COME HELP CHANGE THE WORLD

BY: GREG ST. CYR

On the evening of December 31, 1977, my life was forever changed. A believer for only six months, I found myself at a conference sponsored by Cru. A small, pudgy man of 5’8” took the stage to give a message entitled, “Come help change the world.” His name: Bill Bright. My life has never recovered from his words:

“Today I lay before you the greatest challenge ever given to mankind by the greatest person who has ever lived. No matter how wealthy, famous, brilliant, or powerful you may be, you will never give yourself to any cause that can compare with this life-changing, even world-changing, call of God. No matter how many honors, awards, or achievements may be placed in your hands, nothing can even begin to compare with this command of our Lord Jesus Christ to help take His message of love and forgiveness to every person in every community, in every city, in every country of the world and make disciples of all nations.”

At that moment, I said “yes” to come help change the world.
There is a longing in every human heart to make a difference in our world. Deep inside we know the world is not right. Our desire to change things for better moves us to pursue causes. For some it is animal rights, the environment, racial justice, education, poverty, clean water, upholding the constitution, and a thousand others. It is into this milieu of causes that Jesus issues the greatest challenge of all. The challenge commonly referred to as the Great Commission: “Go and make disciples of all the nations.” Matthew 28:19

There is no greater or more worthwhile cause to give your one and only life to than helping to fulfill the Great Commission. Nothing compares. Nothing. Here are three reasons why.

The gospel is THE solution to every problem!

“Really?”, you say. “Yes, really!”

Take Afghanistan, peace is found only in the Prince of Peace, Jesus. Know Jesus and know peace. No Jesus and no peace. Consider the political landscape. The gospel empowers us to love, build friendships, listen, and seek God’s solutions. How about racism? The gospel obliterates all forms of discrimination. And poverty? The gospel demands we lay down our lives for others and meet the needs of the poor. What about COVID, cancer and sickness? The gospel embraces a God who can heal in this life or give strength to walk through the valley of sickness into His presence.

People are lost without Christ!

Larry King once asked Billy Graham if Jesus was the only way to God. Dr. Graham responded, “It’s the only way I know.” Why did he respond that way? Because Billy Graham believed wholeheartedly in the Bible. “The Bible says...” was his frequent saying. And the Bible is clear on this issue that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life; that salvation is found in no other name in heaven or on earth; and that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation.

Jesus said, “Go!”

In every Gospel and in the book of Acts, Jesus uttered the command to “go.” In Matthew, He tells us to “Go and make disciples of all the nations.” In Mark, Jesus says, “Go and preach the gospel to all creation.” Luke records His words to go to “the remotest part of the earth.” We are left with only one conclusion: It is God’s will for us to give ourselves to the Great Commission.

Listen to the words of my hero, John Mott: “To have a Savior who alone can save from the guilt and power of sin imposes an obligation of the most serious character. If all people need the gospel, if Christ commanded us to preach the gospel to every creature, it is unquestionably our duty to strive to give all people in our generation an opportunity to hear the gospel.”
At Bay Area, we embrace Jesus’s challenge to come help change the world. And we want you to lock arms with us TODAY and in the days ahead to help change the world.

How? How will God use us to change the world? It starts with thinking His thoughts and believing Him for great things. In the words of William Carey, we want to “Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.”

As we pray for God to do great things, we know that...
...the vision for Bay Area must come from God,
...our service must be for God,
...and the work can only be done by God through us.

This vision is the outworking of our mission to make passionate maturing followers of Jesus from here to the nations. It is a vision to change the world by advancing the gospel of Jesus.
So what does that look like? Three simple words capture how God is inviting us to change the world: you – neighbors – nations.

You.

God loves you and has a unique plan for you. That plan involves the gospel advancing in “you.” The way to change the world is not through some complex, grandiose plan but simply by becoming more and more like Jesus. By loving and serving your family and friends. By ordering your day with the priorities of Jesus. Through doing your job “in the name of Jesus.” By spending time in prayer, community, and the Word. Through using your resources like Jesus would if He were you.

In order to become more like Jesus, all of us need help. This is where the church comes in. Gatherings, missional communities, serving opportunities, women’s and men’s, children and student’s, prayer, marriage, and care network – all ministries designed with one overarching goal for “you” to become more like Jesus.

One of my core convictions is: “The quality and impact of my life is determined by the depth of my relationship with Jesus.” To the extent that God reaches us, to that extent He will use us to help change the world. Which leads us to the second aspect of our vision...

Neighbors.

It is no accident that you are part of your unique family, live in your specific neighborhood, have the co- workers you do or the friends who share your hobby. God has divinely chosen them for you to love, serve, and witness to. All around us are people who do not know Jesus as Savior. Our vision is that each of us would live like a missionary and see ourselves changing the world one life at a time. Through strategic partnerships such as the Annapolis Pregnancy Clinic, Hope For All, Lighthouse Shelter, the many ministries reaching midshipmen and more, the gospel is advancing! As a church, God is leading us to pursue ways to serve the under-resourced living in Section 8 housing, the growing Hispanic population, and those struggling with issues that flow from poverty. We are actively pursuing launching more campuses and planting more churches locally as God raises up leaders and resources. Through Sent Network, we continue to make large investments to help plant churches throughout the mid- Atlantic region and beyond.

Nations.

From here to the nations. That’s Bay Area. We desire that every person on the planet would have the chance to say “yes” to Jesus. That means reaching unreached people groups in India, planting churches in Poland, educating children and training pastors in South Sudan, equipping pastors in Russia, advancing the gospel among youth in Ghana and the Dominican Republic, serving the poor in Uganda and Belize. You can be personally involved through going on a mission trip this year to a country like Poland, India, or Ghana, through fervently praying for our global partners, and by giving sacrificially. Jesus is building His church and using you in eleven global regions to change the world.

Do you feel it? A burgeoning desire within you to make a difference in the world. A longing to be part of the greatest cause of all. There is a fresh wave of God’s Spirit blowing over the water of Bay Area Community Church. It’s a wave of grace and power. It’s a wave that requires surrender and faith. There is a fresh wave of God’s Spirit blowing over the water of Bay Area Community Church. It’s a wave that requires each of us to step out in faith. God is on the move.

Let me say to you with every ounce of conviction within me. No matter how famous or popular, how wealthy or powerful, no matter how great you might become in the eyes of others, there is nothing that you will ever be privileged to do that compares with helping to change the world for Christ.

Don’t let another day go by. I invite you to join with us and say “yes” to the challenge I embraced almost 44 years ago: Come Help Change The World!