On Sunday, c|Lifers everywhere learned a memorable four-step process:
Step 1: Connect to God.
Step 2: Connect to other believers.
Step 3: Connect to your calling.
Step 4: Change the world.
In my mind, I envisioned a flow chart. And I wondered, could this process be used over and over, becoming the pattern of my life? Could this process become so ingrained in me that I one day follow it automatically?
For example, maybe I find myself in a pretty grouchy mood. I’m not sure exactly what has set me off, but I’m short with my family. I’m isolating from my friends and treating my co-workers impatiently. So how could I respond?
Step 1: Connect to God. I search out a quiet place, even if it means that I have to temporarily press pause on something important. I settle into the moment, and I pray. I ask God to help me understand what is going on inside me. I wait patiently for his guidance, breathing and believing that he is for me and will be with me always.
Step 2: Connect to other believers. I share with trusted Christ followers about what God has shown me. I ask them to pray for me, and I ask for their feedback, recognizing that I cannot succeed in this life alone. I ask them to hold me accountable, and I submit myself to that accountability regularly.
Step 3: Connect to my calling. I ask God to help me understand the big picture of my life. How do my gifts and abilities mix with my past experiences and future dreams? What is it that God wants to do in me and through me? I submit myself to undertake the good work that God has already prepared for me to do.
Step 4: Change the world. I do the next right thing. And then the next right thing after that, living out my calling in my day-to-day life. Some days are big-risk days. Other days are quiet gratitude days. Still other days are embarrassing learning days. These days accumulate as I return again and again to step one and run through the four-step process over and over.
Step 1: Connect to God, Step 2: Connect to other believers, Step 3: Connect to my calling, Step 4: Change the world. When I follow this flowchart, I’m following in some very important footsteps. This is the pattern that Jesus demonstrated for us during his time on earth.
In Matthew 3:13–17, Jesus was baptized, and the Holy Spirit came to rest on him as the Father declared, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” That connection empowered Jesus to face Satan’s temptation in the wilderness. In Matthew 4:18–22, Jesus called his first disciples, surrounding himself with believers with whom he would do life. And in Matthew 4:23–25, Jesus began ministering to great crowds. Day by day, Jesus proclaimed the good news of the kingdom and healed and loved and served. He changed the world through big, bold acts and through small, kind acts. And when Jesus became depleted, he would steal away from the crowds and connect with his Father. Then he would connect with other believers. This empowered him to continue the exhausting work to which he had been called. Jesus lived a pattern we can emulate, again and again, until it becomes a way of life. Connect to God, connect to other believers, connect to your calling, and watch as God uses you to change the world!