by Jeff Tunnell
Aprill 22, 1984, (Easter Sunday 25 years ago), was my first service as Pastor of Big Bear Christian Center. Two weeks before that, on the day we announced my appointment to the congregation, the Lord sent an out-of-town minister who spoke to me prophetically: “I have made you a dreamer.” As the words entered my mind, I formed a picture of my dream for the church that I had been part of since 1971. In my mind’s eye I saw a local elementary school that I was “dreaming” for as a ministry center. In fact, I had been driving through its parking lot regularly to reinforce my dream. As my hopes rose to meet this prophetic moment in faith, I believed that God was about to confirm that my dream would become a reality. What a foundation for my new pastorate! But…
Then the prophet added, “But, I am going to do something even bigger than what you have dreamed!” At those words, my mental image of the school vaporized. I could not imagine anything bigger than me leading this congregation into a building that was outlandish and impossible for such a small group of pe0ple. So I asked HIM to establish HIS dream in me.
These many years later I have come to understand more clearly. God can reach my community exponentially through cell-structured evangelism and multiplicaiton! The buildings exist; homes, offices and yes, even schools. But God is not restricted by needing buildings BEFORE reaching people. HE has been gracious to me in reshaping my “dream” to embrace one that includes healthy cells that multiply.
As I quietly celebrate 25 years as Pastor of one church, I am amazed at HIS faithfulness! Onward to the next 25!