Teen Track #3: Jesus Want You to Change the World

Oct. 10, 2014 Erin Davis

Session Transcript

Erin Davis: Get out your Bibles or your Bible devices. If you read your Bible on your phone or your iPad, that’s great. But there ain’t no “Angry Birds” in Romans, okay? We’re going to be in the book of Matthew. (And that’s not on Pinterest, that’s just the book of Matthew.)

Wherever you look at your Bible, look at your Bible for me. I’m a note-taker, so I will be taking notes. Maybe you’re not a note-taker, but it’s always good to have notes. So I’m going to stand in this canoe for the next few minutes and it’s—hopefully—not going to pitch me out on the ground. If it does, we’re just going to act like it didn’t happen, okay? That’s how that’s going to go.

We spent the morning talking on freedom. I don’t know if you are aware, but the theme for this year’s conference is “Freedom, Fullness and Fruitfulness.” There’s a correlation there. We really like the freedom part. It’s good; it’s good to be free, it’s good to get free, and it’s important!

I go to a lot of women’s conferences and teen conferences (not as great as this one!), and a lot of Bible studies, and I read a lot of books. A lot of time they stay in the “freedom” part, and that’s good. But something we see really clearly in Scripture is, once you get free you’d better get fruitful. You’re supposed to do something with that freedom for the Kingdom!

That’s where we’re going to go this afternoon. First I’m going to teach you a little chant. I’m big on chants. I wrote this myself—it’s really complex: “Jesus Wants Me to Change the World!” Then you’ve got to give it a “huh!” You know, like Rosie the Riveter shows her muscle? (Two of you know who she is.) So give it a “huh!” with feeling! “Jesus Wants Me to Change the World! Huh!” [Girls give weak response] That was terrible! Did you not know it was your turn? Okay, my fault, I take the blame. So, next time it’s your turn. Here we go: “Jesus Wants Me to Change the World! Huh!” That’s pretty good! We’re going to keep working on it.

If you leave this weekend and you don’t catch anything else, (which hopefully you’ll catch more than this,) I want you to catch this: “Jesus Wants Me to Change the World! Huh!” Terrible! I didn’t tell you, I didn’t warn you, so let’s do a hand signal when it’s your turn. [They repeat three more times, with more volume.] Look at that! It’s a process, it’s a process.

But I absolutely believe that, for every single one of you in here, Jesus wants you to change the world. How do I know that? By Jesus’ last words. If you have a Bible, turn with me to Matthew 28:16-20.

Let me give you a little bit of backstory. You’re in the very last chapter in the very last set of verses in the book of Matthew. What has gone down, up to this point, is:

  • Jesus was born—we have the Christmas story.
  • Jesus spends a few years in training in life as a carpenter.
  • Jesus rises up and creates a ministry.
  • Jesus calls the disciples.
  • Jesus heals the sick.
  • He heals the blind.
  • He teaches the gospel.

Then He is crucified, He is buried, He is resurrected! His disciples have a period of fear and anxiety, but Jesus was resurrected, just as He promised He would. But they didn’t know what He was talking about, because sometimes Jesus was hard to understand and not even his disciples were always tracking with Him. I take good hope in that. He had said, “I’m coming back in three days,” but they didn’t know that He meant, “No, like, for real I’m coming back in three days.” He did! He was resurrected and He was on the earth for a period of a few weeks. And that’s where we pick up, beginning in Matthew 28:16:

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”

Here we are. If you’ve got a highlighter or pen just underline right here:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

That’s it! The greatest story ever told. And in the big cinematic finish is Jesus’ last chance to talk to His disciples like we’re talking right now. And He tells them, “Go therefore and make disciples, teaching them everything I’ve told you.” I can sum it up in one word. He says, “Go!”

We can read so much of the Bible that we can get a little numb to this. But don’t miss this! This is a big idea. God wants you to go. God wants you to make disciples. God wants you to teach other people what He has been teaching you. As we wrestle through that a little bit this afternoon, I’m going to call that living a sent life.

