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I was sitting in a little Mexican restaurant about a year after myself and some friends from college started Community Christian Church.  I was thinking back how our team a few years before, in college dreamed of reaching all of Chicago, our home town.  Now, we knew that we could never reach all 8 million people with 1 location.  So we put a map of Chicago on the bulletin board of our dorm room and took a black magic marker and drew a line north and south and a second line east and west dividing the city up into four quadrants.  I put the names of myself and three buddies in each of the four quadrant and said, “Ok, we each take a section of the city and we can reach the whole city”.  I was pretty naïve. 

But thinking about those college days got me dreaming again.  So, I got out a napkin and started drawing Lake Michigan, and then Chicago…  But this time instead of four quadrants I began drawing circles all over Chicago, each representing a different site of a church.  I sat and stared at that napkin wondering if that dream could come true. After staring and wondering for a long time I took that napkin and tucked it into my Franklin Dayplanner.  And that napkin stayed in that Dayplanner for the next 4 years.  I didn’t show that napkin with my dream on it to anyone.  The dream was tucked away under thing-to-do lists for years.

Then I had breakfast with a guy named Larry, a very successful entrepreneur who had started several businesses.  During breakfast Larry asked me, “So Dave, what is the dream; if you could do anything what would you do?”  To me that is a very personal question.  But he didn’t just ask me once.  He continued to ask me, “Dave, what is the dream?”  And for the first time in 4 years I pulled out that napkin, showed it to him and I said, “If I could do anything, this is what I’d do.”  I went on to explain that I wondered if it was possible to have one church that met in multiple locations that could reach a whole city.   He gave me the courage to share my dream.

Then Larry said something that was simple but absolutely life-changing!  He looked me in the eye and said, “Dave, you can do it!”  It was like a trigger switched on for me when he said those words, “You can do it!”  Suddenly something that was relegated to a dream that I would never talk about was now possible.  Wow!

I share that story with you because hearing those four words changed my life and my ministry.  I am convinced that one of my primary tasks as a leader is to discover other peoples dreams; look them in the eye and say, “YOU CAN DO IT!   YOU CAN DO IT!”  Those are the four most powerful words.

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