What do I mean by a ‘big person?’ The ‘big’ person knows who they are. Their journey of sonship & identity is the strong foundation in their life and ministry. From here they know why they are alive so they carry a sense of destiny, calling and vocation. They have an expectation of the impact which their life will have and they know where they are going. They know they are sons and daughters with purpose who know how to bring heaven to earth and to expand the influence of the kingdom. We can see the convergence of this time in history, and see the example of Jesus who constantly stated these things in reference to himself.

The cultural shift of this concept for me begins with the shift in emphasis from the ‘man of God’ ministry model and experience in churches to raising ‘big’ people whoever they are, whatever they do, and wherever they go. The ‘man of God’ was not always the result of the person or system that they were in but sometimes came about from the way in which they were treated by others. No matter the problem, if the church fails to embrace this concept of ‘big people’ then the people attending either aspire to see success as achieving a position in the church world, or they forever feel inferior in their career or role in life.

Raising big people is also a focus of Ephesians chapter 4 in that the goal of each of the fivefold is to equip the saints for the work of ministry. This must be interpreted as including every legitimate career! Creating a culture which raises big people is an increased experience for many in the church. Several emphasises are helping greatly. Inner healing and the teaching of sonship are increasing understanding and confidence in identity. Destiny teaching and coaching are assisting people as they pursue relevance in their lives and the world. Schools of supernatural ministry have arisen training people to bring heaven to earth alongside the teaching of the seven mountains of influence. These emphases are raising ‘big’ people.

To lead big people we will need to be leaders who are secure sons and daughters, in the same way, that to be a big person we will need to be secure sons and daughters. If this is not the case we will either limit ourselves or those we lead.

We have seen that the nature of the apostolic embraces many elements. Identity, empowerment and of course the element of the apostolic itself all of help to create the soil in which ‘big’ people can grow. As we see this we will see changes in our language, the things which we celebrate and the stories we tell.

The emphasis of Bill Johnson is a desire to raise ‘big’ people rather than concentrate on a big church. The reality is that if you get the former, you may very likely get the latter – but it doesn’t work the other way around. Leading big people will change our vision and mission, affect the organisational structure and require the creating of an empowering family culture.