You’ll either be a worldly Christian or a world-class Christian.
“Jesus said to his followers, ‘Go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone’” (Mark 16:15 NCV).
“Send us around the world with the news of your saving power and your eternal plan for all mankind” (Psalm 67:2 TLB).
Worldly Christians look to God primarily for personal fulfillment. They’re saved but self-centered. They love to attend concerts and enrichment seminars, but you’d never find them at a mission conference, because they aren’t interested.
Their prayers focus on their own needs, blessings, and happiness. It’s a “me-first” faith: How can God make my life more comfortable? They want to use God for their purposes instead of being used for his purposes.
By contrast, world-class Christians know they were saved to serve and were made for a mission. They’re eager to receive a personal assignment and excited about the privilege of being used by God.
World-class Christians are the only fully alive people on the planet. Their joy, confidence, and enthusiasm are contagious because they know they’re making a difference. They wake up each morning expecting God to work through them in fresh ways.
Which type of Christian do you want to be?
God invites you to participate in the greatest, largest, most diverse, and most significant cause in history: his Kingdom. History is his story. He’s building his family for eternity. Nothing matters more, and nothing will last as long.
From the book of Revelation we know that God’s global mission will be accomplished. Someday the Great Commission will be the great completion.
In Heaven, an enormous crowd of people from “every race, tribe, nation, and language” will one day stand before Jesus Christ to worship him. Getting involved as a world-class Christian will allow you to experience a little of what Heaven will be like in advance.
When Jesus told his followers to “Go everywhere in the world and tell the Good News to everyone,” that small band of poor, Middle Eastern disciples were overwhelmed. Were they supposed to walk or ride slow animals? That’s all they had for transportation, and there were no ocean-crossing ships, so the physical barriers to going to the whole world were real.
Today we have airplanes, ships, trains, busses, and automobiles. It’s a small world after all, and it’s shrinking daily.
You can fly across the ocean in a matter of hours and be home the next day if you need to be. The opportunities for normal, everyday Christians to be involved in short-term international mission efforts are now literally limitless! Every corner of the world is available to you; just ask the travel industry. We have no excuse.
And with the internet, the world has gotten even smaller. There are remote villages all over the globe where no one has a television but nearly every family has a cell phone. The whole world is at your fingertips!
It’s never been easier in history to fulfill your commission to go to the whole world. The biggest remaining barrier is the way we think.
To be a world-class Christian you must make some mental shifts. Your perspective and attitudes must change.
In this post and the next one that I write, I want to share three big shifts that need to happen in your thinking to become a world-class Christian.
Shift from self-centered to others-centered thinking.
The Bible says, “My friends, stop thinking like children. Think like mature people” (1 Corinthians 14:20a CEV).
Children only think of themselves; grownups think of others. This is the first step to becoming a world-class Christian.
God commands, “Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too” (Philippians 2:4 NLT).
Of course, this is a difficult mental shift because we’re naturally self-absorbed, and almost all of the media and advertising we consume encourages us to think of ourselves.
The only way we can make this paradigm switch is by a moment-by-moment dependence on God. Fortunately, he doesn’t leave us to struggle on our own.
“God has given us his Spirit. That’s why we don’t think the same way that the people of this world think” (1 Corinthians 2:12a CEV).
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.”
Your goal is to figure out where they are in their spiritual journey and to do whatever will bring them a step closer to knowing Christ. You can learn how to do this by adopting the mindset of Paul, who said, “I don’t think about what would be good for me but about what would be good for many people so that they might be saved” (1 Corinthians 10:33b GNT).
In my next post, I’ll share the two other major shifts in our thinking that need to occur to become world-class believers.