Theology Thursday: Creating Transformed Communities

kids praying in transformed communities

The words from the childhood book by Dr. Suess, The Lorax, challenges us that, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” The dominion over the world, entrusted to Adam and his offspring, mobilizes us to care for, nurture and transform our world. However, it was never intended to be done for personal gain or personal power. The greatest contribution we can make in our world is by leveraging all our talents and resources for something beyond us because something has changed in us. To truly transform the world around us, we must first be personally transformed. Here are some considerations.

Evaluate My Motives

The coach in the locker room inspires his team to “leave it all on the field.” More significantly, the words of Jesus revealed his purpose, as well as a model for us, when he stated, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant…the Son of Man [Jesus] did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many,” (Matthew 20:26, 28, NIV). We must begin with our motives. The desire to make a difference at some level in our world with our short existence must answer the “why” question before we can explore the “how.” The world will only be a better place because of us when our invested existence is for something (actually Someone) above and beyond us. Am I trying to make a name for myself, or is it to fulfill my purpose as a carefully stewarded mission entrusted by God? Our corner of the world will benefit most effectively when we have undergone the radical surrender of our agendas, attitudes, perspectives and motives exchanged for personal transformation to be what God created us to be.

Start Intentionally Small

As children exploring a new street on a bicycle or those that drew the maps and explored our world, we all have a force within us that desires to risk, explore, create, accomplish and conquer something in life. This tends to wane over time, but the older should never hinder a younger mind from dreaming big. In light of this, those that have a few trips around the sun can give an enlightening perspective to younger dreamers about the steps to greatness. Lao-tzu is famously quoted, inspiring this passion responsibly, when he stated, “Every journey begins with a single step.” If you want to change the world, focus on your corner first, focus on your present relationships, present vocation, present neighborhood and present abilities. This, from a Christian perspective, is your mission field. We dream big for sure! But never forget the reminder of Jesus when he admonished us that, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much,” (Luke 16:10). Be intentional with your attention to the little things in your present life.

Never Settle for the Status Quo

It seems a consistent message of the world is to “just do you” or “be all you can be.” Then we are vilified, ostracized and even persecuted if we do not fit an acceptable mold. As Christians, we are NEVER called to “just do you.” We are called to crucify the flesh, surrender our lives and take up our crosses daily to follow Jesus. The level at which we surrender and the way in which we are led by the Holy Spirit is what gives us our unique and significant identity. This “followship” of Christ is hard. You will leave the crowd. You may have times when you feel alone. You will have to take a stand for something when it seems others are bowing to the idols of the world taught by the heroes of Daniel in the Bible. Do you want to be transformed in order to transform our world? Never settle, never give up and live in surrender to Jesus, pursuing his plan in your life for his glory!

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.