Jim Graham is one of those amazing, timeless people, from whose lips drop words coated in the richest honey, but which carry with them the cutting edge of God’s authority. We have known each other for years and I count it an enormous privilege to count him as a precious friend.
His teaching at our recent Conference (God of the Breakthrough) was totally outstanding. And in one of his sessions he shared his personal dream for the Church. I concur with every single word he said and pray you will be blessed, challenged and encouraged by his words.
“I dream of a church that is founded on a love for Jesus rather than meeting our personal needs and fulfilling our preconceived ideas and preferences. That’s my dream.
I dream of churches so filled with the Holy Spirit that they become utterly attractive communities of God’s presence and God’s power. That’s my dream.
I dream of churches where seekers find reality in an eternal relationship with God and His Christ. That’s my dream.
I dream of churches where the sick are healed morally, spiritually, mentally, physically, psychologically and relationally.
I dream of churches where the oppressed are liberated, where the broken are cared for and where they are mended for God’s eternal purposes. That’s my dream.
I dream of churches where the poor are helped and given a new perspective and hope.
I dream of churches where families are restored and God’s order gloriously and gratefully established.
I dream of churches where addicts are set free and stabilised with a loving Godly discipline.
I dream of churches where people are empowered to become all that God created them to be.
You see, the Bible says that it is young men that see visions, but it’s old men who dream dreams. And these are my dreams and I long that these dreams will become part of the motivation and the reality of the Body of Christ on earth right across our planet.”
Every word of this expresses what the work of Ellel Ministries is all about. It’s what keeps our heart beating, as day after day we see the hand of God shaping and transforming people’s lives. I had an earthly Dad who encouraged me as a child to dream big and believe that if the dream was of God, then there’s nothing that can stand in the way of God’s purposes. But he also encouraged me to pray for those dreams and taught me that it is through prayer and intercession that the dreams of God in Heaven become reality here on earth.
Oh that we would so live in the dreams of God while we are here on earth, that we will then be empowered to fulfil the purposes of God on Planet Earth!
I had to laugh when I read this. I own a lawn business so I spend a ton of time oiutsde in the sun, in the dirt, on a tractor in the summer. Every year I blog what I call lawn mower devotions , things the Lord speaks to me as I work and mow. I love how the Lord will interject Himself into the seemingly mundane and unspiritual things of our day reminding us that He is in EVERYTHING that concerns us, at all times, in all ways. Thanks for the reminder. Lawn season starts next week so I’m eagerly looking forward to what He will say to me this summer!
Thank you for sharing Jim’s words – I was blessed and encouraged by them. Back in 1992 the Lord gave me a poem that expressed similar longings and is still my heart’s prayer for the church of Jesus. I share it below in the hope that it might be of some encouragement. I had been to the first ‘Battle belongs to the Lord’ conference in Brighton in 1990 and first visited Ellel Grange in 1993. Having been back many times over the years, receiving much personal healing and even meeting my wife Gemma on a holiday school in 2000 I pray the Lord will always keep the vision he gave Ellel Ministries burning strong.
Lord may Your church be a refuge
A place where the wolves cannot roam
May Your children be watched and protected
By shepherds with hearts like Your own
May Your church Lord be seen as a family
Where the lonely and hurting find love
May the prisoners find freedom and healing
Receiving new life from above
May the ones who the world has rejected
Find arms that will truly embrace
May they know Father that You accept them
May they know You’re the God of all grace
May Your church Lord be known as an army
Advancing in Your mighty name
Going wherever You send her
Your power and truth to proclaim
No longer divided and broken
No longer refusing to fight
But taking Your love to the dying
And living as children of light
May the whole world at last hear Your Gospel
Untainted by doctrines of men
May the power of Your word shake the nations
May Your name Lord be honoured again
May the rulers be silent before You
As the end of the ages draws near
May they bow in the dust at Your feet Lord
May they tremble and serve You with fear
May the bride that You died for be radiant
Displaying Your beauty and grace
May we rise up to meet You Lord Jesus
To know You at last face to face
So come, Maranatha Lord Jesus
Your Spirit has always said come
But now we your people join with Him
And cry out Lord Jesus come!
Dean Gardner October 1992.
This is my dream: The “Mission” House
HOUSE OF PRAYER, EVANGELISM AND DISCIPLESHIP
Go into all the world and …..
Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers and cast out demons.
A core group of single, committed Christians with creative gifts that they could share would live in the house, as family, and would do family things together. They would have a mixture of forms of income – working from home, part-time work, unemployment benefit, pension, but none of the household members would work outside of the house in a full-time capacity. Each member of the household would be part of a local church.
The creative gifts might come in the form of music / carpentry / gardening / sewing / art / crafts / mosaics / poetry /pottery / cooking.
There would be a library of Christian books, tapes, videos, dvd’s that would be a resource to “The Church”.
There would be “nights” when others would be invited to the house for special events, on a weekly and ad hoc basis. A regular “Creative Fellowship” evening (or daytime) event. A DVD night. A book club night, praise and worship evenings, all night prayer meetings. There would be a night each week set aside for the house members to eat together, “seek God” for the way forward and to fellowship together. Wherever possible, the house members would pray together at the start and end of the day and would pray the Lord’s prayer at noon wherever they were.
It would be an “Open House”, where people could come to be part of family for a few hours, days, weeks or months. Anyone the Lord sent would be made welcome.
I was there and heard Jim share his dream and this message. I felt the sincerity and passion with every word he spoke and my heart was leaping with “yes! yes and amen! Father, would You bring a great awakening to Your people ~ where complacency has set in and falsehood resides; would You stir up our hearts with the realisation that THERE IS SO MUCH MORE! So much more than what we have settled for within the body of Christ … so much more that You long to do with us, in us, & through us” for Your glory and for our good because You love us as a Father loves His children.
I sense it’s as if God is just longing for His people to cry out to Him in order that He could move mightily among us and bring change, restoring His agenda and His order to HIS church(es).
When reading this post, I was reminded of what I have been recently reading in the book of Judges … time and again we read how God’s people turn from His way and follow their own and turn to other gods in false worship; it seems as though God allows them although He is angered by their disobedience. But then!!! And I love this … BUT THEN!!! “When the children of Israel cried out to the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer for the children of Israel who delivered them…” Oh that we as His church, His people, would cry out to Him as we recognise where we’ve gone astray … that we would truly surrender to The One who is risen as our great and mighty deliverer! That we would find the dreams that He puts in our hearts to dream … that we might be used as His vessels to bring the help and deliverance to the many who are desperately seeking for answers & truth …
May God give us ears to hear and eyes to see!
Would it be nitpicking if I suggested that Mr. Graham change the dream from: “I dream of Churches….” To “I dream of Cities or Nations”? Understanding that the local church is still the best hope for a city. It is still the city and the people in the city that are what are being transformed by Jesus. So allowing those powerful things to take place in the general populace rather than inside the salt shaker? Perhaps, I am being too literal with this, and Mr. Graham intends for the dreaming to take place everywhere as well as inside the Church. So, please forgive me if I am being nit-picky. :o)