A sent life is taking God at His word in the Great Commission and saying, “Yes, I will go. I will make disciples. I will teach.” That’s a sent life. It’s a life where you accept God’s call to go wherever He leads you and to tell others about Him.

Have any of you read the book The Insanity of God? Two people? Tell me loud and proud, “I’ve read The Insanity of God.” There will not be a quiz. Who’s read it? She’s not sure . . . she’s changed her mind . . . okay. Well, The Insanity of God is what is on my nightstand right now. It’s this fascinating book about persecution in the church.

The guy that wrote it didn’t become a believer until he became an adult. So he wasn’t really trained in what I call “Christian-eeze.” You know, those passages that we just kind of gloss over or sanitize so they don’t seem to mean so much of what they say they mean. When he became a Christian as an adult and read Matthew 28 that said, “Go make disciples,” he thought, “I guess I’m supposed to go make disciples.”

That’s what he spent his whole life doing. And that’s living a sent life. It doesn’t matter who you are, how old you are, what kind of family you’re from. It doesn’t matter what you’re good at or what you’re not good at. It doesn’t matter if you have the spiritual gift of evangelism or not. I don’t know where it’s happened somewhere along the line, but we think, “I don’t have the spiritual gift of evangelism, so I don’t have to go tell.” But that’s not what we read in the Great Commission.

Now, I should warn you that this session is a little bit of what I call a “squirmon,” which is a sermon which makes you squirm. I’m okay with that, because I think sometimes we need to squirm when it comes to this idea of living a sent life.

Jesus says, “Go!” So why don’t we if it’s so clear in Scripture? See, that’s “squirm” all over you—ooh, it just got quiet! If Jesus’ lasts words were, “Go tell, and make disciples,” why don’t we? Why do we think that putting “Christian” on our status on our Facebook profile is the same as fulfilling the Great Commission? Why do we think praying for lost people, but mostly hoping that God never provides an opportunity for us to actually share the gospel, is the same as the Great Commission? Why aren’t we going?

“I warned you,” I wrote in my notes, “this is going to be a bit of a squirmon!” But promise me you’re going to stick with me for the whole afternoon, because we’re going to leave here fired up to change the world! In fact, this has been burning in me for months. I didn’t know how many of you there would be. We were getting numbers like, “Well, there are three girls coming . . .” And we were like, “Uhh, that will be fun. . .” And then what we heard last was that ninety-five of you were coming. I’ll bet there are easily three-hundred-plus of you in here.

So, I didn’t know how many of you there would be, but the thought burned in me of what would happen if just ninety-five young women read the Great Commission and did it! If ninety-five young women read Matthew 28 and said, “Jesus told me to go and make disciples—and I’m going to do that! I believe He means what He said!” That burned in me, and now I see three times that number! I can’t imagine what might happen if the girls in this room actually fulfilled the Great Commission! So, it is a bit of a “squirmon,” but you’re going to stick with me and it’s going to be exciting and good.

Before we get there, though, we have to take our temperature. Would you turn with me to the end of your Bible to the book of Revelation? We’re in Revelation 3:15 and 16. Does someone want to stand up and read this loud and proud for me? Stand up and really project it? Okay, striped shirt—stand up and read it. Are you a drama girl? Do you do drama? So, you know, from the diaphragm.

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. [NIV]

Very good! Wow, give her some love. That was good. It’s a good thing you read that, because I was on the wrong passage, and I was like, “Where are we?” But you can read, and that was good!

So, that’s right. “I know your works—you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So because you are lukewarm—not hot or cold—I’m going to spit you out of my mouth!” Everybody imagine a cupful of room-temperature water. It’s been sitting up in your hotel room all day and it has some mystery floaters. It’s not hot, it’s not cold. It’s got a film—don’t know what it is. It’s room-temperature water and it’s just sitting there on your hotel sink. Make the face that you would make if you had to drink that. Bleh! Yes!

