Dream the Impossible Dream

Dreams are the raw materials for adventure. They are heady stuff that enliven people and move mountains.

H.B. London Martin Luther King Jr.'s stirring "I have a dream" impacted human rights around the world. Then Irish dramatist George Bernard Shaw's visionary words still inspire the masses whenever they are quoted: "Some men see things as they are and say, "Why?" I dream things that never were and say, "Why not?"

Joe Darion and Mitch Leigh's lyrics from "Man of La Mancha" move us deeply and have added vitality to many sermons:

To dream the impossible dream,
to fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow,
to run where the brave dare not go…

To fight for the right
without question or pause
to be willing to march into hell
for a heavenly cause.

A wise old preacher was right when he told two young beginning pastors as they walked together outside his retirement home, "A pastor never achieves more than his dreams."

That's an important starting point for ministry in every generation. Every pastor needs dreams that are passionately focused on the gospel and its supernatural effect on people who make up the congregation he serves.

Sadly, it is not always the case. "My dream is dead; I can't go on. Our church services feel like we are tossing prayers into a wishing well. Worship is empty." Those despairing comments in a recent letter from a conscientious Midwest pastor are too common.

It's alarming how many dreamers are reducing Kingdom commitments at a time when dreams and dreamers are needed most. The dreams Christ gives us for our lives and for our ministry can't be allowed to die. Something must be done to revive them quickly.

So much depends on the combined dreams of pastors across North America. Think of the possibilities: thousands of ministers representing an incredible force for setting direction, restoring purpose and calling the world back to God. Think of the needs: perplexed persons, dysfunctional families, indifferent churches, deteriorating neighborhoods and a rotting society.2

The dream never dies, just the dreamer! Dream on, my colleague! Dream on!


1 "The Impossible Dream," 1001 Jumbo Song Book (Hansen House).

2 Article excerpted from The Heart of a Great Pastor by H.B. London Jr. and Neil B. Wiseman (Regal Books).

Taken from Pastor to Pastor newsletter, Mar/Apr 1999.
Article copyright © 1999, Focus on the Family.
Alll rights reserved. International copyright secured.

Dr. H.B. London is the vice president of Pastoral Ministries for Focus on the Family and the author of numerous books on and for pastors. He served as a Nazarene pastor for over 30 years in several churches in Oregon and California. He and his wife, Beverley, live primarily in Colorado Springs, Colo., and have two sons and four grandchildren.