Our culture is obsessed with achievement. Our teachers, leaders, and culture tell us to “dream big” and “change the world.” It is also common in our churches. I am a graduate of a Christian university with the motto: “Make No Little Plans Here”. But often I have thought to myself that this sort of achievement culture is not always healthy. How many of us will truly ever reach that lofty goal? What if we become an average worker at a local business or factory worker? Or what if we are an average stay at home mom? Are we less than significant because my career is not changing the world?
The achievement/dream big culture is so popular in Christian circles that I was totally taken aback by a song that is popular on the radio. It is called, “Dream Small” by Josh Wilson. I couldn’t believe my ears! Someone in the main stream was saying that it is OK to dream small? Scandalous! At least in our day and age it is. At first I thought I hadn’t heard it correctly. But sure enough, that is exactly what Wilson says:
Don’t buy the lie you’ve gotta do it all
Just let Jesus use you where you are
One day at a timeLive well
Loving God and others as yourself
Find little ways where only you can help
With His great love
A tiny rock can make a giant fall
As pastors, we too are told we should dream big and change the world. But the reality is most of us will make an impact only on a small, yet significant, corner of the world. When Church leaders say things like “dream big” to inspire a group of pastors, I would wonder what they think it says about me as an average pastor. Do I have to change the world for my life to matter? If our church is not on our way to something big, are we really accomplishing anything at all?
I love what Wilson says about this in one verse of his song:
It’s a pastor at a tiny little Church
Forty years of loving on the broken and the hurt
These simple moments change the world