This summer, we’ve been walking through our Church on Fire series. It’s been a great 9-week journey into understanding how the early church became a movement that changed the world.
The truths we’ve explored have created a powerful journey that has positioned us to truly BE the church, and I’m looking forward to leading our final conversation this coming weekend.
However, early on, I asked us each to prayerfully consider what dreams we have as a church…what kind of church we long to be. It was an absolute joy to read the love, faith and hope reflected in the things you shared.
The passion is clear, and the expectancy is palpable. I love my church! May God lead us to be the church he desires, set us on fire and use us for His glory!
So, as we approach the close of this journey, I want to share many of the dreams you shared with us:
[The following is a list the represents many of the dreams expressed by our church family. Enjoy!]
…that refuses to be contained by its walls. That is passionate about reaching ALL people.
…that is seen as the hands and feet of Jesus. That the community sees Heritage as a church that loves others.
…that is so crowded that we have to expand. That is spirit-filled and filled with love and grace to the save and unsaved.
…that lives out the SENT life.
…who are in the community doing the work of Jesus. To be with the hurt and broken on the streets of our town, preaching the Good News.
…where freedom exists and fear is abolished.
….that is on fire for the lost, hurting, alone, outcast.
…who can survive and flourish as we are being persecuted.
…to help all find Jesus as their Savior, show others love and the wish to have what I have to offer.
…who changes the world lived SENT. Making a difference and living out God’s will and purpose for His glory. Amen!
…that loves unconditionally, like God.
…that is known as a place of grace and love were lives are changed, people are healed, and the world is turned upside down once again as God’s Kingdom comes to earth.
…that lives set on fire for Him, so that the world sees Jesus and runs to Him.
…that spreads God’s love through His people.
…where EVERYONE feels they have value and can contribute as a volunteer.
…were I won’t be so ashamed of myself when I’m here so I can truly live SENT. Can’t do it because I don’t deserve it.
…that helps the lost find the love and freedom Jesus has to give.
…that reaches my heart. That stays. That reaches others. That extends past me into lives of every single person I meet with. All Glory to Him!
…that will changed this city, then this country and world.
…that doesn’t judge, but empowers us with God’s word. That never stops reaching out to others. Thank you Heritage for being that church.
…that prepares for the end times. Who knows how to witness. It’s more and more difficult and not always safe to witness, even her in the QC.
…that works to help others.
…that we listen to the messages and apply this powerful message to our community in all ways.
…where even the most lost people can find love and friends, and find a place in their hearts for others.
…loves others, invests in others, that is unified.
…where everyone feels welcome and connected, and finds a small group and falls I love with Jesus.
…where people can find safety and peace in the presence of God’s people. We have the answer.
…that is alive, on fire, and unified.
…where all nationalities, all ethnic groups worship together in unity. Where no one feels left out.
…that transcends cultural and social, economical barriers. Build’s God’s kingdom.
…that shows through action the words we speak. In mission to others in every day life as well as on special mission.
…that takes me from my comfort zone and to be there to reach out to others in need.
…that brings me closer to God and people together. Love, trust, and people wanting to help each other and not being all about themselves.
…that is not segregated (racial divides in churches is evident).
…where everyone has a place and everyone is actively involved and wants to serve wherever they can. A deep desire to serve more volunteers than needed.
…that welcomes everyone and prays together by praying the Lord’s prayers.
…that stands up and fills the needs, through and by the Holy Spirit.
…to bring everyone closer. Bring more people to church so they can get to know Jesus.
…that is united. That welcomes anyone. That truly loves one another.
…that is bold and always looking for opportunities to make a difference.
…that keep growing.
…where God blesses us with signs, wonders, and miracles. Where we pray for each other and love each other. Where we desire God’s will more than our own.
…that reflects Christ. One that is a diverse body of believers united by Christ and led by His Spirit. A church on our knees in prayer!
…that cares for the people in our own cities.
…who will follow through with the Word of God given at the sermons.
…that does everything as a family, living as examples to never stop inspiring others.
