We throw around a specific term quite a bit in my circles, it's these two words,
It's often used in a way to inspire or encourage for instance it is very common to say something like, "Hanging out with a bunch of world changers." Or perhaps when letting someone know how awesome you think they are we'll say, "You're a world changer!" Frequently from pulpits (yes when I preach as well) we'll say something to the affect of "You're going to change the world!"
Lately I've been pondering what a world changer is, what it takes to be a world changer, and are we really world changers?
Those of you that know me well are probably already thinking to yourself, "Here she goes again, nit picking phrases apart to satisfy her incessant ponderings of current topics" to which I would respond, you are indeed correct. I have a deep hunger for Truth and authenticity, yet an unquenchable hope to actually change the world.
As I started thinking about what it means to change the world, I realized I believe it to mean, changing the world. AKA The systems, people groups, thought processes, behavioral and belief patterns, en masse are being changed. Changed as in, no longer the same.
So what examples do I have of world changers? I flippantly use the words for practically anyone who I think is awesome, loves Jesus, or is doing work I find to be admirable. But, who is or has actually changed the world.
Enlightening moment for us all, Jesus actually changed the world.
Like... literally. Today millions of people think, act, vote, believe, behave, differently because of this man who lived generations ago named Jesus. A man none of us met in the flesh, many have never even "met" like we've met Him, and yet He's still influencing their lives. I'll skip the whole Truths on how He changed the course of eternities not just earthly lifespans and I'll stick to what's more relevant to my line of processing right now.
Jesus was a world changer.
I could heap on a few dozen others, but I'll just point out a few on both the positive and negative side of history. Adam, Esther, Apostle Paul, and many other Bible heroes. How about George Washington, Martin Luther King Jr, oh and let's not forget Hitler. Changing the world doesn't necessarily mean you're having a positive impact. Throw in a few other murderous dynasties and dictators and I'd say they've done quite a bit of "world changing."
Now back to the subject at hand. Changing the world looks like having an impact globally on a level that actually requires influence. It means your presence influences masses around you to shift.
Often world changers lives leave a mark on history that is remembered for centuries to come, but sometimes world changers have a brief time of influence that momentarily appears to have long lasting impact, but eventually it fades and loses it's power to effectively change the world around them.
In today's society I often turn to social media to determine influence. Let me first point out that several people that I DEEPLY respect and admire, that are changing the lives of many around them, are not on social media. One because the work they do is to delicate to be in the public's high and two because well, who's got time for that when you're literally changing the world around you? But for argument's sake, it is an easy correlation to look at social media influence and raise questions about world influence.
With the people I work around there are hundreds if not thousands who have influence in social media, they're thought of highly when they walk into a room, they're believers that are doing their best to touch the ends of the earth with the love of Jesus. However when I begin to research who the world is listening to (not who the church is listening to) I can't help but ponder if we're actually changing the world or are we just influencing the church?
When I look at graphs and charts that show me who the world is listening to I often find a long list of entertainers and athletes. Christians rarely make the top 100 list.
What's being said, what's being shown, and who is influencing the world around us?
Again, I don't believe social media statistics are the end all answer to has influence globally, but I think it's a great indicator of who this generation is looking to for answers.
I'd like to propose the idea that just perhaps all of us "world changers" aren't currently changing the world as much as we'd like to believe....
I have no doubt we're deeply affecting the body of Christ, but are we influencing the world? If you search out morality and religious statistics globally I'd again make the case that I don't know if we've reached "world changer" status.
Changing the world takes influence and currently we aren't holding down the market in that area.
Which is interesting.
The men and women God raised up as world changers did have influence. As I study the lives of Moses, Joseph, Esther, David, Daniel, perhaps they weren't always the person in the limelight, but they always had influence.
I'd propose the idea that you're called to have influence. I'd even dare to say that Christians are supposed to be the "world changers." We see it weaved throughout the history of humanity as God raised people up to institute His purposes on the earth.
So what does that mean for me and you?
It means that though I love pulling out the gold in people and saying "YOU'RE A WORLD CHANGER" perhaps they're not. Perhaps you aren't even being asked to change THE ENTIRE WORLD and you really just need to focus on the changing the lives of those around you. Where is your influence? Use that and change that world.
If millions of Christians would step up to use their influence and change the world around them, then pretty soon we would be changing the entire world. It might not be just one of us, but it would be the broader us, the army, the Bride.
Secondly, steward what's in front of you. Through all of this study I overwhelmingly find that we achieve our God given purpose when we steward what's in front of us. I'm practically rewording what I already said, but I want you to catch this angle.
David had to tend to sheep before he could become king. Joseph had to navigate the pit and the prison, before he was ever in the palace. The amount of influence you have now is absolutely no indicator of the amount of influence God wants to give you. Steward what is right in front of you and as you're "found faithful" then He trusts you with more.
I want to see world changers arise.
Ones who literally change the entire world as we know it. They influence the mind of Christians and non-Christians alike and they bring forth God's purposes on the planet. These people will rise from every realm within the church ministry, the marketplace, the entertainment industry, the political realm, and MORE.
But.... I also want to see people who are really okay with just changing their world. Ones who are obsessively passionate with being Jesus to the man down the street, the family in need, their local government, their local church, and the most forgotten in their communities. The ones that perhaps the world at large may never know our names, but hell does and rest assured, heaven does too.
So friends.... All this to say... "Go change the world"