Matthew 5:14-16 (TLB) You are the world’s light—a city on a hill, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light! Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father.
God’s plan to change the world is for every Christian to change their world. God has entrusted us all with an area of influence. And we are responsible to shine as a light.
Our lives are currently impacting people. We’re either impacting people for good or for bad. Changing your world starts by (1) realizing your influence and (2) creating intentional community.
Realizing My Life’s Influence?
- My People. We all have people that are close to us. This is family, friends, co-workers, classmates, etc. Your neighbors are your neighbors on purpose.
Most sociologist say the average person has about 12 people in this sphere of influence. These are the people we consistently spend an hour or more with over the course of a week.
(Studies have found that the average father only spends 7 minutes a day with his kids. That’s only 49 minutes a week.)
Mark 5:19 (NIRV) He [Jesus] said, “Go home to your own people. Tell them how much the Lord has done for you. Tell them how kind he has been to you.”
Jesus wants you to share what God is doing in your life with YOUR people. This is the 1st way we shine for Jesus.
- My Place. You are in this geographic location on purpose. You’re not here so you can make a living, God placed you “here” to make a difference. In other words, your vocation is really your ministry location.
Acts 17:26 (NIRV) From one man he made all the people of the world. Now they live all over the earth. He decided exactly when they should live. And he decided exactly where they should live. God did this so that people would seek him.
- My Passion. God places passions within us. These passions open up relationships, divine connections, and doors for ministry.
Psalm 37:4 (NIV) Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
These three areas are currently connecting you to people God wants YOU to intentionally influence for Him.
Creating/Engaging in Intentional Community
Once we recognize our influence, how do we maximize it?
- We are to add value to people. Ask yourself, “How can I be a blessing? How can I meet a felt need in their life? What good deed would shine as a light to them?”
This is the 2nd way we shine for Jesus. Our good deeds (which add value to people) give us the privilege of influencing them for God.
- We are to bring intentionality into our community. We ALL already have community (family/friends). Bringing things of purpose, with a spiritual component, into that community greatly impacts it. Peter and John changed the world through intentional community (Acts 2:46-47).
Acts 4:13 (VOICE) Now the leaders were surprised and confused. They looked at Peter and John and realized they were typical peasants—uneducated, utterly ordinary fellows [the Greek word “idiótés”]—with extraordinary confidence. The leaders recognized them as companions of Jesus.
Changing our world is easy when we engage in intentional community. Our church does this through small groups.