Dreaming is (Incarnational) Work

Return to Issue

Evangel – Fall 2015


Dreaming can be an odd thing. As one comedian has put it: “I hate dreaming, because when you want to sleep, you want to sleep. Dreaming is work. Next thing you know, I have to build a go-cart with my ex-landlord.”

Many dreams seem to flow out of the activities that fill our daily lives. My two-year-old daughter Holly is just beginning to possess the language to communicate to my wife and me what she dreams about at night. Just this morning she excitedly recounted to us her dreams of crocodiles, gorillas, and birds. It would not surprise you to know her environment at home is filled with books involving jungle animals.

Similarly, the things we adults dream about are also informed by the things that consume our thoughts during our waking hours. So when I am invited to consider what I dream about for the future when it comes to student development at Alberta Bible College, my dreams are shaped by things I already observe on campus this year. Officially, the purpose of student development at ABC is “to help learners develop ‘servant-leader’ attitudes and actions that result in ministry readiness and involvement.” It has been inspiring to witness this year’s student leaders beginning to understand that leading their peers means serving their peers. This approach to leadership reflects the teaching of Jesus when he instructed his disciples, “Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant” (Matt 23:10–11, NASB).

Sometimes our dreams merely reflect the events and thoughts that make up our days. And yet at other times it seems that the things we dream about are actually God-breathed. No less than four times did God use dreams to communicate vital information to Joseph that helped his family navigate serious threats to the incarnational ministry of Christ (Matt 1:18-24; 2:13-15; 2:19-21; 2:22-23). Each time Joseph was obedient.

As a new chapter begins in the story of ABC, I dream about a growing number of student-disciples who see their Christian vocation as servant leadership embodied on campus, in the church, and in society. Perhaps today God is inviting us to do obediently the work of dreaming again, to dream again how ABC may be incarnational in its ministry as the hands and feet of our risen saviour.

Cory is ABC’s Dean of Student Development and Instructor of Bible and Theology. He holds degrees from Mount Royal College, Alberta Bible College, and Wycliffe College (University of Toronto). Cory, his wife Brenda, and daughter Holly attend Centre Street Church, where Cory has also served as part of the youth ministry staff.

Other articles by Cory Pytlarz:

Return to Issue