youth ministry, youth worker

Leaders dream big

By Doug Franklin May 5, 2010

Just like you, leaders are ordinary people who believe that God can do the extraordinary.  They ask God to help them see His world the way it should be – and could be – someday.  Then leaders right wrongs, meet needs, solve problems and make possibilities realities.  They mobilize followers, galvanize commitment and roll up their sleeves to take action.  Despite hardships and obstacles, leaders “keep on keeping on” until they fulfill the dream.

There are six key principles that leaders follow to dream big.  Each principle is biblically based and time-tested.  Give them a try – and see what happens!

First, leaders imagine the impossible.  Was it likely that God would flood the entire earth and destroy everything?  Of course not!  But Noah imagined the impossible because he believed in a big God.  What is it God wants to make possible through you?

Second, leaders set goals.  God told Noah to round up a male and female of every living animal and plant, and bring them into the ark.  That’s a God-size goal, but “Noah did everything just as God commanded him” (Genesis 6:22).  Don’t just dream.  Set specific, measurable goals to fulfill the dream.  For example, God gave 2 specific, measurable goals to Noah: 1) Find male and female specimens of every living creature; and 2) Bring them into the ark.  The goal seemed impossible, but God helped Noah achieve it.

Third, leaders develop action plans.  What good is a goal if you don’t have a plan to accomplish it?  It’s not going to happen by itself.  Lay out a step-by-step plan.  Noah’s action plan was simple and clear: 1) Build the ark; 2) Get the living creatures; 3) March them into the ark two-by-two; 4) Let God close the door; 5) Stay in the ark while it rains; 6) Release a dove until it doesn’t come back; and 7) Leave the ark. “And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him” (Genesis 7:5).

A fourth principle is that leaders keep their eyes on the prize. There was no sign of a monsoon when Noah built the ark.  As he built the huge boat in his backyard his neighbors probably ridiculed him.  When a parade of animals headed into the ark people probably laughed at him.  How foolish – until it began to rain.  Leaders do not allow criticism, mockery or anything else to hinder their pursuit of the dream.

Fifth, leaders rely on God alone. They have confidence that God gave them the dream, crafted the goals, guided the action plan and provided the resources needed along the way.  Whenever God gives a dream, He promises, “I will be with you.”  Remember that when God closed the door to the ark, he wasn’t about to let Noah flounder or fail.

Finally, leaders celebrate success. The first thing Noah did after leaving the ark was build an altar to offer sacrifices of thanksgiving to God.  When big dreams come to pass, God’s people celebrate Him.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More