Okay, now imagine it’s a really hot day. Where are my Texas girls? It’s a really hot Texas day! It gets to be seven-thousand degrees in Texas, approximately, and we’re riding cows because that’s what you do in Texas. And we come to these sweet girls’ house and they give us a glass of ice cold water, the kind where the glass is sweating and it’s so refreshing. That would be good, right?

Is anybody from a cold state, like the “hand”—y’all live in Michigan? You have some cold, right? Wisconsin? Alaska? So, it’s a really cold Michigan day. For those who don’t live in Michigan, did you know that the waves freeze on Lake Michigan? It’s cold! You come in from skiing (I don’t think you ski in Michigan, but whatever), and I hand you a steaming hot cup of cocoa with those little tiny marshmallows in it that aren’t really marshmallows, but are so delicious! Mmm! Like an ice cold drink on a hot day, or a cup of hot tea on a cold day, or steaming hot chocolate on a cold day—or like these sweet girls who brought me my coffee—those are good things.

But lukewarm water? Bleh. There’s nothing thrilling about that. But that is how God is describing this church. He says, “You’re not hot, you’re not cold! Uhhh! I wish that you were either hot or cold! But because you’re just like that film-covered, floaty, room-temperature cup of water in the hotel,” my paraphrase, but that’s what He’s saying, “I’m just going to spit you out of my mouth!”

And what’s interesting is, God is talking to a church in this passage. They go to church and they even do some good stuff for God, He says, because He talks about their works. These are church-going folks that are doing things for God. But they didn’t stand out, they had no passion for God, and they loved “business as usual.” And, clearly, God does not.

They remind me of some girls I interviewed for a recent book. I was traveling around the country talking to girls, and I was trying to figure out this big idea of why I meet young women like you. You’re passionate about Jesus and you can quote Scripture to me, but you’re not doing anything with your faith, except maybe watching cleaner movies than your friends and maybe dressing a little more modestly.

I was trying to figure that out, so I interviewed girls all over the country. These were Christian girls who were active in their youth groups, girls who wear Christian t-shirts, who listen to Christian music. But most of their lives look just like everybody else’s. And they had a sideline mentality about doing big things with their faith.

They went to church, they read their Bibles, but that didn’t result in radical change—and it bothered me, and I wanted to know why? What was happening? I couldn’t quite figure it out. It was a little bit layered and a little bit hard to unpack.

And then I was at an event like this. We actually travel as a team sometimes, and we were at an event like this, and there was a sweet girl at the altar. We had an altar time, kind of like we had before the lunch break. There was a sweet thing, probably thirteen, and her head was buried in her hands. She was sobbing, gasping for breath; couldn’t catch her breath. You all don’t cry like that? I do, and I finally get worn-eyeballed out.

I asked her, “What is the matter, honey?!” And I’m rubbing her back. She peeks two eyes up, still gasping for breath, and I’m thinking, “Oh, this is bad! This is bad. Something bad, like maybe her family was just murdered by an axe murderer moments ago and she just found out.” And I’m praying and saying, “Honey, how can I help? I’m here for you.”

And she continued to gasp for breath between sobs, she said, “I . . . I . . . I . . . didn’t . . . didn’t . . . finish my math homework!” Okay! I’m like, “First of all, you don’t need math in real life, okay? It’s a little secret.” I’m sorry if there’s a math teacher in the room. I never do math. Never, ever, ever. If you like math, I’m sorry, we can’t be friends.

But anyway, I said, “Okay, so, baby girl, what is going to happen if you don’t get that math homework done?”
Girl gasps for breath, “My . . . my . . . my . . . grade’s going to go down.”
“Okay, and what might your grade be, if it goes down?”
“A ‘b’!” And she screeched desperately after saying that. I was thinking, “Is this happening? Is this going down?”

