On Making a Difference in Your World
The human desire to make a difference was not born with the invention of the internet. To observe the overwhelming need of this generation to make a difference, one needs to look no further than what we have named social media.
However, it is possible that this medium has only given a voice to what every generation to this day has faced.
The hope to change the world did not just show up simply because Silicone Valley provided a platform for voices to be heard. No, this desire reaches much further back. Every generation has possessed a desire to make an impact. Every generation has faced the question. Young people today are no different from those who have preceded us.
Both GenZ and Screenagers (or Gen Alpha) live to make an impact. And really, who can blame them? Yet it is crucial to understand that every generation has felt the same way. Inside every young person, there is and has been, a longing for their voice to be heard and make a difference, an eagerness to join a cause, and a desire to rally around an idea.
Armed with the knowledge that you, like many who have gone before, are motivated to make an impact in your world: I invite you to join the highest cause of all, the cause of Christ.
Before you promise your time, talent, and toil, I must make a few promises to you.
- You cannot make an impact alone. Martin Luther was one man surrounded by many players in a quickly shifting religious landscape. Washington was the face of the American Revolution, but there were several other individuals committed to the cause of freedom and a new nation. Even in Scripture, we see Peter preaching while the other disciples are with him. Paul usually has a ministry partner with him or asks for someone to visit. Working for Christ with our peers and across generational lines is worth it.
- Making an impact will be slow. There are no shortcuts to changing your world. In a world that is accustomed to getting immediate satisfaction, we have to realize lasting change takes time. There is the miracle of immediate salvation and life change, but there is also the mundane of committed daily devotion. The love that Jesus says that we will be known by is not a one-and-done action, it is a consistent demonstration of grace and integrity. Changing your world will be slow, but it will be worth it.
- Making an impact will take work. Our great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents were not called the greatest generation for anything. They earned that label with sleepless nights, long days, and sacrifice. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow notes that “the heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.” Changing your world will be no different. It will be work, but it will also be worth it.
- Making an impact will take commitment. My good friend, Rev. Darin Sargent, says, “If you want to make an impact, you must be committed to the collision.” Living a life committed to Christ is worth it. Starting a P7 Club takes work, but it is worth it. Standing for Christ will make an impact, every single time. Making an impact always has and will always require commitment, but it is always worth it.
To the students of GenZ and Screenagers, I say, “Through Christ, you can make a difference. You can; you must change your world for Christ.”
Do not get caught up in trying to change the world; change your world.
Christopher Henderson serves as the Dean of Christian Leadership at Indiana Bible College. He holds a Master of Arts in Ministry with an emphasis in Leadership from Wesleyan Seminary located in Marion, Indiana. He made the best decision of his life when he married Leah, and together they are raising Corbitt and Wyatt – the best things that ever happened to them.