Do you have a few teachers you would have been delighted to have studied under personally, but didn’t? I do, and near the top of that list would be Howard Hendricks. I’ve been blessed by some of his disciples, but at the moment am enjoying listening to some of his teaching. Here’s an old quote he used from the president of Yale addressing the board of the great institution:
Ladies and Gentlemen, if I don’t spend time every day with my feet propped up on the desk, dreaming about what Yale ought to be, you need to fire me because I am no longer the leader of Yale – I am simply a pathetic manager of the institution.
Please don’t get upset if you happen to like being a manager of something, but please get the point. Leaders need to spend time thinking and dreaming of what the ministry, institution, church, and even family, ought to be. I suspect that in the busy-ness of ministry and life many of us are falling considerably behind in our think-time, as Hendricks would put it.
Let’s be very wary of a preaching routine, and a ministry routine, that lacks time to think and dream. Sanctified prayerful dreaming is an element of true eternity-shaping ministry that I sense is lacking in many today. Let’s make space and dare to dream, then ask God. He is able to do abundantly beyond all that we ask or even imagine . . . with many of us that is not even half a challenge. Let’s consider putting our feet up so that we can be leaders, and because it’s exciting to see God being God!