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World Changing Takes a Countercultural Approach

Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things

Pastor Laurie looks to the eleventh chapter of Hebrews for examples of “world changers,” noting that each person was ordinary, fallen, and yet God used them all to do extraordinary work. “Samson and Rahab weren’t known for their exemplary lives,” he points out.  Known more for their immorality, both figures later exercised faith in God and are commended in Scripture. Other examples he offers from the famous “Hall of Faith” are Abraham, Enoch, Noah, Joseph, David, and Moses, all of whom displayed failings, but were used by God to advance His purposes in history. He says Abraham was a world changer by listening to and obeying God; Enoch by walking closely with God; Noah by following God when no one else did; Joseph by resisting temptation; David by facing a giant, and Moses by getting beyond his own excuses.

Laurie wants all believers to know that God can, will, and wants to use them for good purposes in this world if we will simply exercise the faith He’s given us. “The truth is,” he says, “God wants to use every one of us as a world changer. It may not be standing in front of people and declaring His message – that was His challenge to me. But it may very well mean leaving our comfort zones and stretching our faith to attempt something we have never done before.” He says being a world changer is not about our ability nearly so much as our availability.  

Frangelism

“World changers share their faith. The first place you need to take a stand for your faith in Christ is with the members of your family,” states Pastor Laurie. “Jesus said to go into all the world – your world.” He uses the term “frangelism” to refer to sharing the gospel with everyone in our circle of influence: friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors. Pastor Laurie recalls when he was a very new believer, age 17, and decided to share his faith at a California beach. He found a woman who reminded him of his mom, and asked if he could talk with her “about, like, God – and stuff.” To his surprise, she said yes and sat down to listen as he fumbled his way through a gospel tract. “This isn’t going to work,” he thought. “Why am I doing this? This is not going to reach her.” When Laurie finally asked her if there was any good reason why she shouldn’t accept Jesus, he fully expected her to walk away.  Instead, she told Laurie that she would like to do just that. “I was shocked,” he recalls. He learned that the gospel is powerful and doesn’t depend on his skills to be effective. That was 50 years ago, and Laurie has now shared the gospel with 8.7 million people through his crusade gatherings and webcasts. 

Be a Thermostat

Pastor Laurie says that we can choose to be a “thermometer” in this life, or a “thermostat.” He explains the difference: “A thermometer is affected by its surroundings; it follows changes in the temperature … it simply reflects what is already there. By contrast, a thermostat influences or controls its surroundings. Let me put it another way. Are you changing the culture around you or is culture changing you?” Laurie reminds us that we each have a sphere of influence -- our homes, workplaces, schools, dorms, neighborhoods, etc. -- and have the choice to be a godly influence there, or to let worldly perspectives shape us. “You can have an effect there. You can be the change agent. The thermostat. The world changer,” he exhorts. “How do you do it?  You do it through faith.”  

As Pastor Laurie looks back on the 50 years since he came to faith in Christ, he says what keeps him going is what got him started: Jesus. “He changed my life. I don’t do it for fame, applause, or money,” he says without hesitation. He says he’s learned that living for self, desired circumstances, or even other people - anything other than Jesus – only ends in misery. 

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