Kickstarter: “I Have a Dream”

   Written by on January 11, 2018 at 2:53 pm

logo-smith-gregDid you ever have an idea for a project you wanted to undertake, but not have any idea how you were going to fund that project?  Maybe you invented something in your mind, but didn’t have the capital to invest in a prototype, patent, and production costs.  At home I have a copy of the blueprints my Granddad made for a new kind of fishing reel.  He had the whole thing worked out, but because he couldn’t afford to produce it, he could never sell it.

Today, the internet makes it much easier for entrepreneurs to produce and sell their own projects.  For example, Fidget Cubes were invented as a device to keep fidgety workers occupied at their desks, but they needed financial backing.  Kickstarter.com helped Antsy Labs come up with the startup money it needed to get the job done.  While the fundraising campaign needed investors to generate $15,000, the developers were surprised when almost 155,000 backers contributed $65 million to producing the product.  By crowdfunding projects, Kickstarter has helped many entrepreneurs get their products and businesses off the ground.

But it all starts with a dream.  In the Bible’s book of Genesis, Joseph was a dreamer who not only saw a problem on the horizon, but who also had the wisdom and insight to create and implement a plan to fix it.  This resulted in huge profits for the government he served.  In the book of Matthew, another Joseph had other dreams for how to take problems and bring about the best results.  1:20-24 says:

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.

In this case, Joseph saw a problem—that his fiancée Mary was pregnant out of wedlock.  He knew that he could quietly annul the engagement, and he could abandon her to the mercy of public opinion at best, and the merciless court at worst.  Yet Joseph had a dream that told him of a new approach—acceptance and even defense of what appeared to be sin in the eyes of religious society.  He could do this because he knew God had given him the vision—and God was with him.

Then, after the child was born in Bethlehem, the holy family was visited by wise men who bore gifts.  Little did they know it, but the magi were unwittingly acting as spies for King Herod, who jealously wanted to destroy the child.  Again, Joseph was a visionary who saw a problem and had a dream to solve it.  His quick action saved the life of his young family.  Matthew 2:13-15a says:

When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod.

In both cases, Joseph saw a problem, and was enough of a visionary to also see and implement the solution.  Today God still works through visionaries, Christ-followers who see the problems in our world and have enough faith to fix them.  Maybe this Christmas season has made you keenly aware of the struggles of others around you, and like Joseph, God has given you a vision for how to help those in need.  Or, now that the new year lies before you, it might be that you have a dream for new health, vitality, learning, success, or blessing in your own life.  Perhaps God has placed in your heart the seedling of an idea for new ministry in the community—something that you can or your church can do to spread God’s realm and influence in the community or around the world.  Maybe all you need is something like Kickstarter, to help you get it going.

Kickstarter is the merging of all the right dreams and dreamers, partners, resources, and customers to make dreams come true.  This month we’ll be talking about a different kind of Kickstarter—your church.  God has likewise equipped your church with all the right dreams and dreamers, partners, resources—and even a target audience—to realize the dream that God has given you.  Unfortunately, we are too often we’re like my grandfather, convinced that success as a church, and as believers, is out of our reach.  But just as the year lies before us, so our lives and those of our neighbors lie as adventures awaited, limited only by the wildness of the dreams we’re prepared to dream.

In Acts 2, Peter saw God doing a new thing among his people—the beginning of something that would one day be called the Church.  Reveling in this risky venture, he preached a sermon, quoting Joel 2:28-30, in which God says:

I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
I will show wonders in the heavens
and on the earth.

God gave the dream to kickstart an exciting new thing.  Maybe God has whispered a word of vision into your heart in the night.  Maybe you’ve seen the need around you, and watched with open eyes as God unfurls the plan before you.  It all starts with a dream.  What’s yours?  I pray that you’d open yourself like Joseph, to be a visionary, a kickstarter of a brighter future, today.

Endnotes

1 Moneyish.  10 Kickstarter Products that Raised the Most Money.  https://moneyish.com/ish/10-kickstarter-products-that-raised-the-most-money/.

2Scripture quotations taken from the NIV.

©2018 by Gregory T. Smith.
Reprinted with permission
revgregsmith.blogspot.com

About Greg Smith

Greg Smith is a Baptist minister who has served churches in Central and Southside Virginia. He lives in Halifax County, VA with his wife and children. To read more of Greg’s writings check out his blog at revgregsmith.blogspot.com.

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