In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young will see visions. Your elders will dream dreams. — Acts 2:17
We’ve always prided ourselves on our Pentecostal heritage—not in the denominational sense, but rather in our Early Church roots and their emphatic promise of inclusion. “I will pour out my Spirit on all people,” Peter preaches, quoting the ancestral prophet Joel. “All means all,” we like to say, often adding, “Anything less than all means nothing at all.” That’s what being Pentecostal means in its truest sense.
What interests me is how Peter’s message didn’t come with a process for establishing a community’s intention of being radically hospitable. That was safely assumed. We likewise have no record of policies and procedures. No paperwork—if there was any—has been discovered in clay jars in the desert. No organizational documents exist. Instead, the how-to of ecstatic inclusion is characterized by two behaviors: young folks having visions and older folks dreaming dreams. That, by itself, is unusual. In Peter’s day, the reverse was more typical. Young people were dreamers. Their elders were the visionaries. Right off the bat, the Pentecostal movement in Acts flips the paradigm.
Embracing youthful visions and experience-based dreams is how we live the Pentecostal promise. What is the Spirit urging us to envision? What dreams are being brought to life in our community? If we do our vision work like young people, we’ll believe anything can be done. If we dare to dream like seasoned elders, we’ll recognize commitment and effort make dreams come true.
This Thursday at 7:30pm CST, we’re coming together to do some visioning and dreaming about the next 12 months. There are so many wonderful things coming into focus it’s breathtaking. Please make time to be with us for this conversation. It will take all of us to bring Gather’s 2023 vision to life and turn our dreams into reality. See you on Thursday!
Peace, with much love,