…where non-believers (both those who haven’t been introduced to God, and those who have met and walked away from Him) feel safe and accepted. They don’t feel pressured to join us, but drawn to us.
…that loves without judgment.
…that is planting seeds into others who need Jesus.
…that truly accept others where the are! And wants to lead them forward.
…that has no limits to bring the world to God’s glory.
…that never gives up and sends us out to keep reaching others.
…that has no judgment and is forever loving.
…that is alive with SENT people who love God more than themselves.
…that will go out into the community and witness and preach the full gospel, Genesis through Revelation
…that can be one team, working through God for the good of all.
…that is passionate and always about serving (Africa, Men’s shelter), to see Jesus, and where God is moving.
…that is not done. Let’s go!
…that listens and responds in love to the marginalized (all of them) and vulnerable.
…that accepts me for me.
…that is thinking about others. It’s not about us, it’s about God’s way.
…that lives loved, linked, and SENT!
…that ministers in prisons, single moms, addictions classes (in addition to the one offered now).
…that trust Him enough to praise Him for everything. Who are a people on a mission.
…that can lead this great country back to what it was founded on. Where God is No. 1, and not a hindsight.
…that is so on fire that our community can recognize what is happening and couldn’t resist the attention to join and be part of this movement. As a moth is drawn to a flame.
…that sets on fire a revival like no other, bringing God back to our broken nation.
…that actively seeks out widows and orphans who need assistance.
…being like a domino game…that shares with those who do not have a faith.
…that inspires others to inspire others.
…where everyone gets along, loves each other, and helps one another though life and hardships.
…that has a ministry to single moms, the poor (food/clothing pantry); willing to step into spiritual warfare, and is ON FIRE!
…where we are united and together as one to make a difference in the world (injustices and inequalities).
…that is sent out into the masses to share the Good News and love all people.
…that is open to all believers. Showing God’s love to all. For its members to go out and meet others where they are and show them Jesus though our actions.
…that genuinely welcomes the Holy Spirit.
…that dives into the act of prayer.
…that is free to move for His glory. No restricted by comfort, fear, limited resources or anything else Satan uses. That shares God’s love with everyone.
…that is united.
…that is filled with the Holy Spirit and totally filled with love.
…where people have a desire to fill emptiness in their lives and come to know God.
…that is a true place of service to the poor.
…where the love is so deep and widespread in everyone that all feel free and safe and loved unconditionally, accepted no matter what. Where needs are met, emotional and mental. Truly one…acting as one…being one in Jesus.
…where the people come together as one and others notice and want to jump on board.
…that loves unconditionally. That lives in obedience. That gives both in tithe and offerings. That is on fire for the lost. That lives without judgment. That is sold out for Your Kingdom.
…that it is so large, that it becomes small again.
…that helps the sick, the ones who are terminal, to believe God will be there for them through their journey.
…where we overlook flaws in ourselves and others, and to be there for one another. To be a born again body of believers.
…that builds within (fellowship, discipleship) so that we can build outside and change our communities.
…where they all are of one accord, living for each other.
…that makes people feel safe, explains the Gospel simply, and encourages the wounded.
…that reaches out to the community.
…of active people.
…that is filled with the Holy Spirit, dedicated to serving the people. Be bold, be active.
…that reaches out to the immigrants. That actively prays together, that has a vibrant women’s ministry that grows women into mature theologians. That is active in justice issues.
…that takes care of each other. That cares more about the example that Jesus set for gathering and living linked. That really connects with each other.
…that will save the Quad Cities, a city on a hill.
…that is unified in attitude and being SENT, actively living in mission together.
…that can reach the whole world, everyday!
…that is growing and recruits more and more people for the Kingdom.
…that loves and helps each other. To be SENT, to live out God’s commission and calling through Jesus. A church pouring into others.
…who becomes one with all and never stops trying to bring everyone to Jesus.
…that is set on fire, spreading throughout the world, and never gives up hope till the end of the days.
…that loves and accepts all with grace. That remains obedient to God’s intent.
