Five Steps to Expanding Your View of the World (without leaving the office)

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Your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness.”

- 2 Corinthians 8:14

 
 This Ethiopian child wants more than a handout; she wants a relationship.

This Ethiopian child wants more than a handout; she wants a relationship.

Today, our world is both bigger and smaller than it once was. We hear about events taking place all over the world. Yet, it is easy to feel isolated and far removed from events that are affecting our brothers and sisters in Christ in some of the hardest places.

As Christians, we believe all human beings are made in the image of God, intrinsically valued by Him. How do we reach out to those who are the furthest away?

Here are 5 steps to expanding your understanding of the world in a way that will build your confidence to partner with those who need your help:

  1. Learn About Another Place Where Christians are Suffering
    It’s never been easier to search online for the latest news from places like Pakistan, South Sudan, and Malaysia where Christians are routinely imprisoned, beaten, or even martyred for their faith. Even in places where there is no overt persecution, Christians and their neighbors are being denied access to education and economic opportunities. Without these, they will never grow into their full God-given potential. Find a place that intrigues you and become familiar with the situation there to stay informed on how our brothers and sisters are being persecuted and marginalized. 

  2. Put Yourself in Their Shoes
    On the surface, we may seem very different. But deep down, we often want similar things. What do you want? It is probably similar to many others: to live in peace and prosperity, to belong to a community where we feel welcome, and to have the freedom to worship our God and to share Him with others. Realizing these similarities helps to put the entire situation in context.

  3. Learn what God is doing in these places
    What is the church already doing? How are local leaders reaching out to meet the needs of their communities? How are they spreading the Gospel in the process? Often the needs seem so overwhelming. But God is at work even if we don’t see it in the news. It’s important that we fight the feeling of apathy or paralysis when we learn about the massive need.

  4. Pray for those on the ground who are already acting out a plan for redemption
    Today, there are tens of thousands of pastors and local congregations that are actively bringing the light of Christ into their communities. Pray for them as often as possible and ask God to show you how you can partner with them as they partner with Him.

  5. Invest your resources to bolster the work of God
    Discover what breaks your heart. Do you care about girls’ education? Do you worry about farmers being unable to feed their families? Perhaps you wish to see orphans receiving loving care. Then support others who are working to solve these problems in the parts of the world that you care about. By giving your resources to empower those already on the ground, you will enlarge your view of the world and become more committed to the work of God in these far reaching places. Find a development agency that you trust and see how you can partner with them to invest your funds.

Jesus cared for “the least of these” and we are called to do the same. By connecting with others around the world, we are exposed to the big plans of our God. In the process, we are transformed as well.

 

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