Becoming a World Christian
Becoming a World Christian
Kip shared with the staff team this week about some of the things that we can do to grow as a “World Christian.” What follows are some of those thoughts, with some added notes, including what some other staff shared
There are a number of awakenings that a person can experience. The most important one, of course, is regeneration. That which is spiritually dead must come to life! This is what Jesus was referring to when he spoke to Nicodemus about his need to be “born again” (John 3:3-8).
Another awakening that is less thought about (but is also important) is that of becoming a “World Christian.” Not worldly, mind you, but World. A World Christian has his or her eyes awakened to the needs of the world. Their gaze extends beyond their family, hometown, or even country to see and care for the entire world. Like God, they “so love the world” (John 3:16), and desire to see it impacted for His glory.
As someone who has ebbed in and out of this biblical mindset, I have learned that it’s not automatic. Effort is required. May I share with you three helpful practices that keep me on the playing field of being a World Christian?
First of all, it is essential that we connect with our global partners as we are able. Whenever we have a partner in town, make it a point to spend some time with them. Be bold! If there is a Sunday afternoon Recap for a partner, put it on your calendar (the NFL will be there when you get back). If you are able and they have the ability, have a meal with them. Missionaries have to eat too, and it’s not always grubs that they’re hungry for! Send emails and letters too when they’re back on the field. A little thoughtful correspondence can make their day!
And look to connect your kids and grandkids. By having a partner around your dinner table with little ones and youth present, O, the stories they might hear!
Secondly, learn all you can about missions, and the world. There are a number of incredible ways to do this. Perhaps the very best thing about living in Ames is that the future leaders of the world are here and we get a chance to influence them for Christ. Become an International Friendship Partner, sign up for Coffee, Tea, or English; or enlist to help teach English. What a natural way to learn about China, the Middle East, or Brazil (just to name a few)!
Other ideas to add to your learning include going on short-term mission trips; watch and/or read international news (and not just local or national); and read missionary biographies.
How about our kids learning about the world? Karen Heiligenthal recommended a fine-looking book called “Give Your Child the World / Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time” (great Christmas present idea for your child or grandchild!) As a kid I read about Willie Mays and Roger Staubach; I wish now I would have been encouraged to read some Eric Liddell and some William Carey!
Derek Hanson mentioned the benefit of his family “adopting” a child and supporting them financially and prayerfully. What a cool thing for your kids to share correspondence with them as they grow up! (Global Fingerprints in Congo needs more partners if you’re interested! Just reach out to app.globalfingerprints.org and specify Congo as your country if so desired.)
Third and finally, pray for the world and our partners. Our very own Elaine Cox does a wonderful job of producing our monthly Missions Prayer Calendar (Jill can get that to you if you’d like: firstname.lastname@example.org) . In just 30 seconds a day you can become informed of what God is doing around the world, and pray for our partners. Another great tool is “Operation World.” It has incredibly helpful facts and prayer requests for every nation of the world. It makes the world a lot smaller as you pray through it regularly.
Let’s awaken to the possibilities of discovering and ministering to our world!