The God Who Changes Bus Routes

1209142011“God is a dreamer and He is looking for people who will dream His dreams with Him.”

That quote is from Dreaming by God by Bill Johnson and that is what this blog is about.

First, I am going to share one of my God-sized dreams hoping it inspires you to begin dreaming your own.

Back in 2010 when we were in pre-launch mode of the church, Kellie and I began praying and dreaming about what it would become. Even though we knew we were going to start out as a portable church, we looked into the future and dreamed about having a food pantry and clothing closet on-site at our own building.

We began sharing this dream with the core team of volunteers that began to jump on board to help make this church happen.

One day we arrived home to find a care package on our porch. One of our core team members dropped off a box of things he was donating to our church and he included a map. A SMART bus map with the words “location location location” hand-written on it.

In the care package I found a letter he wrote explaining why he included the map in the care package: he said if we wanted to have a food pantry and clothing closet at our permanent facility, we ought to keep this map in mind. So when the day came for our church to purchase a building, we ought to do so along a bus route, so that those in the greatest need would have the easiest access to our church.

I held onto that map since 2010 as a tangible symbol of our dream. And yes it’s the map in the picture at the start of this blog!

A key verse that defined our church from the very beginning is Galatians 5:6: “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” The Apostle Paul is telling Christians in the province of Galatia that everything they do ought to be rooted and grounded in their faith in Jesus Christ AND that their faith in Jesus should be expressed by showing God’s love in practical ways to their community.

And if Paul were writing a letter to the church in America, he’d say the exact same thing.

Since 2010, that dream has gotten even bigger. Right now we are in the middle of a Giving Campaign called Family on Mission. So buying a 24/7 ministry facility is on the near horizon for us! (In fact, our goal is to be in a building by THIS Christmas… if not before).

So even though we are currently still a portable church, we want our future building to be used by God to bless our community in ways that would go far, far beyond a food pantry and clothing closet. That we would have the reputation that our sister church in Cincinnati has…

Kellie and I lead Vineyard 101 in our home a few times a year. It’s a way to introduce people to the church and invite them into our lives. One of the things we typically do in Vineyard 101 is show a history video of the Vineyard movement.

screen-shot-2017-02-18-at-5-16-05-amWhile there are a ton of great moments and sound bytes on the video, one of them stands out above the rest for me. Charlie Hines (Worship Director – Vineyard Cincinnati) shared a story about a man he noticed in their church lobby, a guy who definitely looked new.

Charlie approached him to introduce himself and hear his story. Here is what the man said:

“I lost everything. I just got out of prison. And the guards told me that when I got out, to come to the Vineyard because it’s a safe place and they’ll take care of you.” And I was just honored and humbled to be in a church that has that kind of reputation.

I want OUR church to have that kind of reputation!

God is called many things in the Bible. The God of all comfort (2 Cor. 1:3). The Lord that heals (Exodus 15:26). The God who provides (Gen. 22:14).

I have been dreaming about a new name for God: The God Who Changes Bus Routes.

A while back Kellie, the kids, and I were at Lakeside Mall. I realized that there is a bus stop for SMART buses right outside the door of Sears. And I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if God did that for our church! If we had a bus stop literally 20 feet from our church’s front door!

As I prayed about that, I sensed the still, small voice of God tell me this… That when we purchase our building, sure it would be ideal and our first choice if it was located along an existing bus route.

But it wouldn’t have to be.

Because the local government officials and “powers that be” for SMART buses would see how much good our church is doing for our community, that it would compel them to create a NEW bus route that would go right by our church. With a bus stop located right in front of it.

Imagine that for a moment. Dream with me.

And may this blog inspire YOU to dream YOUR God-sized dreams. May you dare to dream. But don’t just think about your dreams. Write them down. So you have a written record of the faithfulness of God when your dreams come to pass.

Get out a piece of paper and label it “Dream List” and begin to write. And here is the key: don’t triage it before you write it. In other words, don’t only write down the dreams that you think sound spiritual enough. Write down every dream you have, from the “fun” ones to the “sanctified” ones. Places you’d love to go on vacation… People you’d love to see healed…. Prodigal sons and daughters you’d love to come “home”… A book you’ve love to write and get published… Something wrong in the world you’d love to see made right… you get the picture.

“God is a dreamer and He is looking for people who will dream His dreams with Him.”

***What is your mission in life? Why do you exist on this planet? And why does your church exist? And how does Satan try to keep us from pursuing all of the above? The “Mission” in our Family on Mission series is not just to buy a church building. No more than the mission of the soldiers on D-Day was to simply establish a beachhead at Normandy, France and stop and celebrate and think they won the war. Whether or not you go to our church, our “mission” is the same: in grand terms is “on earth as it is in Heaven.” (see Matthew 6:9-10). So whatever is on earth now, that will not be in Heaven, needs to be challenged and changed and transformed. And God calls US and equips US to do exactly that! Please join us at The Eastside Vineyard Church. for my sermon titled On a Mission From God. Feb. 26 at 10:30am. More info at***


About Dan Kopp

In 2010 Dan and Kellie felt the call by God to plant a church somewhere in Macomb County, Michigan. Several months later The Eastside Vineyard Church launched and currently meets inside Shelby Jr. High in Shelby Township. This blog began in the pre-launch phase of the church and has exceeded 50,000 hits. Thanks for reading!
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