While restoration is underway at the 8th Street Church, we are sharing the dreams God has given us for the 8th Street building and our new neighborhood. Doug first shared his 8th Street Dreams during our service on July 23, 2017.
Hi, my name is Doug and I’m part of Midtown Church of the Nazarene because, left to myself, I am very selfish and self-centered. Being a part of this congregation challenges me to give myself away and dream dreams that are bigger than me!
“Anything I can dream… God can do!” This is one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite pastors, my friend, Amadeu Teixeira, who pastors a church of 3000 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. What a crazy statement! Do we dare to believe in a God who can answer all our dreams? Do we dare to believe that verse in Ephesians 3 that says, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly… abundantly… above all that we ask or imagine, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.”
I don’t know about you, but I am a huge dreamer! With my strengths of Positivity and Woo, I can dream and imagine a LOT of things! For instance, as we have participated in all the recent baby dedications, my pastoral prayer for all our little ones is that God will make all their dreams come true! And God’s Word tells us that He is able to DO all our DREAMS!
But seriously folks, have you been listening to the kind of ridiculous things we are dreaming around here?
- We are dreaming of raising 1.7 Million dollars! That’s the kind of money that only happens to churches 5 times our size!
- We are dreaming of a congregation designed for those who have given up on the church actually being the church!
- We are dreaming of a congregation that crosses all barriers; a church that welcomes people from every race, economic status, political persuasion or sexual preference.
- We are dreaming of a place where the captives find freedom, the blind can see, the deaf can hear… where the lonely are called by name, the rich can do the impossible and discover the joy of giving their belongings away… where children are valued and nurtured, and the poor are empowered to lead.
- We are dreaming of the restoration of an old building that will serve as a proclamation of the resurrection power of Jesus Christ to our city… and more specifically, to our nearby neighbors.
- We are dreaming of an “outdoor kitchen with aromas drifting throughout the neighborhood”… that attracts homeless people from miles around. Is that really okay with us?
- We are dreaming of a sanctuary that is aesthetically beautiful enough to attract the weddings (and funerals) of our neighbors in the ultra-modern homes just to the west of us.
- We are dreaming of an outdoor, twinkle-lighted rooftop (with misters) where we can hold summertime, Thursday night karaoke parties for our homeless friends as well as our ultra-modern home friends.
- We are dreaming of an outdoor prayer labyrinth that would be a sacred place for contemplative prayer for our friends from St. Anthony’s… or the County Jail… or our neighbors… or for us!
- We are dreaming of networking with neighborhood ministries, both secular and faith-based, to be the best neighbors to those who live and work close by.
- We are dreaming of a church not defined by walls… an open space for the outcast, and a resource for the marginalized.
- We are dreaming of being a congregation who generously gives love, flexibility, intimacy, connectedness, and grace to our neighbors… instead of sitting in church pews gazing at our spiritual navels and judging everyone who doesn’t look and act just like us!
- We dream of being a church that the founder of our Church of the Nazarene, Phineas Bresee, would be proud of: “a place in the heart of the city, which could be made a center of holy fire, and where the gospel could be preached to the poor.”
- And as if all this is not enough, we are dreaming of being a “church that plants churches.” How crazy is it to think that God could use our congregation to inspire and resource 6 to 8 new churches throughout our city over the next decade? That might even make it interesting enough for Cheryl and me to retire in OKC!
C’mon now! We don’t really think we can do all of that, do we? I mean, we’re good… but we’re not that good! No we’re not!
But God loves us… individually and collectively! And I believe our dreams excite Him, especially when we get beyond our selfish, individual, “Bless me!” prayers and open our hearts to dreams that are bigger than us! When we dream dreams for the Kingdom that go far beyond our abilities and resources, God invites us to “be strong and take courage” (Joshua 1:9) and trust Him to answer prayers and dreams that may seem ridiculous to us.
My therapist often tells me that I live in a dream world! I know… and I love it! I don’t know if we can do all this or not, but I plan on hanging around for a while to see what God wants to do in and through our Midtown congregation! I love believing and living as if “Anything I can dream… God can do!”
And I love sharing life with my Midtown (8th Street) Church family!
It takes work (& money) to make our dreams come true. Will you join us? You can give online through our parent church, Bethany First Church of the Nazarene; make sure to mark your gift for "Midtown- 8th Street Project." You can also send cash or check to PO Box 76266, Oklahoma City, OK 73147. Contact Pastor Chris Pollock at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about giving.