I prayed for her and I sent her on her way. And you know what that sweet thing did? She left that event and went home, stayed up ‘til one o’clock in the morning and got her math homework done. And she still has a four-point-eight-thousand GPA—you know she does!

But I couldn’t stop thinking about her. And then I noticed this trend. We were on tour so we were doing events like this night after night after night after night, and there were girls at the altar night after night after night after night, and they were eaten up with this. I mean, eaten up with it. Their lives were so jam packed with sports and clubs and grades and school and work that when they got a chance to process that, they were undone by it. And in every city I went to I found girls who were too busy for God, and it bothered me.

I would guess, looking out on this room, that there are probably girls who are too busy for God. Doing something for the Kingdom is something you’re going to do someday. Making disciples is on your to-do list for sure! You’re definitely going to do something with your faith at some point! But for now, there’s homework and sports and youth group and family stuff and getting into a good college . . . and . . . and . . . and . . .

And so, you can’t fulfill the Great Commission, because you’ve got no white space in your life! So I started digging, (is this preaching to anyone? Because it’s getting real squirmy in here . . .) and I found that many of you are living in a pressure cooker. Have you heard it today? Fear, anxiety, depression, panic attacks—because you are living in a pressure cooker.

Let me show you what that looks like. I wanted to find out what your days are like. If you’re in AP classes, raise your hand. That likely translates to about two to two-and-a-half hours of homework per day, per AP class.

So if some of you are in AP Science, AP English, or AP Math (I don’t know why you’re in that, but maybe you are!), maybe you don’t have 2.5 hours per class of homework each day for each of those, but you are getting massive doses of homework every day, doing somewhere in the neighborhood of two to four hours of homework per day.

Many of you are involved in sports and music, so that translates to two to five hours a day of practice. Some of you work part-time jobs, so that’s ten hours per week. And some of you have friends, and some of you like math so you don’t have friends—I’m just kidding!! Enough with the math jokes. By the time you spend time with your friends, that is eating up two to ten hours a week.

I’m sure you’re tired from all that math homework, so let me do the math for you: Each week, each of us gets one-hundred-sixty-eight hours to spend. It doesn’t matter if we’re the President or the Pope or my little boy—we all get the same amount of hours to spend.

By the time you do school, sports, and time with your friends, you’ve eaten up eighty hours of your week. Add in a little bit of sleep (unless you’re Wonder Woman and you don’t sleep—normally you sleep) and you’re up to one-hundred-thirty-three hours.

What about time with your family, involvement in church? What about fun? If you start plugging all that into the equation, suddenly the numbers stop adding up and you’ve got a hundred-and-eighty-hours worth of stuff to cram into a hundred-and-sixty hours of time. And then you say things to me like, “I’m anxious,” “I’m having panic attacks,” “I’m depressed,” because the pressure is too much and you can’t make it add up.

That’s why verses like this one, if you’re living in the pressure cooker, stress you out: “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10 KJV)

How can I be still, God, when there’s so much going on? How can I know You when my schedule feels like it’s ready to burst at the seams? How can I do something big for God when I’m just trying to survive business as usual? Well, that’s easy. You can’t.

So, if you’re living in the pressure cooker, and if you’re one of the many, many girls that I’ve met and interviewed, it’s not my purpose to guilt you, because I would have been you. I still am you, so many days. When you’re too busy for God, these verses make you feel stressed, not blessed, because there’s no time in your life to be still.

So how do we fix it? To figure that out, we have to go fishing. Who likes to go fishing? Who puts their own worm on their hook? Yeah! That’s what I like—girls who put their own worm on the hook. Who takes their own fish off the hook? I don’t do that. I don’t like that part.

Sometimes the hook goes through the eyeball, and I’m like, “Honey . . . !” How many of you have never been fishing? You’re like, “Worms . . . ? Eyeballs?!” Well, those of you who have been fishing, help out those girls who have never been fishing, because we’re going to talk about fishing here for a little bit. Go back to Matthew, at the very beginning of the New Testament. You’re going to go left if you’re in Revelation. (Oops! I went too far—all the way to Zechariah.)

