If you have been paying attention to my writing and blogs and posts on Facebook, you have probably figured out that the focus of my ministry is not “soul-saving.” I have nothing against soul-saving, but my focus is clearly on “Life-changing.”
I will leave it to particular denominations and jurisdictions and communions to organize their own work in soul-saving. I think that this is something that is best understood through our particular traditions – Baptist have their way of “saving souls,” Roman Catholics have theirs, Presbyterians have theirs, Methodists have theirs, and even within each of those traditions, there are many different denominations and movements, each with their vision and method of saving souls. What works for a Baptist may not work for a Catholic, and frankly, I am a fan of diversity, so I think it is great that there are different traditions with different ways of doing things.
Life-Changing, however, is something that all the traditions can and should do together. We may all have different understands of what heaven is and how we get there, but we are all, regardless of tradition, living in this world armed with the Gospel of Christ. I am a pragmatist at heart and I believe that the Gospel has to address my real world concerns and issues, not just provide me with sweet sounding poetry about a next life. Frankly, I will not care about a next life if I am languishing through this one. A starving man does not care about the Bread from Heaven unless there is bread in his belly.
My mission is to change lives, and that is the role of the WHOLE Church, regardless of differences in traditions and beliefs and theology. We can and should be working together, focusing on those areas where we agree, and agreeing to leave theological debate out of what we are doing together.
I may have a distorted view of things, but from my vantage point, most Christians never get beyond their own personal conversions. Whatever our own personal conversion is or was, it can be multiplied by applying that applying that spiritual experience in the lives of others.
If we want to change the world, we have to change ourselves. That is the conversion. But the problem is, even in the church among the converted, there is a belief that we have to change others and make them like us in order to change the world. Everyone wants the world to be changed, but they are all waiting for the other person to change first. Every nation wants to see the other nations change, but they are waiting for the other nations to change first. Instead of using our efforts to change others, we can use our energies to change ourselves, and then everyone else – people and nation – must change in response. When they see us change, then they can find both the strength and example to change too.
All the problems of the world, even the international ones, are just people having interpersonal relationships with each other. If we can fix ourselves, then we can fix the world. The solution to all the problems in the world is simple: Turn as much of yourself as you know over to as much of God as you understand. The process of turning everything over to God has to begin somewhere and our understanding of God changes as we grow spiritually. But the process itself is simple
Life-Changing is not about getting people into a movement as much as it is about getting movement into people.