…where we love to bring others in, as we are so proud of what we do here.
…that does not fear that God’s plan is different than their own, and surrender.
…that serves those in need, heals relationships, makes others feel loved, connect spiritually.
…that is a loving, caring, and sharing place to meet and become whole.
…that is just like this one!!
…that could bring all people together, non-believers, and all to become one.
…that knows no boundaries, no separation, and leaves no one behind.
…that never settles until Christ returns.
…that knows and responds to needs of local membership, as well as community and world outreach.
…where there would be no more religions, and where we all would praise ONE God, our Father.
…that lives in a way and performs actions that draw others to Jesus…not by our words, but by our actions. That thinks of others.
…that is filled to capacity. That all the friends and family I know and people within our community have heard the Word. May we that have been SENT, and that have accepted Christ as their Savior, and in the process of learning to be SENT.
…that has many more opportunities for adult social activities…and opportunities together for short service projects.
…that are on fire for God, excited, in awe, jumping for joy!
…is a family like we read about in Acts 2.
…full of love.
…full of love, courage, non-judgmental, and changes the world.
…of bringing people together of all races.
…with a sense of community, a place of worship, to focus on the world, but not a rock concert or show.
…that come together for the purpose of spreading the Good News with diversity and without politics.
…where all people feel welcomed and loved.
…that would run the needs of the ‘least of these’ here in our local area (kids in foster crisis care, homeless children). Let Jesus grow his passion in us.
…that becomes love, that walks in love. Love conquers all.
…that has a satellite in West Davenport.
…where people work together and are able to support each other, teach and learn from each other. Accept everyone and do not segregate.
…that is on fire and contagious and teaches deep truth. A church so strong and on fire and empowered to live SENT. We need to be on fire ourselves, and spread it.
…that continues to grow, love, and show the world the love of God in amazing ways!
…that witnesses to people and helps them to give their heart to Jesus. To be able to forgive people that is hard for me to forgive.
…that lives SENT to talk to other people, and continues to do outreach work through our employment.
…that is united.
…where there is no pain, no worry; just love, no hate, no fighting or selfishness. A world of peace.
…that is powerful together.
…where I give up my history of being betrayed and abandoned, and instead take the risks of reaching out, being connected with others, and helping others outside of those I know. To show that mercy is alive to the world.
…where families worship together at home and in the building.
…who loves Jesus. Who loves people, no matter what. Provide for the poor, show the love of God.
…I don’t need to dream of a church I would want. Heritage is that church. Togetherness, family, friends.
…that is love, peace, and strong.
…that is patient, kind, understanding.
…that is a Christian community within a larger community. That is driven to action. To help those who need help and follow Jesus.
…that reaches all ends of the world with the Good News of Jesus Christ.
…where people realize what Jesus sacrificed for us. And to always have faith.
…that is bold, spirit-filled, and self-less.
…that is accepting, encouraging, non-judgmental and positive.
…that worships with abandon, loves without condition or reservation, lives into its mission, the mission of God.
…that conquers the Quad Cities for Jesus.
…that has love, hope and the Holy Spirit, and to realize we are more together than we are apart.
…of faith, hope, love.
…where everyone goes out with fire to witness for Jesus.
…where we love one another and continue to grow in our own personal life. To live loved and sent by God so the world would see Christ in us.
…on fire, revived, committed.
…on fire 24/7 for the glory of God.
…that shows itself like a beacon of hope for salvation.
…that brings our world out of darkness, that shows unbelievers that we are the hands and feet of Jesus, that we love!
…that has togetherness in God and to bring others to God.
…that is open to all.
…that gives full allegiance to God, honoring to the Father.
…where more people in this world can know Him. Where we are the hands and feet of Jesus, serving and ministering to all different populations in the QC area.
…that is just like this welcoming and forgiving.
…whose members fully give the resources God has given them to the community as occurred in Acts 2. What does that mean or look like today? I don’t know.
…that is unafraid.
…that partners with and supports the Christian school in the area so that they can successfully train children to live for Christ on a daily basis.
