Dreams, Investing, and Impact
What impact would you like to have on the world? How many lives do you think you could touch if money was no object? And what’s the best way to leave a lasting impact, one potentially making a difference long after your time on earth is over?
Many people probably assume those aren’t very practical questions. After all, someone like a Bill Gates can have that kind of impact, or a Martin Luther King, Jr., but maybe (some might suppose) the average Christian is better off concentrating on things at hand, little bite-sized issues we can put a little effort into trying to improve. Being realistic about one’s place and one’s resources is better than flights of fancy, right?
Not right. I believe that attitude limits our possibilities before we’ve begun to try. I believe we each have a potential to make a difference, and only God knows how great our potential is. We can make an impact. We can leave a legacy. It doesn’t have to be a flight of fancy if we approach it prayerfully, boldly, and intelligently. And God calls us to be salt and light, which is a Biblical truth that should energize us.
One thing I’m certain of is we can accomplish more by teaming up and pooling our ideas and resources together. A highly motivated Christian individual is able to accomplish a lot, but when that individual is multiplied the potential impact can expand exponentially. And it seems to me Christian congregations are ready-made groups for launching world-changing endeavors.
I also think we can learn more about how to solve global problems by tackling and solving smaller problems than we can by doing nothing. If we can’t solve global poverty (yet), can we do something significant about poverty in our community? Solutions don’t always scale, but sometimes they do. Again, we learn more by doing something than nothing.
A churche can play a huge pivotal role when it gets on-board with an individual believer who’s decided it’s time to do something beyond complaining. Somebody has to have the passion, even if that person hasn’t got the plan all worked out at first. Because when God calls His people to do something, I believe He will supply everything needed to make a difference.
If we need expertise, I believe He will connect us to people who have it. If we need manpower, I believe He will find workers to send into the harvest. If we need money, I believe He will direct it to us. But let’s be more anxious about missing opportunities due to waiting too long to get involved, rather than always being afraid we might fail because we jumped in insufficiently prepared. We always have to get started with the resources we have, not the resources we wish we had. God will give us what we need.
I believe God would give us even more than we know how to ask for if we only dreamed dreams and put together plans worthy of His vision for our world. We ask for too little, it’s true, but that’s only half the truth. The other half is we don’t appreciate who we are and what we’re capable of with God’s guidance. Christians alone in this world are capable of looking for God-sized solutions to man’s problems, not man-sized solutions.
Making an impact is a lot like investing. Investing looks to the future. For ourselves, we change our own futures by what we invest in today. That’s not just true in terms of money, it’s also true about time. It’s true about passion. We can invest more than simply what we have, we can invest who we are, and who God is calling us to be.
When we invest in something, we own it, at least part of it; we have a stake in it.
What do you have a stake in?