being big and small
Recently I heard leadership trainer, John Maxwell, make an interesting comment. He said that he has noticed over the years that leaders who are "big " on the inside (full of integrity, passion, growing) but are "small" on the outside (unknown, not impressive) will, over time, become "big" on the outside. The opposite is also true. If a person is "big" on the outside (well-known, big reputation, lots of influence) but "small" on the inside ((lack of integrity, petty, small-minded), they will eventually become "small" on the outside. In other words, your inside will eventually make it outside.
These transformations usually happen without us even being aware. How often have you seen someone just blossom when they were finally given the chance? Or leaders who rise to the occasion when it is most needed (and no one knew they had a leader in them!)? And, conversely, how many times have we seen public figures and even pastors disgraced because of a private life no one knew about? Sometimes it is simply the Peter Principle at work. People rise to the level of their incompetence.
How does a person avoid being "small" on both the inside and outside? First of all, we need to embrace the truth that we are children of God and live with that humility (an accurate view of ourselves). Second, we need to practice what we preach so there is not a discrepancy between what people hear from us and what they see. Third, we need to be committed to constant growth and self examination. Trying to minister from the same well without refilling it will eventually prove fruitless. Most leaders know what it feels like to run dry because they have been coasting on what they already know without continuing to study. Forth, spending sufficient time in prayer is critical to grow to be "big" inside. From prayer we find perspective, humility, purpose, strength, forgiveness, and direction.
Jesus spoke about this when he said that truth will eventually be shouted from the rooftops and nothing will be able to remain hidden. If you desire to have maximum impact in your ministry, begin from the inside out.