…where people are safe and free to be who they are created to be in Christ. Where there is hope and joy. Where people are growing as God leads them wherever they are on their spiritual journey.
…that works for the good of others. That doesn’t judge others, but teaches God’s way to live.
…that radically transforms the lives of youth that spreads to schools and reignites the passion of adults in turn changing the QCs.
…that serves in the community. That preaches outside these walls. That shows his love and light. That gets loud and rowdy with the Spirit.
…that leaves judgment, hatred, and persecution at the door. Lock it out of our church.
…where we live out the Word so unbelievers can see it lived out. As we’ve seen the church in Charleston live the Word out. These people are a church on fire.
…that all people feel drawn to, not just on Sunday, but every day, to get recharged and healed.
…that Jesus looks down on and says it is good.
…of people like Jesus.
…more multi racial…especially in leadership.
…that treats everyone equal. That welcomes all people. That has a mission to help people know Jesus. Heritage does all this!
…spread out to others.
…meeting daily, boldly serving others to the glory of God.
…that makes a difference.
…who sees and helps the hurting.
…united, expanding, diverse.
…that keeps me more focused on God.
…that loves others so much that we build relationship with non-believers that brings them to Jesus and God will receive glory and His kingdom will grow.
…where all are excited to worship.
…that is loving, passionate, helping, service oriented, non-judgmental, welcoming, happy and praiseful.
…that will help people believe that they are worthy. So many broken people need to know they are worthy.
…that continues to reflect Jesus. That is willing to do what it takes to get the message out to our community.
…where each follower is proactive in their community.
…that isn’t afraid to step out of comfort, die to self, and start living to bring others to Christ.
…that reaches out to and welcomes everyone, even those different from us.
…that works together.
…full of selfless servants holding forth the word of truth.
…welcoming, accepting, acknowledging His creative giving in each person, breathing His love, empowering His people, teaching His ways, open opportunities to give fellowship.
…who will save children and youth.
…that is on fire.
…without fear, without borders, grounded firmly in the teachings of Jesus, with eyes focused solely on the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
…that reaches out to people that need to know Jesus and helps others.
…that leads others to know Jesus.
…that serves those with special needs, reaching out to ARC and other similar groups.
…warm, accepting, inclusive, community-minded, depth of faith for adults & youth. Reverence and excitement for God.
…where everyone desires to serve others.
…that would go out to help those who are the most distant from God.
…that the people were so different…other people wanted what we have.
…that offers an answer and alternative to the constant ‘worldly’ messages we receive from TV, internet, social media, etc.
…that gives us faith and forgiveness and the best worship songs.
…that lives united.
…where people read, know, share the Word. Where people answer God’s call on their lives. Where everyone does their part as God has called them.
…that will help people that need love. That will please Jesus and everybody.
…like this church. One not repetitious in song and prayers. Praise God for Heritage Church on fire!
…united of one mind/mission focused on Jesus, fulfilling the Great Commission in the Spirit of the Great Command.
…that is full of compassion for others. Non-judgmental, open arms to whomever in need. Give their hands, that bring us closer to living as God intended, love for others.
…free of judgment and full of love and acceptance.
…that really realizes that we need Jesus daily in our life. Total dependence on Him and we need to look for every opportunity to LOVE!!! Plant seeds. Love others to Christ.
…that gives hope.
…that reaches to our young adults.
…filled with the Holy Spirit.
…that brings life to dead marriages.
…that is so on fire, that people come to just see what we are about, and as a result, catch the fire we have for Jesus in us.
…committed to others.
…that welcomes, moves and helps everyone.
…united as one. No separate denominations.
…that teaches the whole truth…not what is popular. About sin, salvation, about people’s place in the church, about giving, making sure no one has need.
…that stirs my heart to be a better disciple for Jesus, but I need direction.
…that gives more than receives. Cares for others.
…going out into the cities to do service for others.
…that comes together to support the community, support families, offer hope and guidance. Help children of broken homes.
…that is true and holy.
…that would hold a soup kitchen once in a while.
