This chapter of The Purpose Driven Life explores an interesting concept. Author Rick Warren believes there are two types of Christians: world-class and worldly. He describes world-class Christians as those who “know they were saved to serve and made for a mission. They are eager to receive a personal assignment and excited about the privilege of being used by God.” Worldly Christians, he says, are “saved, but self-centred. They love to attend concerts and enrichment seminars, but you would never find them at a missions conference because they aren’t interested. Their prayers focus on their own needs.”
The Purpose Driven Life offers these keys to becoming a world-class Christian:
- Shift from self-centred thinking to other-centred thinking. Begin asking the Holy Spirit to help you to think of the spiritual need of unbelievers whenever you talk to them. With practice you can develop the habit of praying silent “breath prayers” for those you encounter. Say, “Father, help me to understand what is keeping this person from knowing you.”
- Shift from local thinking to global thinking. The first way to start thinking globally is to begin praying for specific countries. Pray for the world. Get a globe or map and pray for nations by name. You should also pray for missionaries and everyone else involved in the global harvest. The best way to switch to global thinking is to just get up and go on a short-term mission project to another country! There’s simply no substitute for hands-on, real life experience in another culture.
- Shift from “here and now” thinking to eternal thinking. To make the most of your time on earth, you must maintain an eternal perspective. This will keep you from majoring on minor issues and help you distinguish between what’s urgent and what’s ultimate. You’ve probably heard the expression “You can’t take it with you” – but the Bible says you can send it on ahead by investying in people who are going there! The Bible says, “By doing this they will be storing up real treasure for themselves in heaven – it is the only safe investment for eternity! And they will be living a fruitful Christian life down here as well.” 1 Timothy 6:19
- Shift from thinking of excuses to thinking of creative ways to fulfill your commission. If you are willing, there is always a way to do it. Here are some common excuses:
- “I only speak English.” This is actually an advantage in many countries where millions of people want to learn English and are eager to practice it.
- “I don’t have anything to offer.” Yes, you do. Every ability and experience in your shape can be used somewhere.
- “I’m to old (or too young).” Most mission agencies have age-appropriate short term projects.
Whether it was Sarah claiming she was too old to be used by God or Jeremiah claiminjg he was too young, God rejected their excuses. “‘Don’t say that, the Lord replies, ‘for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and take care of you.'” (Jeremiah 1:7-8)
This chapter explores concepts covered in depth at Colour Conference this year. As far as choosing a country or region to start praying for, do you sponsor a child? Do you send finances to any mission agencies? Those areas/nations are a great place to start. We have a Compassion ‘son’, Josfa, in Uganda so that’s the country I pray for. Because I have a vested interested in the well-being and development of the country, I’m more intune to news headlines from the area. It’s true that there are no excuses too big for God. If you’d like to start doing something for the outside world today, these websites have some great ideas:
- A21 Campaign – 21 ways to help abolish human trafficking.
- Compassion – help release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.
- Colour Sisterhood – choose from the subject tabs and browse through the different ways you can impact others; nations, sisters, orphans (locally and internationally).
What do you think about the concept of being a world-class Christian or a worldly Christian? Let me know!
PLEASE NOTE: Quotations in this and other posts relating to The Purpose Driven Life (usually entitled Day:?) are sourced from The Purpose Driven Life book by Rick Warren unless otherwise stated. This is an independant study and is based on my opinion and experience only. Copies of The Purpose Driven Life book are available for purchase from all good christian books stores, including Koorong. The first seven chapters of the book can be downloaded FREE from Rick Warren’s official site here.