This is just a little side note: I have a really good friend who I brought here with me this weekend. She’s an adult my age. She grew up in a family where they didn’t read the Bible and she doesn’t know a lot about the Bible. We were having small group just a couple weeks ago and she said, “This is really embarrassing, but I don’t know the books of the Bible.”

And I thought, “Wow, you’re so brave!” And so we’re teaching her the books of the Bible song so that she can know the books of the Bible. So, start with those really elementary things as you’re becoming a more serious student of the Word. There’s a great song. Do you know it? Okay, nobody knows it . . . Anyway, if you go home and think, “I want some practical application,” just start with memorizing the books of the Bible so you’re not a grown-up like me and totally fumbling through the books of the Bible.

Okay, we’re in Matthew 4:18-22. What had happened was Jesus had been led into the wilderness. For a period of forty days he fasted and prepared for his earthly ministry. The enemy had come and tempted him in that place three times. Jesus came out of that experience and you can just almost see Him rolling up His sleeves here in the Gospel like, “Time to get to work!” Immediately the first thing He does is call His team. And that’s where we pick it up, in verse 18:

While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him.

And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

So in this compact little group of Scriptures we see Jesus calling some super-important dudes to the faith, the very first of his twelves disciples: Simon, called Peter, of whom later Jesus would say, “This is the rock on which I am going to build my church,” Andrew, James, and John.

These were guys who, if I were to ask you, “Tell me who in the Bible lived a sent life,” are some people you would tell me. Peter, James, John. They were among the first of all the disciples and they served at Jesus’ right hand as He changed the world forever! This was Jesus’ inner circle. There are several times in Scripture where he takes this kind of inner circle of disciples to see things not everybody else sees. And I just love that pattern of an inner circle of friends and then kind of a widening circle of friends, and Jesus modeled that for us. These are his closest people.

They saw him transfigured (which is just a fancy word for “changed into a glowing man”) at which point he had a chat with Moses and Elijah, who had happened to have been dead for hundreds of years by that point. So these dudes saw some stuff, right?

James and John are the two Jesus invited to see events no one else saw. They got to come in when Jesus healed Jairus’ daughter. He sent everybody else away, but said to them, “You guys, come here. Come see this that I’m about to do.” John wrote five books of the Bible! So we’re talking about giants of the faith! Champions for Jesus! People who lived a sent life. They did really big things for the Kingdom!!

But all of that started with one choice. These guys were just fishing. They were just having another day at work. And Jesus stands on the shore and says, “Follow me!” And they do it!

For you it might be just going to school, just another day at your job, just hanging out, just at your youth group, or maybe, just maybe, just in the middle of the Teen Track at True Woman ’14 (with not enough chairs!). Maybe, just maybe, you’re just sitting in the Teen Track, and you don’t really expect God to do much of anything, and He says, “You! Follow me!”

Jesus just gives them a simple command. And what’s interesting to me, we have the “cheat sheet” for the rest of the story, so we know what was getting ready to go down. We know that Jesus was legitimate. We know that He was getting ready to heal. We know that He was getting ready to turn things upside-down. But these poor guys didn’t know any of that. They didn’t know anything we know about Jesus. They simply saw a man asking them to follow Him, and they dropped everything and did it.

Matthew 4:22 says, “Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.” They dropped everything. They literally left their fishing nets and their dad in the boat and said, “Okay.” Who’s seen “Forrest Gump”? Oh, good! It’s a classic! When Lieutenant Dan is coming along and Forrest Gump sees him and says, “Hi, Lieutenant Dan!” and he just jumps in the water and swims out to him? That’s what happened here.

This is totally aside, but this is one of my most embarrassing moments: I was walking into Applebee’s—they have good spinach artichoke dip, right?—and Gary Sinise, who plays Lieutenant Dan, is walking out. He’s a very small man, and he doesn’t have metal legs—they’re real.

