Dream, then dream bigger.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

I won’t get into how I got where I’m going to begin my story, because that would keep you reading for ages. The point of this post is to give you permission to dream. Just trust me when I say, there’s a long story to this story, but it has led me to where I pick up, in 2015.

I was leading worship at our second service of this particular Sunday. I don’t remember which Sunday of that year it was, I just remember the moment like it was yesterday. I’m standing on stage, with guitar in hand, leading Hillsong’s Cornerstone and as the words are coming out of my mouth, I’m subconsciously thinking, “there has to be more than this.” Let me get this straight right off the bat though, this had ZERO to do with where I was, and EVERYTHING to do with who I was. 

Up until this point, my entire life was all about how many people I could get to follow “my ministry” so that I could be a popular musician that would live in infamy throughout church history. My relationship with Jesus revolved around what “word” I needed to give that would make people think I knew more than them, and anyone else. I’m just being completely transparent with you. Luckily, I was young and confused and the Lord knew that. He wasn’t afraid of my mess, He just wanted to help me fix it.

This one moment led me on a journey of questioning everything I thought I knew about God, ministry, and ultimately, me. I read the Bible from beginning to end, spending sometimes up to 4 hours a day just reading. I spent my days in worship, cut the pop radio, and only filled my life with anything that had to do with Him. I prayed. Yes, this is a big deal because before this, I never prayed unless I needed something. Shocked? I’d say 75% of church leaders are in the same situation I was in. 

In this season of discovery I found a few main things that I had missed along the way of my life, up until then. Some include:

  1. God is MADLY in love with me.
  2. God is not disappointed in me and always has time for me.
  3. My identity was NOT ministry, it was “Child of God”.
  4. The power of the Holy Spirit to move in miracles was still active today, maybe stronger than ever.
  5. Church was always meant to be the place where the bride of Christ comes together to minister TO Him and then go out and be evangelist in our Monday - Saturday environments.
  6. The greatest thing I can do for my life is walk with God in the cool of the day, every day.
  7. I’m a priest and a king in the earth.
  8. I’d rather be a dad to a handful of sons and daughters (spiritually or literally) than a leader to a thousand fans.

God brought back to my soul the dreams I used to dream as a kid. Nations being transformed under the power of the Holy Spirit to finally be who they were designed to be, elimination of cancer and other sicknesses that plague our society, a zero percent divorce rate, etc. This is where I was called to start a church.

I knew there were a thousand other churches in my city, but something kept telling me there was something missing that God wanted to show people, through me and our church. That "something" was a life in pursuit of intimacy with Him. I wanted every human being in Columbia, SC to know that we were made for intimacy with God and in intimacy, we would find the freedom to be who we were born to be and live "life to the full."

In Fall of last year (2017), we took the jump to follow our dreams and start Dream Church. We didn’t have a fundraising plan or a leadership org chart, we just had a word. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, a word from God stopped being enough to move. Abraham got a word from God that God was sending Him somewhere, but He didn’t even tell Him where. On that word ALONE, he and his entire family said “yes” and went.

Within 24 hours of announcing we were starting a church, we were fully funded, in excess, and to this day God has provided excess upon excess, every single month. He’s sent people who are fired up about discovering what I discovered (and am still discovering), and has given us a family that we never had before in church world. We’ve seen families restored, sicknesses healed, sons and daughters saved, etc.

It was easy. Why? Because when a word from God is enough for you to move, you live in a kingdom space where impossibilities cease to exist... And you begin to believe they've ceased to exist.

There is a lot more to my story but I wanted to give you the quick shell of it, for the purposes of giving you permission to go for it. If God has given you a word, that’s enough to give your life for. Dream, then dream bigger.

“So is my word that goes out from my mouth, it will not return empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11

What am I dreaming for now? I'm dreaming of our church having a home in the city. By home I mean a permanent facility. Now, how am I dreaming bigger? I'm dreaming God funds it.

Here we go...

Joshua Brown