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Why Every Leader Needs God-Sized Ambitions

2. We confuse contentment with laziness.

In Philippians 4:12, Paul says, “I have learned to be content in every situation.” But that does not mean I don’t have any ambition, that I never set any goals.

Many leaders believe that because of this verse they should never have any goals for their church, but should be content with wherever it is. Paul was not saying, “I don’t have any desires about tomorrow. I don’t hope for the future. I don’t have any ambitions.”

As a pastor, you need to learn to be happy while your church is at its current stage of growth. There’s a misconception that says, “Once my church has 300 members (or 500, 2,000, or some other number) then I’ll be happy.” No, you won’t. If you can’t find joy in the place where God has you right now, you won’t be happy as it continues to grow because you’ll always fall into the trap of “when and then” thinking—“When I get such and such, then I’ll be happy.”

On the other hand, if everybody used contentment as an excuse for laziness, who would work intentionally to build churches that reach people? Who would care about world hunger? Who would fight for justice and equality? We cannot confuse contentment and laziness.

3. We confuse little thinking with spirituality.

Some people use God as an excuse, and Satan is an expert at getting us to think small. There’s the old myth that quality is the opposite of quantity. Actually, they’re both important. In a ministry, you want to reach as many people for Christ as possible and you want them to grow as deeply as possible.

Don’t confuse little thinking with spirituality. I encourage you in your prayer life to start saying, “God, enlarge my impact.”

We who serve a great God should have great expectations of what God can and wants to do in, around and through a surrendered leader.

Go even deeper into this with today’s devotional via The Daily Hope: Dream Big!  

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Dr. Rick Warren is passionate about attacking what he calls the five “Global Goliaths” – spiritual emptiness, egocentric leadership, extreme poverty, pandemic disease, and illiteracy/poor education. His goal is a second Reformation by restoring responsibility in people, credibility in churches, and civility in culture. He is a pastor, global strategist, theologian, and philanthropist. He’s been often named "America's most influential spiritual leader" and “America’s Pastor.