“If you only do what you know you can do- you never do very much.”- Tom Krause
Finally, the part we all came here for. In order to change the world, we actually have to do something. All four of the previous steps were intended to help you discern the way in which you carry out this step. Changing the world sounds intimidating. I do not want you to feel intimidated. You can make tangible and even permanent changes. This section is split into six sections that detail the ways in which you can make a difference. None of these six are mutually exclusive. The actions you intend to take may cover many of the different elements below, or just one. The important thing is to keep your focus, work with others, and pray as you “do” the following.
The first suggestion for changing the world is seemingly the most small-scale and also the most effective way to do something positive in your world. Building relationships is a strategy to changing the world that is exactly what it sounds like. You form genuine and sincere relationships with people on the margins. This not only benefits both of you because you now have a new friend, but it allows one to see really what needs to be done to help humanize this person’s condition, beyond the slogans and fundraisers and programs, people are people, and we all need to feel loved. Building relationships with people also changes your view. For me, human trafficking was just an important issue until I met M., a beautiful and jaded fifteen year old survivor of sex trafficking. Speaking with her made me realize that one, the slaves around the world are just like me, they were just treated a lot worse. Also, it made me see the 27 million people enslaved as more than a number, they are 27 million beautiful people like M. that need love.
Word Made Flesh, an international organization that I can honestly say is the most effective, Christ-like, and accountable organization I have ever worked with (I spent four months volunteering with their Moldova staff), uses this strategy to free slaves, build up and rehabilitate children living on the streets, and provide a safe haven for vulnerable and marginalized people all over the world, from Sierra Leone to Peru to India to Moldova. They are not effective because they have a lot of money, they don’t. They are also not effective because they have the most powerful and brightest minds working on the issues they address, they don’t. They are effective because they see people on the margins for who they are: broken children of God, just like us.
Word Made Flesh is not the only organization to utilize this. I want to encourage you to make friends and form relationships. This is not only the best way to serve in my opinion. It is a wonderful way to be served. I did not actually and tangibly help do anything many of the times I have tried. However, I can honestly tell you that every relationship formed in my attempts to serve changed me more than I could ever change the world.
This can definitely be nerve-racking. But, if you see and treat everyone as a person with dignity, they will eventually treat you the same.