Kirk Walden Rethinking Leadership, One Step Changes the World

One Step Changes the World

“World Changer.” By definition–and I’ve worked hard on this–a world changer is one who . . . changes the world.

No applause, please, for my tireless laboring on this topic, at least not yet. The fact is, I’m good at this definition stuff; it just comes naturally.

But as we look at world changers, let’s focus on those who change the world for the good. These are the people we love to be around; or who inspire us as we see their stories.

Last week Jenn (my wife) and I attended a conference with this theme (“World Changers”) and had the incredible opportunity to hang out with a lot of seemingly regular people who–each day–reach out and work with the hurting, the struggling and the fearful.

Attendees did what normally takes place at conventions. There were keynote sessions, workshops–all of that stuff.

But what captured us most were the conversations. Around meals and in-between sessions we ran into so many with stories to tell. While it is something I’ve talked about for years, we saw so clearly, God uses ordinary people to accomplish the most extraordinary missions.

A woman in Texas prayed for years to open a ministry near a major college campus. Nothing. Then, more nothing. Until one person–a pastor–caught her vision, got his church on board with financial support, and the ministry exploded, helping thousands of young women all over her area.

Or another, who ten years ago had nothing but a fledgling organization struggling to rub two nickels together and somehow stay afloat. Today, they have everything from medical staff to mental health professionals, reaching out and bringing hope to those who are struggling.

So here is a question: What do World Changers have in common? What makes them so different?

The answers are simpler than I imagined.

Seeing the Need
Sometimes being used by God to change the world begins with nothing more than seeing a need and knowing someone must respond. It’s not about talent, special gifts or anything amazingly mysterious.

All we need is a heart for what God is wanting to do and a desire to see change. That’s it.

There is Rarely a Plan in the Beginning
One pastor’s church has launched or assisted more than 500 ministries across the country. He’s humble and unassuming. He didn’t sit down one day and say, “Here’s the blueprint for all that we will accomplish in the next 40 years.”

But as he took one step and then another, doors opened and the vision grew. This is often all it takes. Yes, plans will unfold. But in the beginning, it’s okay not to know it all.

The Next Step Can Start Anywhere
We can get wrapped up in wondering whether we are trained enough, or even “spiritual” enough (whatever that might mean) to lead or launch a venture which changes the world. Is our faith strong enough? Do we know everything we need to know?

The likely answer to all of these questions is probably, “Nope.” In fact, I’ll venture that if someone–in the beginning of a world changing venture–thinks they know all of the next steps, that person is likely in for a big surprise.

The good news of course, is that God takes any of us–regardless of our station on the faith spectrum–and says, “If they will give Me a little faith and a lot of ‘want to,’ I can work with them.” God doesn’t need perfection; He needs desire.

Just One More
On our way to changing the world, there are plenty of steps beyond that first one. But again, good news. All we must do is take the next step.

There will be bumps along the way; this is almost guaranteed. There will be times when we believe we are falling short because we don’t see the results. But if we take that next step of faith, we may still be in a lonely valley but–whether we realize it or not–we are one step closer to the mountaintop.

Changing the world is not complicated. Difficult? Sure. But not complicated.

What if each of us asked God, “What is one thing I can do?” From there, it’s about taking the one next step, whatever it is.

Seems to me we might find a world changed, one step at a time.