[Column] Build Your Skills to Realize Your Dreams

Build Your Skills to Realize Your Dreams

Written By Rev.Dr. Joshua Hong

Senior Pastor of Full Gospel Church of Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.

We need to build skills to realize dreams. How should we build skills? First, develop your brain capital. To achieve your dream, you need the accumulation of knowledge, or brain capital. We must be equipped not only in the Word of God but also in other areas of spiritual knowledge. To do so, reading is indispensable. If you build your knowledge in the areas of your “dreams,” you can be an expert. After majoring in English literature, I studied a wide array of subjects such as sociology, statistics, business administration, politics, theology, and leadership. It helped me easily understand and gain profound insights into certain events and movements in society.

The realization of our dreams starts from small things in life. Dreams do not come true over night. Would you be proficient in English if you only dream about it without memorizing English words or phrases? When Rev. Cho studied Japanese, he would wake up early in the morning and read aloud in Japanese and memorize phrases and vocabulary in his free time. Only then, was he able to preach in Japanese and reach out to Japan.

Another thing to consider in realizing dreams is to exchange ideas with the people of dreams. This is called the law of “aggregation.” If you want to write theses to earn Master’s and doctorate degrees, you will have to socialize with the professionals and experts in the field of your studies. If you want to plant a church, you will have to exchange ideas with those who succeeded in church planting.

I have published a number of international theses. When I was studying in England, I searched for thesis sources on the Korean Church at Oxford University library one day. To my disappointment, there were not many English theses on the Korean Church. I realized how far away the Korean church was from globalization. Many foreigners knew the Korean church underwent rapid growth in recent years but ran into a dead end in gathering information about the Korean Church.

Then I decided to write my theses in English and publish them. As I was gathering sources at Oxford University library, God gave me a message of inspiration, “Joshua, write your theses in English and be the missionary for the Korean Church to the world.” From 1998, I started publishing my theses in international journals. Gradually, I gained recognition and was asked by many publishers to publish my theses. That was because my name frequently appeared in many research sources for the Korean Church. I was even invited to Germany while studying at OCMS in England. I had not earned my doctorate degree yet. After the publication of a few theses, I was known in Europe and was invited to Germany, South Africa, Norway, WCC, Trinity University in Singapore, Taylor University in the U.S. and etc. Yet another moment of achievement came when Oxford University press published my thesis on Christianity and politics.

As I gained international exposure, I expanded my network with the people in the same area of studies. Through the exchange of information and dialogue, I could see that my skills were increasing. To realize dreams you must build your skills. God-given dreams do not become realities solely by divine grace without our effort. First build your skills. Then God will pour down upon you greater blessings.

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