3 Ways “God-Sized Dreams” Can Hurt Your Leadership

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“What is your God-sized dream?”

How many times have you heard a Christian leader challenge you with those words?

The concept of the God-sized dream usually equates to an expectation that a leader will devote their energies towards those things which are sizable, significant, and expansive.

These, by apparent definition, are the purview of God; therefore, such dreams are dubbed “God-sized”.

The problem is that this concept of the God-sized dream is fraught with errors. And further, leaders who buy in to this concept run the very real risk of hitting 3 leadership walls:

Wall #1: It creates an inaccurate view of the leadership God honors

Does the leadership which God honors really limited only to that which is large, significant, and expansive?

Scripture teaches nothing of the kind.

True, God gave many leaders in Scripture significant challenges and opportunities (Joseph, Moses, Paul). But was the widow who gave 2 coins in the temple offering any less honored by God? Was Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet any less honored?

Wall #2: It distorts the definition of leadership success

“God has not called us to be successful.” Mother Theresa once famously said. “He has called us to be faithful.”

A God-sized dream for a pastor could be to build a church of 5000 people.

But it could also be to steadfastly shepherd the flock of 100 people in a rural farming community year after year.

Wall #3: It can rob leaders of the call God really has for them

In Numbers 12 Moses’ own brother and sister felt that they had a “God-sized dream”, which was to lead the Children of Israel.

The problem was that leading the Israelites was a dream God had already given to Moses. He had other dreams for these leaders.

Here’s the point. Don’t let culture’s version of what constitutes a “God-sized dream” rob you of what God might have in store for you.

I believe God does have a dream for each leader.

My encouragement for you is not to chase after what our culture considers to be a God-sized dream. Instead, seek for what God has for a “You-sized dream.”

It could make all the difference in the world.

How have you processed the idea of “God-sized dreams” in your leadership?

the author

Scott Cochrane

Vice President- International, Global Leadership Network. Love Jesus, Nora, Adam & Robin, Amy, Dave, Willow & Olive and John, Fiona & Will. Lifelong learner.


  1. Talk about a smack-down Scott! It’s one we need ever so often.

    As Christians, we love to make things as big as possible and more about what we dream than what God has in store for us, huh? Thanks for the reminder today!

  2. “But was the widow who gave 2 coins in the temple offering any less honored by God? Was Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet any less honored? ” I totally agree with you.

  3. I think the emphasis, and therefore our focus, is best placed on God himself, more than the dream. What is He up to around me? What work is He inviting me into? How clearly am I able to discern His voice, and when I hear Him, how quickly do I obey?

    Thanks for the post Scott!

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