So he’s walking out and I’m walking in, and we get face-to-face. Now, I won’t scream as loud as I did then because I have a microphone on, but I’m like right there and I shriek, “Hey! You’re Lieutenant Dan!!”—which is not his name! It was just the character. And he had this huge body guard behind him and the body guard goes, “A-heh-heh-heh. . .” [deep throaty laugh] “You totally caught me off guard with that one!” So then I just ran into Applebee’s and played it cool, and my husband hung out with Gary Sinise forever. That has nothing to do with anything.

In “Forrest Gump,” when Forrest Gump just jumps in there and swims out to Lieutenant Dan, that’s what goes down here. The men just leave their nets, they leave their dad, they jump out of the boat and follow Jesus! Part of the reason we aren’t doing big stuff for God is that we’ve got this part wrong.

Imagine that you’re in the fishing boat, you’re minding your own business, you’re tending to all of those fish, when a figure appears on the beach. You squint your eyes to get a better look at him. He doesn’t seem familiar. All the sudden you lock eyes, and you’re like, “Hi!” And He says, “Follow Me.”

You see, the reason most of us aren’t living a sent life is because we get it backwards. We would look at Jesus on the horizon, and we say, “Follow me. Come into my life. Join this thing that I have going on. Follow me as I live how I want, do what I want, plan the future that I want. Follow me as I have a lukewarm faith. That’s okay, right, Jesus? You’ll follow me along with that? You’ll be my friend while I do nothing for the Kingdom, right?”

Faith in Christ isn’t about throwing on a Christian t-shirt and doing your own thing. It’s not about running our own lives and inviting Jesus to come along. We turn on our heels and follow Him! He runs the show. He leads and we become followers. “Follow me!”

Girls, I’ve been a non-Christian (didn’t get saved until I was fifteen), been a lukewarm Christian, and I’ve been a Christian on fire for Jesus, willing to live a sent life—which is the best way to live, hands down--living a sent life! But I didn’t understand that for a really long time.

Jesus wants you to change the world. “Jesus wants me to change the world! Huh!” He does! We don’t need to talk about it. We don’t need to read it in the Greek and the Hebrew. We don’t need to pray about it. You don’t need to talk to your youth pastor. You don’t need to call a friend. You don’t need to talk to your grandma! I know that Jesus wants you to change the world. I know He wants you to make disciples! It’s clear in Scripture that He wants you to go! But He’s not going to force you. The ball is one-hundred-percent in your court.

It’s so easy for us to say “yes” in theory, but it’s hard in real life. So, let me give you a few stories to just inspire you. What came out of all that [research] was this little book, My Name is Erin: One Girl’s Mission to Make a Difference. I didn’t just find lukewarm Christian girls. I found girls who were doing really humongous stuff for the kingdom. Like Dannah’s daughter, Lexi. When she was just eighteen years old she wrote a curriculum for girls in India who were in brothels. That means they were sex slaves. She wrote a curriculum and then, Dannah, her mom put her on a plane—at the age of eighteen—and Lexi went and taught that to little girls in the sex industry in India—as an eighteen-year-old.

I met a girl named Madison who, at fifteen, heard Dannah teach on purity and she decided she was going to live a pure life. But she thought, “There’s got to be more to it than that!” So she had this idea about bears. She called a bunch of her friends and they went to the mall and got Build-A-Bears and they wrote letters to their future husbands and tucked them inside their Build-A-Bear.

They committed that they would live pure until marriage and that they would hold each other accountable. That’s pretty cool, right? But then they thought, “We’re supposed to go! We’re supposed to tell others about the things that God is teaching us!” So now, Madison, who is maybe seventeen or a little older than that, is running a not-for-profit called “Boyfriend Bears,” and she travels all over the country teaching girls about God’s plan for purity. She started young.

