38 Days Down! Two Days to go!
I’m still in shock that I am almost done with this book!
Today’s topic is about how to be a World-Class Christian. This chapter continues the conversation around our fifth purpose which is missions. The focus today is on going outside of your circle and community to witness.
Well, I consider myself a tree-hugger, I love the environment and sharing awareness about how we can minimize our damage to planet. In recent years, environmentally conscious people and movements have discussed the idea of, “Think globally; act locally,” and while reading this chapter I was reminded of this phrase as I feel it relates to how to take our fifth purpose to the next level.
World-Class v. Worldly: What Type of Christian Are You?
This chapter discusses something that is not easy, one’s dedication and commitment to something they are a part of or choose to identify as. Many times when I share with people that I am a Vegan vegetarian they think its odd that I have chosen to refrain from eating any meat. Then when I share that Vegans do not eat animal bi-products like eggs or honey (okay I will have a piece of baklava every once in awhile but really thats the only time I eat honey) and that I don’t buy clothes made from animal products either they are really surprised.
I admit that I became a Vegan for health reasons so I wasn’t coming from an animal welfare perspective but I felt that if I was going to say that I was Vegan that I needed to be Vegan all the way as much as I can and I feel the same way with my Christianity. Here is what Rev. Warren shares about world-class v. worldly:
Worldly Christians look to God primarily for personal fulfillment. They are saved, but self-centered. They love to attend concerts and enrichment seminars, but you would never find them at a missions conference because they aren’t interested. Their prayers focus on their own needs, blessings, and happiness. It’s a “me-first” faith: How can God make my life more comfortable? They want to use God for their purposes instead of being used for his purposes. In contrast, world-class Christians know they were saved to serve and made for a mission. They are eager to receive a personal assignment and excited about the privilege of being used by God…They wake up each morning expecting God to work through them in fresh ways.
Now…I wish I could say that I have always been a world-class Christian but that is simply not the case. In fact, I’m sure that many Christians who are now world-class were worldly at some point. Yet there are others that have always been world-class too. But everything happens for a reason and I know that God had me go through the process I went through to move from worldly to world-class for a reason. Frankly, I appreciate my current “status” more because I have not always been this way. Because of this process, I also have a special place in my heart for assisting groups and organizations that help younger Christians be world-class sooner or stay that way if they are part of that group that have been world-class from the start. Though I have come to terms with my process, I do not want other young Christians to go through what I went through to get to where I am in Christ, unless its His will. So I do what little I can in my little corner of this earth to help young people hold on to and build on their fire for Christ.
Thinking Globally, Acting Locally and Globally
So earlier I mentioned the “Think Globally; Act Locally” quote that has been used in environmentalist movements. Well in this chapter Rev. Warren also talks about thinking globally and acting locally as well. Warren shares the significance around Jesus’ charge to the disciples, “You will tell everyone about me in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and everywhere in the world [2 Corinthians 5:19 NIV].” For us today, Jerusalem is like our local area, Judea is like our country, Samaria is reaching out to people of other cultures (The Samaritans had a different culture from the disciples who were Israelites) and well the world is still the world 🙂 So similar to the environmental local movement, Rev. Warren reminds us that witnesses/sharing Jesus starts at home but he also shares that our sharing should be a mix of various extensions locally and globally.
Now the chapter shares various ways that you can do outreach, at your church or via organizations that help Christians do witnesses in other parts of the United States and the world. However, as you figure out, read pray, about where you should go and how you should and are able to act, Rev. Warren shared that there is something that we can do right where we are that can reach people all around the world — pray:
The first way to start thinking globally is to begin praying for specific countries. World-class Christians pray for the world. Get a globe or a map and pray for nations by name…Prayer is the most important tool for your mission in the world. People may refuse our love or reject our message, but they are defenseless against our prayers. Like an intercontinental missile, you can aim a prayer at a person’s heart whether you are ten feet or 10,000 miles away [Emphasis mine].
Today’s Q2C is, “What steps can I take to prepare to go on a short-term missions experience in the next year?”
Well everything happens for a reason, my church is actually moving in this area i.e., going international with our outreach not just staying local and just today at service, the pastors of the church we are working with in South Africa were in town. This reminded me that my church is in the process of planning a second trip to South African and instead of taking just a small team they are opening up the next trip to members. So I plan on making this trip my short-term missions trip within the next year. Some steps that I can take to make this happen is setting aside some money each month for the trip. I also know that I can ask family and friends to support my trip or support the ministry by asking for donations as well.
Two more days…