The book is Matthew Barnett's story of starting the Dream Center in LA. The Dream Center is one of the largest church/benevolence outreaches in the country. Barnett moved to LA to help try and resurrect an old Assembly of God church which was spawned from the Azusa Street Revival in the early 1900's. His father, Tommy Barnett pastors a congregation of about 8000 in Phoenix. Matthew and his father were given the task of saving the church but the blunt obviously fell on Matthew with his father busy with his own church. Matthew speaks of the original vision to build the church back up, but the church was in one of the worst parts of downtown LA. Drugs, prostitution, and gangs made their home all around the church. After about six weeks, Matthew said he had successfully grown the church to zero. He was the only one to show up for church one Sunday morning.
At midnight a few nights later, Matthew felt impressed by the Lord to go walking around the neighborhood his church was in. He saw the nightlife and shadows. Having grown up in a well insulated Phoenix suburb, the visual was overwhelming. God spoke to him then and told him that these people would be his church. Matthew argued with God reminding Him that he needed funds and these people obviously had none. God told him something that really spoke to me. This thought was echoed by Loran Livingston and Mitchell Tolle at Campmeeting. God said, "I will build my church. I've called you to build the people." How true is that statement. The scriptures make it clear that Christ will build His own church. The church is His bride and when we try to build it, we might as well be doing plastic surgery on another man's wife. We're supposed to be building people which make up the church.
Armed with this new revelation, Matthew began outreach ministries and through hard work and dedication, it worked. God told Matthew that if he would reach out to the unreachable then God would send Him the people to fund the ministry. Some 12 years later, the church is alive and well and the Dream Center has spawned plants across the nation.
Barnett makes the claim in the book that we all have a cause beyond the Great Commission. He believes there is something God wants each of us to do and it revolves around the gifts, talents, and interests that He has placed inside of all of us. True fulfillment comes to a person when he involves himself in the very thing God created him for. If it's God's vision, it won't be able to be accomplished in our own ingenuity or ideology. God's plans are not our plans. His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. He moves to a completely different beat of the drum. In order to plug into His glory, we must be willing to do the outrageous if necessary. We must be willing to follow a God-sized dream and believe it will come to pass.
I know I needed this book and I needed the messages at Campmeeting. I'm believing God to open doors on many of the projects I've left dormant for one reason or another. It's time to believe God for the impossible.