Michelle, Madison, Kaitlyn and I went to the Peddlers Mall the other day. We were just looking around, we weren’t going to buy anything, just looking. As we walked around Madison and Kaitlyn saw some small dream catchers at one of the booths. They pointed them out to each other and Michelle and we kept looking around. Later on we were in another area where there were larger sized dream catchers. Kaitlyn pointed them out to Michelle and said to her “those are for when you have big dreams.” Both Michelle and I laughed at her comment. She has a quick wit to her.
As I have been thinking about that day, and thinking about Park, I have been reminded of the passage of scripture from Joel 2 that is quoted by Peter in Acts 2. In Acts it is Pentecost. The Spirit has come (which is what Joel was prophesying) and all the foreign onlookers were hearing the believers speak in their own languages. So some were amazed, some were perplexed, and still others said that the disciples must have had to much wine already. Peter’s reply was: “No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy’” (Acts 2:16-18).
The reason I have been thinking about this is that Park has been going through a season of figuring out what God’s dream is for us. We know that the mission of the United Methodist Church is “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” So our question was how do we do that. What dream has God given us? How does it happen and what does that look like here at Park. We know that a transformed world happens when people are transformed, and we know this is a work of God. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians that “whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces, all reflect the Lord's glory are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:16-18)
So how are we helping to transform lives? We think that it has to do with creating space, continually inviting to something more, and encouraging those deeper things. We are going to start saying it this way. We are transforming lives through connecting, community, commitment and discipleship. Each step is an invitation and an invitation to something more. Each step has a place, a moment, an opportunity. And we believe that as we invite and encourage people through love, prayer, and words, the Spirit will do its work and lives will be transformed and in that wake, the world.
Over the next few weeks I will be putting some more meat to this bone structure. So, be on the lookout. It isn’t revolutionary, or mind blowing, but hopefully it will focus and direct us in the dream that God has given us.
Because of Him,
Rev. Lynn Beach is married to his college sweetheart, Michelle, and they have two adorable daughters. He has been at Park Church since July 2013.