Remember the jokes about how many Baptists, Pentecostals, Catholics, etc. it takes to change a light bulb? The answer for Baptists is “CHANGE??”
I long to see change in our community where violence and fear are replaced with a sense of community and hope. I want to see young people finish high school and pursue academic and occupational dreams. I want to see healthy and happy families free of the fear of violence, unemployment and addictions. I want to see Jesus be the center of each life.
If God wanted these changes to take place (and don’t you think He does?) how would He do it? I think He would empower His people. How many committed Christians do you think He would use to bring about deep and profound change in our neighborhood? I believe the number may be fewer than I had always thought!
Greg Stier in an article titled “Great Movements Only Need 10%” writes,
“Scientists at (RPI) Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society.” Science Daily July 26, 2011
Just look at movements of change throughout history. “It wasn’t the 90% that changed the culture around them. Instead, it was the fully committed 10% who changed everything.”
Think about places where you have watched change in attitudes and beliefs take place, perhaps in a neighbourhood or workplace. Did it require a majority of people or just a handful?
One of the best examples of far-reaching change brought about by a small group of people is the twelve disciples who Jesus trained and the Holy Spirit equipped. They first had an impact on those closest to them. Remember how many believers gathered together in Jerusalem prayerfully waiting for the Day of Pentecost? (You’ll find the number in Acts 1:15). Interesting number!
If God is to use us to bring about change in our neighbourhood, change must first take place in us, in our church. Our declining attendance and few baptisms are indications that we desperately need to change before God will use us to be His agents of change in the lives of others. If our active membership is 126 how many people are needed to turn things around? You do the math!
Do we have a dozen fully committed people in our church who will pray for change in our church? The change I desire to see is individuals regularly experiencing God on a deeper level resulting in joy, obedience, unity and spiritual power. I desire our church to become a vibrant community of faith that God uses to communicate His life transforming love and grace.
How can we be instrumental in this change in our church taking place? Steir concludes his article with this answer:
“The great revivalist Gypsy Smith was once asked by a young pastor how he could start a revival at his church. The evangelist simply told him to go home, draw a circle on the floor with a piece of chalk, and kneel within that circle. He then instructed him to pray for revival for everyone on the inside of that circle and, after that, he would start to see revival on the outside of that circle.”
If only a dozen committed followers of Jesus are needed to bring about change in our church we only need eleven more! With your commitment, we are down to ten!
(You can read the complete article by Greg Steir at http://www.churchleaders.com/youth/youth-leaders-blogs/156119-greg_stier_great_movements_only_need_10_percent.htm)