Sometimes articles we read, sermons we hear, or songs we listen to echo in our minds for days. “Find ways to change the world from where you are” ricocheted in my mind after I’d read the story behind the making of recent movies.
While sitting in a church in Albany, Georgia, Stephen and Alex Kendrick heard their pastor’s challenge: “Find ways to change the world from Albany.” Prompted to use their talents, they produced and directed several faith-based films such as Fireproof and Courageous.
When I hear stories like the Kendricks’, they sting. I also want to make a difference in our world. Yet I feel powerless to do so when I can’t get my boys to quit fighting or find the time to fix healthier meals.
The rally cry for the Kendricks becomes a nagging desire for me. The sting begins to itch like a mosquito bite begging to be scratched. I wonder, “How can I change the world when I can’t even change my family?”
People, like the Kendricks, who have a wide influence, are as ordinary as you and me. They undoubtedly struggle with the desire for more time in their day and more cooperation from their family.
However, their actions make a difference because of three habits that open them up to becoming influential:
1. Focus on a need
Our God-given desire to make a difference will be fulfilled through our personal passion. The Kendricks are passionate about making films. You may be compelled to write, hike, or teach exercise classes. Once you identify your passion, you’ll begin to notice others with a similar interest.
A shared passion allows us to relate to others, and opportunities emerge for us to encourage them in ways we may not realize.
2. Value Your Audience
Never underestimate the size of your audience. Your influence in numbers doesn’t have to be large to be significant. The people you’ll have the greatest impact on are the ones surrounding you. Treasure the world you’re in – whether you’re raising a colicky three-month-old, caring for an aging parent, or helping a grouchy neighbor.
As we strive to make a difference within our world, God expands our circle to include others who can be impacted through us.
3. Use Your Skills Now
Our skills and passions can help those around us. Don’t wait to have a more flexible schedule, a more prestigious title, or more advanced experience. Identify your current strengthens and current opportunities. You may only have one afternoon a month to help at the local pregnancy life center, or only an hour a week to mentor a teen, or only 20 minutes a day to write short stories.
A commitment to the opportunities we’re given will blossom into impacting others.
Perhaps there’s been a desire echoing in your heart or a challenge ringing in your mind. Your desire to make a difference in the lives of others isn’t a feeling to shake off – it’s a calling to answer.
Which step do you need to take to change your world?
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