The following blog post was written by Sam Shewmaker, former Harding professor or missions and missionary to Rwanda, Africa. I copied it from his blog on the Missional Outreach Network.
“Changing the world” is a slogan I heard often during the years I taught missions at a place called Harding University. We had a lot of the younger generation who wanted to ‘make a difference’ in the world and I wondered how long that idealism would last. Best I remember we figured about 18 to 20% of the mission interns we sent out each summer actually returned later to serve full-time in missions for at least two years outside the United States. Not to shabby, maybe.
So whatever happened to the other 80%? Well, I don’t know but I still pray that the seeds planted will yet bear fruit. Oh sure, some went just to see the world, to check off another continent on a tax-free air ticket, been there, done that. But others saw the world with spiritual eyes and returned home changed people… changed by the world.
The world starts at your doorstep or maybe closer. And changing it starts inside of you! Changing your value (or obsession) with safety, overcoming your dread of ‘the world.’ Being willing to live a transformed life before the world, and so earning the credibility to share the transforming message.
Some are pretty good at changing the world from afar, emailing World Bible School lessons or writing cogent missional blog posts. But most people need to see a real, live example of a transformed life lived before them. More of us need to get down and dirty ‘in the world’, living among those who need change and to be changed, entering in to the suffering of a hurting world; being incarnational, not just thinking and writing about it.
Come on World Changers… lift up your eyes… and look across the street… down the block … or around the world! And Go!