Earn the right to speak

To make our world different we have to earn the right to speak into the lives of its people.

"We give answers before we ask questions," says Dr Albert Schweitzer and this is something we should try to avoid. We must first find out where people are, before we can try and help them - and when we do, we need to lead by example.

What makes us right, and others wrong? Yes we have the truth of the Gospel, but clearly we have to present it as part of the solution, and not part of the problem. It is not how much we know, but how much we care that really matters. This gives us a platform to share our believes.

There are so many areas in which we can involve ourselves to influence our society as we identify community needs - from fighting drug abuse to assisting unmarried mothers, to every kind of charitable work. Not to forget the huge influence we can have on our future generation through education - helping to institute youth programmes or even serving on school committees.  However, the days of reaching teenagers with puppet shows are over.

When it comes to serving the community, we need to take off our 'charismatic brain', and put on a thinking one.

When we say we want to meet people's needs, we must work through what that actually means. So many Christians have lost credibility in their communities because they are so quick to criticise, without offering a solution. For example, they say things like: "Don't have an abortion - Jesus is the answer!' But what does that mean to a young girl who has been thrown out of her parent's home because she has fallen pregnant and has nowhere to go, no income, no support, practically nothing to call her ow, and is sleeping on the floor?

Before you can encourage her not to have an abortion, you have to provide a home for her. Then you can turn to the girl and say, "don't have an abortion, come with me, we have a home for you, we have people who will look after you, who will love and care for you.

Christians are going to have to learn to live their believes more than ever before. The days of playing Church are over. To make a difference in our world we are going to have to embrace a life of conviction and uphold a spirit of excellence.

Adopted from: Expect More - Living Your Vision by Ray McCauley