Local Influence

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How might we influence others globally if we came to know and love our neighbors locally?

So, Claudio suggests that there is no ‘macro’ influence that matters. Actually, he suggests that to claim to have a ‘global vision’ is to assume you are ‘like God’. Who are we to say we have a global vision? How can we know or even assume to know the whole world?

I get what he means. It does appear a bit arrogant to suggest that we know what’s best for the world – or that we can somehow get a view that’s above local culture... and we can’t. He suggests that the best thing we can do is to apply ourselves wholly to the local scene. To get involved in our own communities and hunker down and do the small stuff of the kingdom – to live a different way in front of people – to know and love our neighbours – to be life and light to those around us… then, He says, God’s kingdom will come… we don’t need to concern ourselves with strategic plans and global visions… we just need to live out the gospel where we are.

He doesn’t suggest that we stay where we are but that we follow Jesus into the world and simply do what he says as he says it… the journey of pilgrimage. Interesting. I’ve been thinking about this on multiple levels – and I get it. The only thing I don’t get is the necessity of having to remind ourselves of how the rest of the world lives… the importance of putting ourselves and our world into perspective with the rest of the world. For those of us who are among the richest people on the face of the earth I think that kind of global vision is essential.

Claudio has embarked on an experiment in his local community. He has simply applied himself to being a great neighbour – not telling anyone that he is a Christian and certainly not a minister. He said it only took about a month before people started to ask him to pray with him and for a bible and for some help etc… he lived out Francis’ quote, ‘preach Christ. If necessary use words.’

Of course we use that quote as an excuse to not preach the gospel – but what Francis meant and what Claudio is living is that our lives should so reflect a different life – a different way of living – an outloud version of love in public… that it is enough. Our lives will be the contagious gospel… now, that’s a real challenge.

How is your local influence?

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