Death of a DreamBy Ken Thompson
June 16, 2022
Have you ever experienced the death of a dream? My name is Ken Thompson. I’m (fairly) new to the GCC. And I have.
My wife, Megan, and I moved to the Tampa Bay Area in 2016, along with our children and some very close friends, to plant a church. That church, Bay Cities Fellowship, will turn five this September. Over the past few years, we’ve longed for our church to experience the power and the presence of God’s kingdom. Since 2017, “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” has been frequently taught on, faithfully prayed for, and strategically engaged in the places where we live, work, and play. I’ve often imagined the blessing and bounty of God’s answering that prayer. I’ve envisioned the growth and the good that would come from God moving in our neighborhoods. Yet, recently I was confronted with a new thought: what if my dreams of blessing and success failed to reflect God’s dreams of blessing and success?
Well, to answer that question, I need to give you a little context about me. I’m a dreamer at heart. As a kid, I dreamed about meeting Aslan or fighting alongside Luke Skywalker. As a teen, I dreamed about winning basketball games or becoming the next Michael Jordan. As a college student, I dreamed about marriage and ministry. As I’ve aged (40 this fall!), I still dream, but my dreams have become seemingly less fantastical (meeting Aslan) or absurd (becoming Michael Jordan?!). Yet, since I’m being honest with you, my dreams still remain focused on my progress and success. Even as I began church planting, my dreams included a lot of good for others, but so often, they mainly focused on good for me. I dreamed of being the hero of everyone’s story, including my own. Recently, God confronted me about this reality, and he did through the death of a dream.
I’d like to tell you a little more about this dream but, first, I want to look at 2 Samuel about a dream that the prophet Nathan experienced.
Good Idea or God’s Idea?
In 2 Samuel 7, during a time of rest from war, David approaches his spiritual advisor, Nathan, with a request: David desires to build a house for the Lord. David says to “Nathan the prophet, ‘See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent’” (2 Samuel 7:2). This good idea of David receives affirmation from Nathan. Nathan tells David to “go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you” (2 Samuel 7:3). Can you imagine the excitement David must have felt walking away from that conversation with Nathan? The shepherd turned king now entertained the role of architect for the house of God. What a life! However, what does God have to say about David’s good idea?