There are many fantastic young Christian people out there who have totally given their lives to serving in the kingdom of God and that’s just so wonderful. The one question I hear very often is “in what specific ways can I make an impact?”
So, in this piece I aim to explore just a handful of ways in which young people – Generation Y / millennials – can make a positive impact on this world. As you know, we do not have very long on this earth. That’s a sobering thought, yet it’s the reality of life. Life is but a vapour. It can be beautiful and sweet but at the same time it’s shortlived. As Christians we want to ensure that we live to the limit every single day, that we spend our time doing things that count for eternity and ultimately glorify God in whatever we do.
First of all, anyone who wishes to positively make an impact on culture must have the right attitude or outlook on life. Probably the most important quality that the young ambassador of Christ can ever possess is love. Yes, love. Love for everybody despite their faults and differences. Love is a powerful character trait that empowers you to penetrate through the barriers of confrontation, hard-heartedness, bitterness and resentment. When Christ was on the earth doing his ministry, He looked at every individual with love regardless of who they were, what their status was or what sins they had committed. It is so important for us as believers in Christ that we convey the Gospel message in a loving way. Love wins every time. Contrast that to trying to deal with problems in a harsh manner, you’ll find that you end up on the losing side every time.
The next trait required is compassion. If we don’t have compassion and lower ourselves down to the levels of the broken, hurt and dejected, we will never really be able to empathise and connect with them in a positive way. Christians must be compassionate when dealing with those who do not know Christ or who may be in a terrible position in life.
This brings me to the next trait: grace. Grace in the most simplest of terms is unmerited blessing or favour bestowed upon us by God. In the same way that God extended his hand of grace and mercy toward us while were unrepentant sinners, so should we to those who we may be quick to write off as being undeserving of any grace. We must remember that grace does not come from us, it comes from Christ alone and it is only through what Christ has done for us that we can extend His grace to the lost, lonely, broken, hurt and needy.
Once we look upon the world with the correct viewpoint, we are then in a much better position to address the everyday challenges that we may encounter. And certainly, many of those challenges may seem big for us. The most effective way to help others find Christ is to live different – which is something that we are called to do as followers of Christ – because when we do, the non-believers will see the difference and then they may be led to find out why you live the way you do and ultimately come to know Christ.
If we turn in our Bibles to Luke 9:23, we read “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Following Christ requires everyday dedication to those things that He has instructed us to do through His word. So if you’re willing to be fully and wholeheartedly dedicated to work in Christ’s kingdom. then let’s get started on a handful of ways in which you can go about instigating change.
Build a large social media following and spread the truth
In this age of advanced online technology we really have no excuse to not spread the message of God’s hope to the world. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube are all very powerful tools that can be used to ignite change in the world. And since most young people are connected to these platforms these days, it’s a fantastic way to reach a lot of people! I have seen so many fantastic young Christian people harness social media to do great things for God. Short videos on your own testimony and what God has done and is doing in your life are really powerful. One of my personal YouTube video style favourites is ‘Spoken Word’ which is a type of poetry that is a really powerful way to communicate gems of truth to those who may be watching/listening. Podcasts, memes, editorials, Vlogs, music videos and even short films with strong Christian themes or on subjects pertaining to social or political issues can really help people see the light too.
Here’s just a handful of some of my favourite videos on YouTube that I believe are really powerful.
Start an action group… or join one
Action groups are by far one of the most effective ways of actually getting out there and making things happen. Many, many fantastic victories have been secured by Christian activist groups. Even if you don’t choose to start your own, there’s many that deal with specific causes that you can join up with and volunteer your time. There are many groups that champion the pro-life cause and provide hope, healing and support to women who may be wanting to have an abortion while other organisations assist the elderly, disabled, homeless, vulnerable youth or children in impoverished countries. All of these causes are very near to God’s heart and so they should definitely be close to us as ambassadors for Him.
Get involved in media
I just had to add this one into the list because, after all, I’m involved in media – specifically online and print journalism. As a journalist and columnist writing regularly for well over a dozen world-renowned media outlets and serving as the editor in chief of an independent news outlet that receives on average of just under half-a-million pageviews per month, I can tell you that being involved in this industry is truly amazing. There’s so many opportunities that allow you to make an impact. Playing your part in the 24/7 news cycle, breaking stories on issues that the public need to know about and championing Christian freedoms and values through what you write is both fulfilling and powerful. There are many issues facing our culture that are close to my heart and journalism has definitely enabled me to be involved in those areas and hopefully make a difference by what I report on.
Even if journalism is not your cup of tea, you can still make a huge difference by participating regularly on online news sites, talkback radio and community forums. You could even start your own WordPress or Blogspot blog and share your thoughts there! These are all great ways to make your voice heard and hopefully contribute to change.
Participate in one-on-one evangelism
If you can, try and get out into the local mall and hand out Gospel tracts and DVD’s like those produced by Living Waters or, if you’re game enough, preach! This is certainly not something that one can simply jump into without difficulty, however, over time you will learn to get out of your comfort zone and just let the Holy Spirit guide your words and actions.
So… I hope this gives you at least some idea of how to best use your time in Christ’s service. If you have any other ideas, please let me know in the comments below!
— Caleb 🙂