Thursday, November 8

How can we be the change?

Zach Hunter has me thinking.

According to the first chapter of his book Be the Change, he became interested in fighting against slavery when he was 12 years old. He was learning about slavery during the early days of the United States, and he knew that if he was living then, he would have wanted to fight against slavery. His mom told him that slavery was still going on in different forms in many parts of the world. He decided that he had to get involved and actually do something to help end slavery. The result was Loose Change to Loosen Chains. In the three years since (he's still only 15), he has written a book, spoken to tens of thousands of people, and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Let me repeat that, a 15-year-old student has written a book (published by major Christian publisher Zondervan), spoken to tens of thousands of people, and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight slavery around the world.

What have I done with my life?

I think that in life there is a level of inertia that keeps us from pursuing the kinds of dreams that Zach Hunter has pursued. We may come up with an idea, but it is often almost immediately followed by the question "but what can I do about it?" or "how could one person make a difference?" Also, I think that there is a perception that, since the Church has professionals who get paid to do ministry, that it is only the professionals who are qualified to do something. If I'm not a professional, I'm not qualified, so I should leave it to them.

But the truth is that Jesus didn't set up a system where some of his followers would be professionals and everyone else would sit on the sidelines. No, he called ordinary people like fishermen, tax collectors and tent makers. Then, because of the change that Jesus made in their lives, these ordinary people went out and did extraordinary things.

Jesus is still in the business of calling ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Unfortunately, we all too often find ways of putting off or ignoring that call. But he wants to use us to make the world a better place so that people can see him at work through us. Maybe it will never be in as big a way as Zach Hunter is doing. But that's okay. We don't need a book deal or to speak in front of huge audiences to change the world for Jesus.

Of course, all of that is well and good. We can read that, and even agree with all of it, but that doesn't actually cause anything to change. The question really is the same one that Peter's audience asked after listening to him speak in Acts chapter 2: Brothers, what shall we do?

Any ideas? Suggestions?

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