From the Senior Pastor
The vision of IMPACT2020 was concretized in 2018 in a personal retreat. This is not something that had come about just recently. As I took on the role of Senior Pastor in 2016, I had begun to ask the Lord, “What’s next?” for the church. We thank God for the blessings of years past and I think for those of us long enough in DUMC, we stand amazed at what He had done in us and through us.
We have had the privilege of blessing missions organizations around the world through our Anniversary Gift Weekend. On top of that, we have our community outreaches serving the poor and needy. We have our mission outreaches sharing the good news in numerous countries. We have emphasized a heart for the community that we come from and in our marketplace. My heart’s cry is “Is there more Lord?” It is not just about doing more, but about what more does God want us to do.
I sense God stretching us even more in faith. In my Forward series of 2018 at the beginning of the year, I preached a sermon about “Chasing the Lion.” A story of a warrior of King David called Benaiah. He chased a lion on a snowy day and killed it. That story inspired in me something. Often we are on the defensive. We often say, “Don’t let the lion chase you! Stay safe!” But Benaiah, for unknown reasons to us, against the better judgement of any safe thinking person, went after a lion! It birthed in me this big idea: Have a dream so big that unless God is in there, we are bound to fail.”
With that in mind, I had asked the Lord, what are the lions that you want us to chase after to extend Your kingdom? I am mindful that the kingdom of God is never extended by just any one church, but by the universal Body of Jesus around the world. Who are the partners we need to work with? Who are the partners who can help us as we help them? Where can we go to grow our faith and a deep dependence on you? What better time to ask this question than when we arrive at the year 2020, the 40th Anniversary of DUMC.
There is something about the number forty. It seems to suggest a theme of breakthrough in the Bible. Moses’ life was divided into three segments of forties. Each forty was a significant transition. Moses was in Mt Sinai for forty days and nights to receive God’s law. He sent spies for forty days to scout out the Promised Land. Prophet Jonah warned ancient Nineveh for forty days towards repentance. Jesus fasted and prayed forty days and nights before He began His ministry. He appeared to His disciples and others for forty days after His Resurrection from the dead.
The number forty can also represent a generation of man. A new generation was allowed to possess the Promised Land after forty years. What then is there for DUMC after forty years? I believe the assurance of God to us and the generation after us is this: ‘and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you’ (Genesis 12:3b). We belong to a wider Body of Christ and we are part of that plan! Let’s go find it!
As you browse on and check out this project, my prayer is that you will be inspired by what God is doing in the nations, and be challenged to be a part of it. IMPACT 2020 is not just for the year 2020. I pray that the Lord will do something beyond 2020, and even our lifetime. I want to challenge the church with three things. If everyone can ponder these three questions and act on them:
Think of something you have never tried.
Do something you have never done.
Go somewhere you have never been.
Go chase the Lion!