Saturday, March 7, 2015

How to Change the World! - Re-Post

 When most want to change the world, we think global outreach and actually envision changing the entire world...but imagine your next door neighbor suffering from depression from job loss, or the family across the street from you dealing with foreclosure...if its your heart to change the world, start with the folks nearest to you... and help change their world!

One of my wife's friend's posted this as their status on facebook. It is interesting, because I also had a conversation with a friend just a couple days before on this subject. The underlying question is: How do we change the world?

So how do we change the world?

When we think of world changers we usually think of the people that make the news, or the history books. We think of politicians like Abraham Lincoln or Nelson Mandela, or church founders like Martin Luther or John Wesley; possibly we think of people like Mother Theresa who did the little things so much that she became famous. The common denominator is we think of people who are famous, or in the public eye. We think of someone that has done something huge for the whole world. But these are not the things that Jesus talked about when he told us to be lights for the world and the salt of the earth. These people all did great things that changed the world but it's not the end result of their lives that made these people great, it's the things that they began with. It's what happened before they were famous.

Mother Theresa cared for people and served people long before she was noticed by anyone, Nelson Mandela learned to forgive people before he was ever president of South Africa, and Martin Luther began by simply studying God's Word thoroughly and then deciding to stick to what it said even if the entire church did not. Even when he began translating the Bible he probably had no idea how that would spread to the entire world. They began with their initial surroundings and their work multiplied itself.

This is the same idea we see in the Bible. Jesus did not focus on the multitude. true he did preach to the multitude when they presented themselves, but he never looked for the multitude, he looked for the individual! We see him over and over again seeking out the needy and the sinner and helping them. Even in his overall strategy he focused on twelve guys and even more on three. Then in Acts he tells his disciples to start in Jerusalem, where they were at, and then to work there way out, which is exactly what they did. In fact the first time we hear about any sort of foreign missions is in the eleventh chapter:

19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. 20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. 

The interesting thing about this is that the first instance of foreign missions is simply an extension of how they started. They found themselves in a new country, for completely different reasons than mission, and thought 'well we might as well continue talking to these people about Jesus.' They simply focused on their new surroundings. There was no big project or mission trip or program. It was simply, 'these are the people around me so how can I tell them about Jesus?'

This is what we need to do. These are the questions we need to ask.
How can I serve my neighbor? 
How can I show my co-worker God's love? 
What will it take to convince my classmate that God is real? 
This is how we will change the world! 
Hollywood communicated this idea through the movie 'Pay It Forward' and Michael Jackson communicated a message of changing ourselves first in 'Man in the Mirror'. So why does it sometimes take us, the Body of Christ, so long to figure out and adapt this strategy of changing the world? It is time that we as the church stop focusing on the big glory moments and begin focusing on the individuals around us. It's time we start focusing more on loving our neighbor than complaining about the bad decisions our politicians are making. 
New politicians are not we need to change our country, what we need is individuals to step out and begin living the Gospel wherever they are!

Let's change the world!


  1. Just the other night at bible study we were talking about this. We were talking about time management and Dr. Bill Bright (founder of Campus Crusade for Christ) and how he said, "I try to prioritize everything I do in light of the Great Commission." Our book, "Man in the Mirror" then went on to talk about Dr. Bright saying:

    "One person at a time, Dr Bright managed his time as strategically as any living person. He didn't become a great leader by doing great things, but by doing many little things in a single direction. I'm certain if he had set out to be great, he would have fallen flat on his face, like many of us do. He didn't set out to be great - he set out to be faithful."

    1. That's a great quote and a great description of how we become great. I especially love the end of the quote, "I'm certain if he had set out to be great, he would have fallen flat on his face, like many of us do. He didn't set out to be great - he set out to be faithful." It reminds me of Jesus' own description of greatness, "whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant..." (Matthew 20:26).