Being a World Changer.

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Let’s chat about this idea of being a world changer.  It’s trendy these days, but what makes someone a world changer?

Eugene Cho made this statement recently, “I’m convinced that this might be the most overrated generation…We might be more in love with the idea of changing the world than actually changing the world.”

Truth.

1. World Changers are passionate.

Changing the world is not a hobby.  Abraham Lincoln did not contemplate ending slavery in his spare time.  Mother Teresa did not serve the poor when she had a free Saturday. Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t send an occasional tweet about civil rights.  This is a lifestyle.  It’s living and breathing a passion for seeing {insert social issue} eradicated.  World changers wake up thinking about it, feel it creep into their thoughts during the day, and go to bed dreaming of a world without it.

2. World Changers sacrifice.

What cost are you paying to change the world? Time? Money? Those are somewhat a given.  What about the bigger stuff, like friendships?  It can be unpopular and uncomfortable to stand for something.  It’s easier to turn a blind eye. People may not want to hear about your passion all the time. But you can’t stop talking about it. Because you’re passionate about it. There is a steep cost in changing the world.  It may mean sacrificing your comfort.  The American Dream.  A large bank account.  Retirement. Is it worth the cost to you?  What lengths are you willing to go to? Is there a sacrifice too large?

3. World Changers are courageous.

There are some dark places out there.  These are places where human beings are sold. Places where children are abused. Places where freedom doesn’t exist.  Places where food is non-existent. Places that are full of disease. Poverty. Hunger. Death.  These are the ugliest places in the world.  Places where hope has died.  It is not sexy. It is not glamorous.  It is dirty.  There is evil and corruption.  Gary Haugen said we need “the kind of love that runs into buildings that everyone is running out of’.

4. World Changers don’t quit.

Gary Haugen stated, “This is what the bullies and tyrants know: The do-gooders show up late and leave early.  All they have to do is wait them out.” I think it’s safe to say…we are already late.  However, it’s up to us to decide if we are going to throw in the towel and leave early or press on to the finish line. World changers know that there will be setbacks and bumps in the road.  There will be storms.  It takes strength and determination to weather through these.  But world changers don’t give up.  Even when the task seems insurmountable, they press on.  World changers know that even if they never see the harvest, their carefully planted, watered, and tended seeds of change will eventually ripen. Persistent care will bring results. This reminds me of the bamboo analogy. Bamboo may only grow an inch in the first and second year after being planted, but with consistent watering and care, it can grow up to 90 feet in a mere 60 days during the third year. World changers do not give up hope of a better tomorrow. Press on.

5. World Changers value action over words.

World changers know the eternal value of their work. Talk is cheap. There are a lot of people out there who can talk a good talk, but world changers speak with their actions.  Have you ever been to a conference or heard a speaker and got really excited about an idea?  People often say that they will do something or get involved, but then never show up to participate. When the starting gun goes off, there are often a lot fewer people running the race.  It’s easy to say with our mouths that something matters, it’s a whole different story to say it with our lives.

6. World Changers see people.

There are lots of fancy infographics out there. They tell a story with numbers. They can break our hearts.  But world changers see people in those numbers.  They aren’t statistics, they are faces. They have names.  They have goals and dreams just like you and me. One of my favorite quotes is by David Platt.  He said, “We learned that orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes…”

7. World Changers see The Big Picture.

As important as seeing people individually, it’s important to see the world as a whole. Understanding the long term effect of work and it’s ability to change things for future generations is very important.  It’s kind of like the saying, “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach him to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.”  It’s balancing those immediate needs that you can meet coupled with the long term needs that will continue.  You have to be able to see both.

8.  World Changers work.

Have you ever heard someone say, “That’s not in my job description.”  World changers do what needs done.  Regardless of if it’s menial work or skilled work.  When there is a need in front of them that needs addressed, it’s addressed.  Right then and there.  Whether it’s changing a diaper, serving food, moving furniture, holding a sick child, or speaking to thousands of people, they get it done.  If you want to change the world, be prepared to work long hours doing hard work, for little to no pay.

9.  World Changers don’t settle.

It isn’t good enough to just make the status quo.  It’s consistently pushing forward.  It is consistently pushing the boundary.  It’s taking on the impossible. And doing it.  It’s getting over the fear of failure.  There is not a lot of security in world changing.  It doesn’t come with a competitive benefits package and retirement plan. It’s often not knowing how you are going to meet the growing needs of tomorrow with the limited resources of today.  Settling for what you know limits you.  Push beyond that to do something incredible.  Don’t settle for less than what you can be.

10. World Changers love.

If you don’t have love, then none of the previous traits matter.  Changing the world takes great love.  Love of the people that you are serving.  Love of the work that you are doing.  Love that gets you through all of the tough moments and doubts.  If you don’t love it, then you will not make it through.  Because when you have nothing left to give, no hope in a better world, and question if what you are doing even matters, a deep love is what you are going to need.  Only Jesus and love can get you through those moments.

What do you think? What makes a world changer? What would you add to this list? What would you change?

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