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Think Big, Start Small, Build Deep

It is a daring philosophy of leadership.
“Think Big, Start Small, Build Deep” is a compelling watchword that comes up often in our QC Time. For us, it is a reminder to stop comparing. And to stay true and courageous to our specific calling from God. It cultivates a mentoring leadership committed to developing leaders who build to last.

“Think Big, Start Small, Build Deep” first challenges us to pursue with visionary courage our dreams from God. Yet it calls for the inner security to not despise small things. This is an important tension to balance. We are creatures of extremes. We tend to gravitate to one and ignore the other. It is both-and and not either-or!

Finally, it highlights the need for godly wisdom, in the exercise of wise leadership, to build deep. Thus, “think big, start small, build deep” is decidedly provocative in its grand sweep.

The Courage To Think Big

It first calls us to boldly dream BIG dreams IN God. There is a difference between dreaming big dreams FOR God and dreaming big dreams IN God. The former can be mere presumptuousness; the latter is rooted in the holy calling and divine promises. 

Our view of God determines our work for Him. 

Our God is a God of the impossible. Is anything too difficult for Him? By His word, the heavens and earth were created. Our God is an awesome God. Yet we tiptoe around God’s throne and ask for the mundane. 

If God is too small in our eyes, our work will be minute. But if He is bigger than the universe, then is anything too difficult for Him? Let’s dare to do something so big that if God is not in it, we are doomed to fail.

The Security To Start Small

On the other hand, this guiding philosophy of leadership calls us to have an inner security to start small. Some great movements of God have an inconspicuous genesis. It takes a quiet disposition rested enough in God to begin on a small scale. 

God is never in a hurry. 

In His eternal timeline, everything will fall in its rightful place. While we think big, we must be willing to start small. Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed (Matt 13:31-32). Start with what God has already blessed us with and given to us.

The Wisdom To Build Deep

Finally, this philosophy of leadership holds the tension by calling us to keep working on the fundamentals. Depth and influence are more efficacious in the long run than mere breadth and impact. We’ve got to get the fundamentals right! 

Ultimately, what really counts is true depth. 

Whether it’s starting a movement or the discipling of lives, building deep is anchored in fulfilling God’s fundamental calling and mission. It’s fundamentally about developing a biblical worldview and depth of character. It’s the wisdom of building to last. 

“Think big, start small, build deep.” A daring philosophy of leadership. Are we courageous enough, secure enough and wise enough to pursue it?

Excerpt from Mentoring Paradigms by Edmund Chan
Book is available in Kindle Edition and Hard copy