Well these are days, when people gather and the subject that seems to dominate is either sports or the economy: not so much sports, even in these days, a lot more about the economy.
When people talk about it, they talk about sinister plots and plans of different political parties, and those who should go to jail, and historical facts and trends, the ebb and flow of world collapse; predictions and prophesies abound.
When you listen to people and watch the news, you tend to almost want to throw your hands up and give up. The world seems to be pretty much going to hell in a hand-basket. What’s one individual going to do in the face of so much turmoil and uncertainty?
As a follower of Jesus Christ I must, and I repeat must, retain the belief that what I do with my life matters forever, that there are consequences to my choices, that I have been placed here not to own larger and larger portions of the world, but to manage as a steward, the resources, time, and opportunities that God has given me as a man of faith. This is a fancy way of simply saying, I’ve got to believe I make a difference.
Here’s what you need to do: recognize the two circles. There’s a huge circle of concern we all have. That includes poverty, third world debt, aids, homelessness, and a plethora of other social ills. Then there’s the circle of influence, which is much, much smaller. It’s about where I live and what I can do. So here is what I would suggest. This is an incredible hour to be a follower of Jesus. Instead of political power and influence-peddling, we now get to influence people with the faith and hope and behaviors of those of us who believe that God in control can demonstrate.
Here’s what I mean. Pick out a part of the world that you can save and spend the rest of your lifetime trying to save it. Look at your circle of influence. What are the things that you care about? Where are the places you can leverage your position, profession, or your influence? Is it across town, across the street, or across the nation? No matter how big or how small that circle is, that’s the circle you can spend your life trying to save.
I refuse to believe as a follower of Christ and a leader that there is nothing I can do. I can’t do everything but I can do something. I know the circle, the little part of the world I want to save. Here are my two parts:
1. I want to save the idea of the church. I believe it’s a good one, God-ordained. An institution when it works right is the hope of the world. I have invested and will continue to invest the rest of my life in building, growing, and influencing great local churches, including the one I have the great privilege of being a part of here in the Nashville area called The Gathering.
2. The second part of the world that I want to spend the rest of my life trying to save is married people. Marriage is in trouble in America. And I know I can do something about it. You’ll hear more about that later.