A few mostly meaningless words for high school graduation speeches… “We can change the world.”
But we don’t! Most of us occupy our little corner while spouting sappy sayings then pass into eternity, leaving the world much as we found it.
But what if you really could change the world? Not just your world but THE world. I found the secret many years ago and it turned my life right-side-up. You’ll find it in Paul’s letter to the Christ-followers at Ephesus.
For me the journey to significance began in Ephesians 4 when I learned that it’s a misnomer to call a pastor a “minister” unless you’re referring to his membership in the body of Christ. That’s because we’re all ministers according to Scripture. A pastor like other leaders is to equip the saints for works of ministry. But what kind of ministry? I got it wrong the first time.
I thought ministry was something you did inside the parameters of a local church. My little pit crew would keep the car in the race. Sure, equipping others for ministry beat doing everything myself, and it built a bigger church, but it did little to change the world.
It was only when I stumbled into the truth in Ephesians 2:11 that a ribbon of light slipped through a crack in my thinking. When I saw everyone as God’s unique masterpiece created for good works that HE planned I stopped flogging people toward ministry inside our congregation. Indeed, some would serve in the church, but everyone can serve in their own world. Our people are made for more than passing an offering bucket or serving on a committee.
I just came off a Zoom call with leaders lamenting how the busyness of church prevents meaningful disciplemaking. But one guy told of discipling four people in his workplace—two are following Christ, two not yet. Between lunch hours and coffee breaks he enjoys an expanding ministry. He’s found his personal calling.
This kind of thing excites me about Exponential.org. The team has a way of codifying ideas I’ve implemented through the blurry lens of pragmatic experience.
The narrative about becoming a level 5 multiplying church helped me understand what worked and what didn’t in my own church multiplication efforts. Now Exponential is breaking new ground in, and around, each believer’s unique calling and ministry, “wherever and whenever.” This year’s theme and the new publications will help you, as a leader, change THE world as you liberate your people to walk in the works God (not you) has planned for them.
This year’s Exponential theme, Made for More: Mobilizing God’s People, God’s Way! jets you through Ephesians in six practical paradigm shifts, including the two I’ve mentioned here. You can learn more by clicking here.