Where do significant, world-changing ideas come from? Generally, you’ll find that most of the ideas you’ve been influenced by did not find their source in organizations or books. Rather they have been passed on from generation to generation through people.
As a sophomore in college at TCU, I was first exposed to an idea that has changed my life and has become my true north. I was part of a group of friends who were together learning about the life and purposes of Jesus. The older students in that group, Ken, Craig, Scott, Susan, and Mer (to name a few), were committed to helping others grow in their knowledge of Jesus and they passed that vision on to some of us youngsters. We read books on the topic, watched these older friends model it, and listened to a recording of a man named Dawson Trotman. The message’s title was Born to Reproduce. They were enthralled with an idea: God’s idea of loving the world through people who will help others experience God’s goodness by loving them to the point where those men or women will help others … and on and on.
From a certain perspective, we can see this same theme in the life of Jesus Himself. He spent the most significant days of His adult life relating to a small group of men and women. He befriended them, taught, mentored, and sacrificially demonstrated to them a life of love and service. (I elaborate on these ideas in my new book, Making Waves: Being an Influence for Jesus in Everyday Life.)
As you think of all the ideas that float past us through media and the internet, which seem most worthy of your commitment? Which are exciting and alluring, but probably short lived? What ideas grip your life?