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Leaving Behind Disappointment and Learning to Dream Again with Josh Gagnon

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Welcome back to another episode of the unSeminary podcast. Today I’m talking with Josh Gagnon of Next Level Church in New England.

Josh leads one of the fastest growing churches in America in an area where people typically don’t go to church. He’s with us today to talk about how as leaders we need to believe that tomorrow will be greater than yesterday in spite of the disappointments we constantly face, whether it be in ministry or life.

  • Tomorrow can be greater than yesterday. // In ministry we meet so many people who are living life based on yesterday’s disappointments. This is true as much for leaders as it is for anyone else. We begin working in ministry with God-sized dreams, but as time passes our dreams can shrink based on what we’ve seen in the past. As leaders we need to believe our tomorrows will be greater than our yesterdays.
  • Beyond heart sickness. // When you live with an expectation of something that doesn’t happen, it can lead to what scripture calls heart sickness. As discouragement and disappointment defer our hope we can get to a point where our heart is sick and questioning what God is doing. In those moments when your expectations remain unmet, remember that often God is doing more in you than through you so that one day He can do more through you than ever imagined.
  • Be faithful to the vision. // When God puts dreams in our hearts, we see them like the outside of a Lego® box: a beautiful completed picture. But God is far more interested in our journeys and our daily faith and faithfulness. It’s like He hands us 4,124 pieces and says, “If you’re faithful, if you trust Me, if you are willing to gain endurance, you’ll see that dream.” Regardless of the time or the obstacles, we have to believe that God is still in control and when He has given us a dream, He will bring it to completion. The only way we learn to overcome disappointment and discouragement is to faithfully pick up that next piece and continue building.
  • Communicate the vision. // When it comes to being faithful with the vision and dreams that God has given for our churches, as leaders we have to understand that we are the ones responsible for casting vision to our staff and church. It’s our job to explain the dream to them so that we can all head in the same direction. And culture is how we’re going to continue to stay unified in completing the vision that we have set before us. Next Level is intentional about putting people who enforce culture at their ten plus campuses to create this unified movement. At your church, decide what your culture is and what ways of speaking about ideas matches that culture. Create a certain set of values and expectations in order to stay unified and complete the vision set before you.
  • Identify your dream. // Josh has a new book out, It’s Not Over: Leaving Behind Disappointment and Learning to Dream Again. If you find yourself minimizing your dreams or feeling like you’re settling in your life, the good news is that you have time! As long as you have breath in your lungs, God has a dream for you to chase. Start identifying your God-sized dreams today and take action towards achieving them.

You can learn more about Next Level Church at nextlevel.church. Josh can be found on Instagram at PastorJoshGagnon and Twitter at JoshGagnon.

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.