taking a Census”: Who are we and what do we need and offer?
  1. “Scouting out the land”: Who are they and what do they need and offer?
  1. Solicit leadership for the various elements of the Gathering
  1. Summarize the details and prepare a ‘Proposal for Prayer’
Oct / Nov
  1. Implement the Information Gathering
  1. Thanksgiving and Advent/Christmas in prayer over the information gathered
  1. Community conversations and a gathering of “What we have heard in prayer”
  1. Developing a Ministry Plan from the Dream Discerned
  1. Praying for the Ministry Plan
  1. Launching the Ministry Plan

Dream Discovery Leadership Team:

One of the things this process will require is a core leadership team who will guide serve as guides. These should be people from the congregation who have a deep prayer life and a strong commitment to the future growth and health of Forest Grove’s life and ministry. Some leadership consultants suggest that this group should be 7% of the Average Adult Worship Attendance, and should include People of Passion and Influence – i.e. those who will follow God, and whom the congregation will follow. [The Board has authorized] the formation of such a group as the next step in carrying forward our Year of Discovering God’s Dream.

Some things this team will do –

  1. Develop greater details to the above plan
  2. Recruit additional teams and allocate ministries to them
  3. Lead the congregation in prayer throughout the process
  4. Call us to accountability for the full use of all that God has given

Some things the team will not do –

  1. Do the work for us
  2. Let us off the hook

Who would you recommend for this team? Our Average Adult Worship Attendance is currently 50, which means that we need 4-5 people to work with me. This group will regularly report to the Elders, the Ministry Council, and the Board about the status of the work and solicit input and support from these bodies. Please join in prayer for this process as we fulfill our responsibilities and wait for God’s dream to be revealed and lived out among us. You need not check with them before recommending someone for this leadership team. And know that everyone will have multiple opportunities to share ideas, ask questions, and participate in the planning and carrying out of this process.

Following are scriptures that help guide our thinking about this process as we see God’s work unfolding through the called community out into the world that Jesus came to bless with the saving knowledge of God’s unfailing love. Texts of God’s vision and dream for the call, blessing, and restoration of God’s people for the blessing of the world:

Genesis 12: 1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Jeremiah 29: 4 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. 7 But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare…. 11 For surely I know the dreams I have for you, says the Lord, dreams of your welfare and not of harm, to give you a future with hope. 12 Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. 13 When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, 14 I will let you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

Matthew 11: 28 “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 13: 31 He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; 32 it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

Matthew 22: 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, ” “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Matthew 28: 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Ephesians 4:
11 The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. 14 We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. 15 But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.