…that glows with the power of Jesus in every person that attends.
…as a place to help others realize there is hope.
…that helps save the lost, brings beauty from ashes, sets others up for relationship with Christ, and walks away from legalism.
…that goes to the lost. Encouragement.
…where people care for one another without walls.
…that continues to think outside the box. Links with other churches instead of thinking we can do it all ourselves. Changes the world.
…that loves Jesus.
…that could be trusted by all.
…loving, caring church that reaches out to hurting church members.
…that provides for the least of these without help from the government.
…for a place where my kids can grow.
…that relationship is paramount to religion.
…that fully reflects the image of Christ clearly that the glory of God fills the whole earth even as the waters fills the sea, so heaven and earth become one as prophesied.
…loves by leading.
…that continues to grow and continues to changes lives.
…that would be the example of love and forgiveness to the QC area and around the world. Praise God!
…that I can share with my adult children that don’t know God’s power.
…that unconditionally serves the Quad Cities with love, work, and monetary assistance.
…that spreads wisdom. That teaches Wisdom. That shows love. That people are drawn to God.
…that will grow by leaps and bounds to reach all in the Quad Cities who don’t know Jesus.
…that my family and friends can be saved and have a close relationship with Jesus.
…where everyone supports each other in their vision. The message of hope to build bridges. Time to transform lives.
…that has more faith than fear.
…that is linked together as one. To reach out to others and bring those people to know God.
…that stands together as one to help others have a relationship with our God, our Father. Love. Linked. SENT.
…that we reach out to others to be on fire 24/7.
…where everyone loves one another.
…full of togetherness and love, and bring the rival to youth.
…that reaches and touches everyone.
…that goes to its neighbors instead of expecting our neighbors to come to the church.
…that lives out all purposes for which Christ established the church – fellowship, discipleship, evangelism, worship, and ministry.
…where we live the message of the Gospel without changing His word to suit our needs.
…that is a rock for the community.
…that loves one another.
…where Holy Spirit filled people of passion do the ministry that God has called (and will equip) them to do. The excitement of doing God’s will and being the church will be infectious to draw more people to Him.
…that is one fire, unafraid, and bold for Jesus.
…where people of all walks of life feel welcome and the love of Jesus Christ. And through that love, are changed.
…being a place to learn more about the Lord and how to love people and bring them to God.
…that never ends.
…with active ‘linked groups’ that can be the church and be sent together.
…like Heritage to be in ever county of this great nation.
…that compels me to do His work. That empowers me to overcome my shyness and leads me to live SENT.
…that bridges racial and cultural differences.
…filled with all my tennis friends. All different colors of people, one united in Christ for the greater good of the QCA.
…dedicated to the service of one another. Where volunteering is second nature and not pulling teeth.
…love, serve, linked.
..is healthy and will be a legacy for families.
…that will help everybody, the believers and the non-believers, and who ever needs help.
…being my home and my family.
…who bonds together to help those (Christian and otherwise) who have needs and lost all hope, so they can feel Jesus’ love.
…prays, heals, delivers, shares, cares, never gives up on others.
…that walks hand in hand with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
…who can feed the hungry of the QC in God’s name.
…unafraid to follow where God is leading us.
…where people from all walks of life, young and old, can come to find hope and healing and to grow in their relationship with Jesus. Where we have a visible presence in the community.
…like Heritage QC, a church in Cedar Rapids. A church on fire with passion, mission, and a purpose.
…can reach the people without hope and bring hope to them.
…where my friends and family come and find freedom in Christ.
…connected with a little more female leadership.
…in LeClaire, IA for a family and learn more of God like Heritage.
…where everyone can worship freely and without prejudice.
…that is engaged in the community volunteering their time doing projects together for the city and people.
…that works together as a loving unit and reaches out and helps others.
…that is on fire to spread God’s Word. That fellowship with each other. That prays and worships.
…that is home for everyone. How we live matters.
…that embraces messy in our own church. (step families, addictions, struggling youth, prodigal children). How to love them in the church.