Carolina is another girl I met. She decided that she was going to do something for the homeless, so she had a coat drive. She just asked everybody she knew, “Do you have any extra coats? Do you have any extra coats?” And it kind of grew and her church got involved and her school got involved, and she rounded up hundreds of coats!

And then she didn’t just drop them off at Goodwill. As a teenager—seventeen years old—she went to New York City, found homeless people, gave them coats, and prayed for them. Then that just lit a fire in her belly, so she found places in her town where lonely people were. She went week after week after week and visited these lonely people and just prayed with them and talked to them.

I found a youth group in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and their mantra was, “junior high students can change the world.” And the junior high students in that youth group did crazy stuff.

One girl organized a project called “Loose Change That Loosens Chains.” She raised five-hundred dollars for the International Justice Mission. Mallory raised three-hundred-fifty dollars babysitting, and she gave it all away to charity. Megan wrote letters to all of her teachers asking them to donate to some Christian causes.

One group of students made rubber band bracelets and raised six-hundred dollars. They gave it all to charity. One kid organized a community-wide water balloon fight, which I think is genius! He charged people to come, then he gave all the money away. These are junior high kids doing this!

I was writing this book and the daughter of a friend of mine got inspired and said, “I want to do something!” She got excited about clean water in Africa. She organized a talent show in her church and everybody signed up and the whole church came, and she raised something crazy like eleven-thousand dollars to drill wells in Africa—and she was twelve years old when she did it!

Young girls—ages twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen—were doing huge things for God’s Kingdom! They weren’t sidelined anymore. God said, “Follow Me!” and they said, “Yeah! I’ll do that! I’ll ditch what I’m doing and I’ll do that!” Those are the kinds of things I believe God could use you to do.

And so, I get a little excited about it. Can you tell? Because what if one of you got super excited about the orphans in your community and actually did something about it? I’m not talking about hash-tag activism. I’m not talking about putting something on your Facebook wall. I’m talking about spending time with an orphan!

What if one of you decided that there’s a single mom in your church and she looks like she needs a lot of help. We moms need a lot of help! I have three—and you could come to my house anytime! You decided you would actually take care of her and help her, and that affected her. It affected her children and that affected their future and . . . oh my! I can’t even imagine what would happen if you guys read the Great Commission and actually did it!

I happen to wrestle with this, too. I was at Panera writing the other day, and a man came and sat next to me and asked me what I was reading. I was reading my Bible, and he wanted to ask me questions. I really wanted to put off the, “I’m too cool, and I’m working hard,” vibe, but I thought, “Jesus, You told me to make disciples,” so me and Joseph had a two-hour conversation.

He’s a devout Muslim who believes Allah is God, and I’m a devout Christian who believes Jesus is God. We engaged. And I said at the end of that conversation, “Joseph, do you have a Bible?” He said, “I don’t,” and I said, “I will gladly give you mine.” My husband had written the sweetest inscription to me inside my Bible, and I’ve had it for five years and it’s all marked up, and I love that Bible . . . but I don’t love it as much as Jesus. And if God tells me to make disciples, I’ll just give it all away! The Bible’s a small thing, but—oh my! I can’t breathe, I’m so excited! So I just thought it would be fun if we just dreamed for a little bit, because I don’t really know how Jesus wants you to change the world, but I know that He does!

So, there is some paper here and some markers. It’s crowded here and it’s going to be kind of awkward logistically, but we’re okay with that. I just wonder if you would write on here, “Jesus wants me to change the world by . . .” (if we could get some background music, that always helps the awkwardness.) Let’s just dream about what this room of girls could do if we decided to turn up the heat on our faith; if we decided to go and make disciples; and if we decided lukewarm living wasn’t tolerable to us anymore.

So you can talk about it quietly with each other, you can dream, but just fill these pieces of paper with, “Jesus wants me to change the world by . . .” and let’s just see what God stirs up in our hearts.

I’m going to go take a breather, because I’m too excited. Just dream. How does Jesus want you to change the world, practically?