I read a book a while ago called "The Power of a Whisper" by Bill Hybels, who is the pastor of Willow Creek church in Chicago. If anyone is unfamiliar with him, the church he pastors has an average attendance of 24,000 on a Sunday morning.
I never really took any notice of him, there are plenty of large churches in the United States and I have never been someone to love the atmosphere of larger churches. I feel as though it's too easy to get lost in the crowd. Perhaps that is one reason why I went to a smaller university.
Before I proceed farther, I would just like to say that I would recommend this book to anyone who may be struggling with hearing God or even wonders if God speaks today. Also, this is very much like a biography of his life, so if any of you want to know more about him, I would suggest picking up a copy.
Whispers that change the world
One of the chapters in this book is "Whispers that change the World". I want to address the phrase "changing the world". We hear this phrase all the time, whether it be from a friend, on television, in a movie, in a history textbook or simply in our minds.
The thought of changing the world has come up in that crazy head of yours at some point in your life. The problem for me is not so much the phrase itself, but what those words imply.
What do you think?
What do you think of when I ask: "Who changed the world?" Now, what do you think of when I say, "Go change the world". My first thought is: "Where do I start?" or "I'm unqualified" or "This world is so crazy, how am I going to make a difference?"
As soon as I use the words "changing the world" I automatically excluded people from the conversation, even if I didn't mean to. I certainly thought I was excluded from changing any part of this world.
Over the last couple years my life has been radically transformed. Not in the sense that I am a completely different person. I still have the same mannerisms, corks, quiet nature and weird habits.
But the inside of me has changed, the stuff you can't see. I am living for a different purpose, I have joy and life that I didn't have before and if you were able to talk to me about my passions two years ago and then now, you would see something new (except for American football and the Redskins).
Changing the World
I think I am a personal example of what it looks like to have the world change. You see, I have learned that changing the world isn't about fixing all of our problems, or creating equality, or balancing a budget, or finding a way to end world hunger, or to bring peace to every country on earth.
Changing the world is about changing someone in your life for the better or to put it another way, allowing God to use you for your neighbour to see things differently. When someone changes, congratulations! YOU just changed the world. Because they are part of this world! Aren't they?
What did Jesus REALLY do?
If you look at the life of Jesus, who I would argue changed the world and many historians would agree with me, it brings up a question: What did he really do? He didn't create a physical empire, he didn't change the laws, or the tax code, he didn't go to war and win a lot of battles, he didn't become king or even pope.
If you look at the stories of Jesus, he hung out with 12 of his closest friends and was with the poor a lot. He changed the world because he changed the individual, he SAW the individual for who they were.
My encouragement is this: never think that you can't change the world. YOU are a part of this world and so are the people around you. If you say today, "God allow me to pour into one person so they become more like Jesus" and then follow through, you can change the world and they will help you.
Written by Jason Lalone
Originally Published for Christian Today