There are many great stories and examples of the power of one individual to bring radical change. The often-overused story of the guy criticised for throwing individual starfish back into the ocean from a beach covered in them and saying, “well I made a difference to that one”, would be one popular example. Another is that of the amazing impact of the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park on the ecology and river flow (see here).
Such stories inspire us to consider how our vision and gifts can impact the world. However, is there any greater impact than sharing our faith, or even acting in faith to respond in obedience to Christ’s direction in our lives when we may not ever know the positive outcomes of our actions? For another impacting example, consider a video clip which makes the point very well. You can never know just what good could come of your willingness to be faithful.
My role as a minister, touching many lives, came about in succession to the original church minister’s connection to the founder of our movement, whose dad was converted via a South African who was a direct disciple of a Scottish-born Australian minister after he relocated to America (where he was actually considered crazy in establishing a Christian metropolis ‘Zion City’ just outside Chicago: not sure I would have been thanking John Dowie back then).
My wife’s faith was most likely made possible, too, because of her dad’s conversion a generation earlier via the 1959 Melbourne visit of Billy Graham, whose Christian faith traces back in a chain of people to the ministry of the famous Dwight Moody who was, in turn, converted because his Sunday School teacher dared to challenge him. However, the direct successor of Moody, Reuben Torrey, also visited Melbourne and saw countless people brought into churches in this city as a result of his 1902 visit!
There are connections everywhere and they remind us that we can never know just how far-reaching our impact on just one person might be. You could be the only ambassador of Christ to one person and your faithfulness in reaching them can lead to that person reach goodness knows who!
And imagine what the links in your chain could do for eternity, given that people’s life beyond the grave is considerably longer than their life here on Earth! You never know…