Jump directly to the Content

Bonhoeffer Convinced Me to Abandon My Dream

His words challenged everything I had learned about pastoral vision.
Bonhoeffer Convinced Me to Abandon My Dream
Image: Illustration by Rick Szuecs / Source images: Unsplash / Envato

In a seminary class on leadership, the professor gave us each the assignment of designing a church. We had to write out a mission statement, vision statement, values, and beliefs. I worked hard on it but received a B. Apparently, I overused the word gospel. The professor's note explained that the word was not contextualized enough for the post-Christian city I had identified as the location for this imaginary church plant.

It bothered me because I had poured myself into that project. Sure, the church I had described was only theoretical, but the vision was real. Though it was just an assignment, it represented my highest pastoral aspirations, and it became the goal of my post-seminary imagination.

I thought my vision for that future church was genuinely innovative. We would meet in some industrial space with lots of wood beams, single-origin coffee, and a massive rear projector at the back of the stage. If that sounds to you like a Redeemer Presbyterian–Mars Hill mashup, minus ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

September
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Secrets for Managing Your Time Wisely
Secrets for Managing Your Time Wisely
Five questions for pastors to ask.
From the Magazine
Americans Forgot How Long Refugee Resettlement Takes
Americans Forgot How Long Refugee Resettlement Takes
One year into the biggest US refugee wave since the Vietnam War, Christians are trying to buy Afghan immigrants more time.
Editor's Pick
Rebuilding Church Community: What’s Actually Working?
Rebuilding Church Community: What’s Actually Working?
Pastors respond.
close