Summary: A message to instruct believers how to make positive changes in their communities.
How to Be a Positive Change Agent
March 24, 2002
[Illustration: A reporter once approached a hundred year old man in a small town in Maine and said, “Boy, I bet you have seen lots of changes in this town over the years.” The old man replied, “Yep, and I been agin every one of them.”]
• Many of us in the church are like that old man. We have seen lots of changes, but we were “agin every one of them.”
• Perhaps we’ve been sitting on our proverbial front porches watching the world change around us, and wondering if we could make a difference.
• We don’t like what’s happening in the world much less the community that surrounds us.
• It makes us mad, it makes us sad, and frankly it makes you wonder—can I really make a difference?
• Can I make any positive changes in my world?
• I believe the answer to that question is an emphatic YES!
• It’s God’s desire for us to be an army of PCAs (Positve Change Agents) that are transforming the community around us.
• Let’s see just exactly how we are to go about effecting positive change.
1. Get smart. (I Chronicles 12:32)
a. The sons of Issachar “understood the times.”
b. You cannot change your world unless you know your world. Are you out of touch? Are you out to lunch? Are the lights on and no one home?
c. Ways we can get to know our world:
i. Pray—ask God to give you insight into your community and show you where the needs are.
ii. Read—newspaper, magazines, community news, books. Anything that will give you insight into modern culture.
[Illustration: Use current newspaper or magazine article to illustrate what information you can glean about modern culture.]
iii. Talk—to people, find out what makes them tick. Ask them questions.
2. Get out. (Mark 16:15)
a. While you are getting in the know—GO!
b. Leave the place where you are and go where the people are.
i. [Education in the Red-Light District, Citation: Joseph Aldrich, "How to Be a Redemptive Person," Preaching Today, Tape No. 113.]
When my wife and I went to Dallas Seminary, we decided we wouldn’t live in the "cemetery" housing.
Instead, we lived in the high-class, red-light district.
If you want to get an introduction to life itself, that’s the place to be.
We made a commitment to take one non-Christian person, couple or individual, out to dinner once a week.
Did we ever get a liberal education.
But what fun; we had people coming to know the Lord right and left in that place, because we simply loved them.
We opened our home to them.]
c. Go to what people? All people!
3. Get busy. (Luke 9:1-2; 6)
a. Proclaim the kingdom of God—God’s rule and reign.
i. We are stuck inside our safe four walls of the church singing “The Lord Reigns” when we need to be singing that song outside the four walls!
b. Bring healing—lay hands on the sick and hurting people and bring healing. (Mark 16:18)
c. Preach the gospel!
i. We do not need to make Jesus relevant; he already is!
ii. Our greatest capacity to change lives lies in the power of the gospel (the death, the burial, and the resurrection).
Elton Trueblood wrote, "It used to be that Christianity was a revolutionary faith that turned the world upside down. But today Christians sit in Sunday morning church services looking at their watches, wondering what time dinner will be served, or thinking about the kickoff. And we hope that church won’t interfere with the things we would really rather be doing."