I dreamed a dream.
I had found my perfect Church. The Church that fitted me like a glove. It had everything I ever wanted in a Church in fact. In my dream, I went to Church on a Wednesday morning with all my family (both near and far, living and gone before me), with all my friends (those who regularly attend Church and those who don’t). The building was one of tranquil beauty with stained glass windows, yet light flooding in. There was a choir, probably made up of real angels – mere mortals don’t sing that well, but they let me join in. There were no pews, but chairs as comfy as feather beds, with individual temperature settings. Of course, I had my cats with me, and they behaved themselves amongst my friends’ dogs to perfection. The flowers on display were stunning – and no-one had hay-fever from them. The preacher was absolutely fascinating! Uplifting! Inspiring! Brief….
We didn’t just walk out of that place, we almost danced, uplifted by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Trouble is, some of those friends had other dreams: dreams of being in a Village Hall on a Saturday evening, with a theological lecture. They had dreams of music on loudspeakers with drums and guitars. Another had a dream of a casual arrangement around a table, with animated debate, impromptu singing. Another of a gathering in a shopping centre or a parade through a town square.
And in their dreams, they too were uplifted by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Then there are the dreams of those who haven’t joined us yet: dreams of a welcome they have never known, dreams of an acceptance they are afraid they will never receive. Dreams of a place of belonging. Dreams of forgiveness.
In my dream there are no worries about the roof, or paying the bills. There is no paperwork to do. There is no safeguarding risk. Or empty seats. In my dream, we are all one Church with no denominations, no factions, no rivalries. We all agree – on everything! Jesus is the head of the Church – his will is known, no argument, no debate.
We are as individual as our dreams. Our Churches are as flawed as we are. And yet, we dare to dream.
Of what does God dream for our Churches?
A place where all of our dreams come true? Maybe when we find our home in heaven.
But on earth, in this mix up of personalities, imperfections, needs and longings, God’s dream for our Church is of a place for those people who need a welcome. Where the lost who are on the outside looking in can find a home. A place where we can be a family to those who enjoy every minute of Church life, and those who find it a struggle. A haven for those who are rejected by the world. A place for us to be ourselves.
We dare to dream: our old will dream, our young will share visions, and the Spirit will be poured out among us to build us up, together, in a dwelling place fit for a King.

Ephesians 2:22
Joel 2:28-29