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What Should I Do With My Big Dream or Lack of It?

We have the privilege of helping answer questions from many people who want to serve orphans short-term, long-term, or even start their own orphanages or other charitable organization. Thousands of people come to our blog site each month, we believe sent by God, to find answers.

Is it the dream to start or to join?

Some of these people have beautiful dreams and passions. They desire to glorify God with their lives. However, they often have one confusion: “What is the meaning of the dreams and passions I have for orphans? Does that mean I should start a new organization or join an existing one?”

Another group of people who love God too and want their lives to count also say, “I love God, I see the Biblical command to care for the poor. My heart goes out to them and I want to help. But I don’t have a dream of my own. I love the dream that God has given someone else. What should I do?”

God doesn’t want everyone to have a big dream

These questions are crucial. Here is what we know. Not everybody is meant to have a big dream to lead a movement or ministry. Dreams come from God and he doesn’t give a dream to start an organization to most of his children…He does that to very few. These few are not special and the many who don’t get them are not at a disadvantage. God rewards people based on how faithful they are to their role, not according to the type of role they receive. Israel had over two million citizens when God led them out of Egypt. But there was only one Moses, that God chose to start and lead the whole movement. Did he do it alone? No. Israel had elders who shared the burden with him. Each person will be rewarded according to his work. There was one David. Did he do it alone? No, there were David’s mighty men who helped him fulfill God’s dream.

Some are called to help fulfill God’s dreams given to others

For some Christians,  God has put his word in their hearts like a fire, a fire shut up in their bones. They can’t hold it in. That word may be a word of encouragement for those whom God has called to lead. It could be a passion to support and be a significant part of an organization that is already existing. Very often, that organization is the local church which is at the center of caring for the poor. But the organization could be a para-church ministry that is caring for orphans.

A local pastor told this story. God had called Pastor Max to lead and grow a church in a metropolitan area in North America. The pastor was passionate about the call and gave his all to the church. He was busy all week, serving the people of God. One day, a member of the congregation, a person of little influence or power in the church booked an appointment to meet with the pastor. The pastor was used to people coming in to ask for help with problems they were going through. So Pastor Max agreed to meet with James. “Hello James, thanks for coming in to see me.” He pointed James to a seat. After asking about his family, children, work and carrying on a short conversion, the pastor asked James, “How can I help you today?”

James cleared his throat and tried to gather his thoughts, a little nervous about what he was going to say, wanting to say it just right. “Pastor, I know I’m not one that would be called a leader in this church. But I’ve been praying about how I can serve the church well. I noticed that you are working hard serving us. I usually have Wednesday afternoons off after I do my errands in the morning. I wanted to come and ask you, how can I help you?”

The pastor was confused and asked, “What..?”

No one had ever come and asked him such a question. As he was struggling with his throughs on what to say, James continued, “I know you have errands to do. Doing laundry, dry cleaning, cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, and other chores like that. How about I give you my Thursday afternoons for the next seven years to help you run your errands and clean for you so that you can focus on serving the church?”

The pastor couldn’t believe it. For seven years, James helped run errands for him which gave him made more time to visit sick Christians, dedicate himself to prayer, and attend to other church needs. The church grew tremendously, to the thousands, and the pastor forged a deep relationship with James that has lasted a lifetime even after the pastor moved from the church to another assignment in a different city, the friendship has continued.

It’s not about the dream or the dreamer. It’s all about God!

I want to leave you with these words. It’s not about us; it’s not about our dreams; it’s all about God. If I have a God-given dream to start an organization that cares for the poor, that dream is not mine. It’s God’s dream revealed to me. That dream is not for me alone. It’s for the people of God whom he will call to join whether as sponsors, staff, volunteers, or orphans. I’m just a vessel God used to carry that dream to his people. Knowing that helps me get out of the way to allow others to take their own places and serve God freely. In the Old Testament, the word God gave to the prophets was not for the prophets. God spoke to his people through the prophet. The word God spoke to Moses about leading the children of Israel out of Egypt was not to Moses, but through Moses to the people. Remember, it’s not about the dream or the dreamer, it’s all about God.We are only vessels to carry God's dreams to His people Click To Tweet

If you don’t have a dream of your own, don’t worry about it. It’s probably a sign that God wants you to lead by being a part of another dream he has given to someone else around you. Look around you, pray, and choose a place to join and serve. If you do have a dream, it’s not usually the dream to start something new but to passionately join and lead something that God is doing around you. Make sure to listen to God and obey when he also clearly wants you to start something brand new. Jumping to start an orphanage because you feel called to serve orphans may not godly but may be self-fish and self-centered.

Father, open our eyes to see reality as it truly is. Help us to know that it’s not about us, our dreams or aspirations. It’s all about you and your glory. Make us self-less and humble. Teach us to follow where ever you lead. Give us the courage to follow a dream that you have given to another Christian and do it with joy knowing that it’s not about them or their dream but about you and your dream for all of us. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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  1. Thank you Dr. Ken for sharing this truth with us. Asking God to help me be humble and really evaluate my dream to serve orphans has been one of my biggest areas of growth I believe. It isn’t at all about us, but ALL about God. So knowing that, I had to ask God to let Him be glorified and myself be hidden in the work done to serve orphans;that He would only let me go through with what glorifies Him, and not me. When I first felt strongly called to serve orphans I tried to run from the calling because I knew I didn’t know how to serve orphans or where to even begin, and that’s another reason that it is so good that it’s all about Him and not about us or our strengths or our past experiences but about what He has asked of us and what He will do through us and through are weaknesses. I like that your brought up that just because we feel called to serve in some specific area doesn’t mean we have to initiate something new, that seeing and becoming apart of what God is already doing in that area may be a better, more beneficial route to take. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Wow! This was an awesome post! I think that it is so important for Christians to remember that we each have our own unique place and park in the body. It’s almost like a soccer game; some are supposed to be goalies, some are supposed to be defenders, and some are supposed to be offense – out there scoring goals. But everybody’s on the same team and they all get the point when they make a goal. Some people in mission work are senders and some are goers but both are on the same team: God’s!

  3. I liked whatever u have written and the last sentence striked me the most…bcoz i also want to open an orphanage but i am studying..no money and my dream would be self centered and selfish….but i can feel gods power in me and i have a small idea …nearby here there is leprosy centre,120patients are there on Sundays can i ask them for cleaning the rooms up,,,itz a tuff job,sumtimes i wont go for it,what do u think i should. do…

    • Hello Sanju,
      Thanks for asking. By all means, you should help. However, you need to seek professional advise from the people running the leprosy center. Leprosy is an infectious disease. You could get the disease if you don’t help carefully.
      I pray that God will guide you.

  4. Hello sir