Throughout history people have been used to change the world. Some have been used to build, others to destroy. Some to make peace and others to make war. Others to make much of themselves, others to leave a legacy that was much bigger than them alone.
Planting a church, at it’s core, is about being used by God to bring change to people, a community and furthermore the world; Change that involves repentance, salvation, discipleship, and obedience to a great commission life.
So if I want to be an agent of change, what are the steps to doing it well? Nehemiah’s life provides a great example of the 4 steps to being an agent of change.
Step 1- Awareness (Neh. 1:2-3). Agents of change don’t live their lives with their heads in the sand and their days insulated from the real world. Changing the world is only possible when you first understand the current state of the world. Our lives can become stagnant and passionless when we are ignorant to the realities of the world that need healing and rebuilding. Before Nehemiah led a movement to bring change, he first made himself available to become aware of a need.
Step 2- Brokenness (Neh. 1:4a). Once we become aware of a problem, one of two things happens. We either get over it, assuming someone else will fix it, or we become broken over it. When Nehemiah heard about the condition of Jerusalem his heart was broken. This happened to my friend Jody and his wife Allison. After watching a video on adoption they became aware of the plight of the fatherless worldwide. They couldn’t get over what they heard and saw. God broke their hearts. They still haven’t gotten over it. They made the decision to adopt from Ethiopia and are anxiously awaiting Caroline Faith sometime this year.
Step 3- Prayer and Fasting (vs4b-11). Nehemiah’s brokenness drove him to his knees. When he realized the problem, Jerusalem’s wall being destroyed and on fire, he recognized it was way bigger than him. For many people this step is skipped. There are two main reasons for this. 1. People don’t believe prayer is powerful. 2. People think way too highly of themselves and their abilities to fix things on their own. Agents of Change have to be praying people. People who are willing to take time on their knees and skip meals in order to hear clearly from God are the people He will use to leave legacies and change the world.
Step 4- Act (Neh. 2:1-3) Once Nehemiah was aware, broken, and spent time in prayer, it was time to act. In a brave moment of faith, Nehemiah used the influence God had already given him to be a voice for a cause that changed history. The people of God should be a people of action; A people making a difference in this world. That it is what I want for my life and for Good Life Church.
My small part of the Good Life story began when I became aware of a need; An area of my home state that is over 70% un-churched and boasts over 700,000 people. My heart began to break over the people. A people that have been rocked by the economic fallout of the times, a growing crime rate, the real estate bust and a growing unemployment rate. A people searching for an answer to the “whys” of life. My wife and I began to pray and fast seeking God’s voice for what role we were to play. Once He spoke to go and share the gospel and life (1 Thess. 2:8) we began the process of acting, and so continues the Good Life Church story.
My prayer is that the Body of Christ would become 1.aware of needs that break God’s heart, 2. become broken as well, 3. broken enough to pray hard and then 4. act upon God’s voice. Walking through this process is not just for those who see themselves as agents of change… it is for everyone who claims the name of Jesus.
If you are reading this, what are the causes that break your heart? Have you been broken enough to pray and even fast? If so, have you heard from God and stepped out?
Anybody wanna change the world?
* Giving update. Many people are in the process of responding to our initial support letters (we sent about 100 out). We first communicated the need of $200,000 for start up funds for Good Life Church only 2 weeks ago. As of today God has provided $5,000 through a handful of amazing people from 4 different states. We have been so humbled to witness people stepping out in faith to support God’s plan for Good Life Church. Once again, if you feel led to be a part of Good Life Church financially you can either click the donate button on the top right of this page and make a secure payment through Paypal or send a check to:
Good Life Church
PO Box. 423
Madison, MS 39130
Love you guys!