Big. Start Small. Go Deep.
by Major Danielle
Dawson Trotman, founder of the Navigators
discipleship program, used a slogan to fuel his movement:
Think big. Start small. Go deep. It’s something I read very
early in my ministry and it resonated within me. The problem
I’ve discovered in most people’s lives is not their inability
to dream or to envision—we’ve got vision statements and
dreamers aplenty. The real crunch happens when our dreams hit
reality—we’ve got to figure out a strategy for our dreams in
order to see them come to fruition.
If we are praying for God’s Kingdom to be on
earth as it is in Heaven, we have to take our dreams and
visions (particularly the ones that Jesus spelled out for us)
and actually make them happen in the here and now. We need a
strategy for this side of Heaven. This is where Trotman’s
little slogan becomes very useful.
One of the obstacles in achieving our vision
is that we often dismiss the “smallness” of starting the work
required to make it happen. The Incarnation (when Jesus was
born as a baby in Bethlehem) is a great example of starting
small. It doesn’t get much smaller than a poor family looking
for shelter in a little town and bringing a baby into the
world. The vision, of course, was to save the world, but the
strategy began with one small child, a woman and a man who
were obedient to God, and a few scraggly shepherds. If you
didn’t know the outcome, you would think the strategy was a
failure. And, if you were to look ahead and see Jesus hanging
on a cross between two thieves, you’d be tempted to think that
God should have started with a different strategy.
One of the keys to God’s strategies is that
his Kingdom is often made up of the very things we can’t see.
The epistles tell us that Jesus made a spectacle of the enemy
the day he offered his life as the way of salvation for the
rest of us. Jesus’ death was part of the divine strategy to
overcome evil, break the curse and free humanity and creation
from the enemy’s grasp forever. Think big. Start small. Go
When The Salvation Army decided to open fire
in India in 1882, they announced their vision: The Salvation
Army will invade India. When the Salvation Army pioneer
officers showed up at the arrival pier of the dock in India,
the Royal British Army was there to meet them, expecting that
they were about to be invaded by armed force. But what they
saw shocked them: Frederick Booth-Tucker leading a small
ragtag group of mostly young women officers and soldiers,
dressed in local attire and armed with Bibles and the
experience of their salvation.
This was the invasion? This was the
strategy? Yes. And it followed the incarnational pattern of
our Saviour’s ministry.
They wanted to win India for Jesus (think
big). They started with a small team of willing soldiers and
officers (start small). And they gave their whole lives,
health and futures to the cause (go deep). The strategy was
blessed by God as every “boom march” (open-air proclamation of
the gospel) led to whole towns and villages coming to a saving
knowledge of Jesus Christ. Ultimately, thousands of Indian
Salvationists were raised up to lead the charge to win the
world for God. Today, India is one of the strongest countries
in the Salvation Army world and the vision continues.
I’m not sure if you have a strategy for your
vision, but I’d like to suggest one. On Facebook and other
social media networks, a number of Salvationists have recently
engaged in DISCO. No, it’s not a dance, although that’s not a
bad metaphor for discipleship. DISCO is short for discipleship
covenant—when a small group of Christians connect with each
other for accountability and intentional discipleship.
There is no set curriculum. Every person
determines their own goals and intentions and shares with the
group about their progress and struggles every week. Each of
the members take turns sharing and dreaming and talking about
how they are making that a daily reality in their lives. They
pray together and offer their support. It’s a game changer.
Seems small, doesn’t it? But imagine if all
of God’s people thought big (had a vision for changing the
whole world), started small (began focusing on their daily
habits and practices) and went deep (showed a willingness to
be accountable to others). I think DISCO could really change
So, connect with a friend or two on
Facebook, by e-mail or in person and covenant together for a
period of one to three months to support and hold each other