Matt Moore (a former homosexual saved from a life of "reckless drunkenness and wild promiscuity") offers some valuable wisdom here, that was obviously earned at the school of hard knocks. The church would do well to heed his advice entitled 'God May Not Want You To Be A “World-Changer” '...
I was just barely removed from a life drenched in substance abuse and all other kinds of depravities when scores of well-meaning Christians began to inform me that I was “destined for greatness.” I was bombarded left and right with predictions about all the big and marvelous ways in which God was going to use me. They said a guy with my kind of testimony and gifts was sure to follow in the footsteps of spiritual giants like C.S. Lewis. And it wasn’t just me who was receiving these supposed words from the Lord. I was submerged in a Christian culture where anybody with a scandalous story and decent communication skills was labeled a future “world-changer.”
Though it was masked by spiritual language, self-promotional ideology was abundantly present in the Christian circles I ran in. There was more talk about networking and platform-enlarging strategies than there was about Jesus and his gospel.
... I saw ungodly young men thrown into leadership positions for no other reason except they were gifted guys with attractive personalities. Again, no one would admit that—but it was blatantly obvious. Christlike character and theological soundness weren’t nearly as important as being articulate and charismatic. Though I had only been born again for like five minutes, multiple people approached me about becoming a “leader” in their ministries. I was young, semi-articulate, and had a crazy cool story that would get people’s attention—so of course I was qualified (sarcasm)!
I so wish I could travel back in time and tell all the people who espoused this “world-changer” verbiage to zip it! I understand and appreciate the fact that most of them were likely trying to encourage me and rev up my excitement about following Jesus. But all they really did was 1) appeal to my carnal, self-exalting tendencies, and 2) set me up with unbiblical expectations about what it looks like to be mightily used by God.
... God may not want you serving him in the spotlight, but he definitely wants you doing glorious gospel work in your local church, neighborhood, and living room. In the economy of God, being used in “big” or “amazing” ways isn’t measured by how many Twitter followers you have or how many people show up to your bible study. Christians do big and amazing things when they 1) simply do what God has called them to do—even if it seems mundane, and 2) stick to the true substance of Christian ministry: Jesus and his gospel. You may not impact the world for Jesus, but you will certainly be used by God to impact your little world for Jesus. And that has more weight and glory than your mind has the capability to fathom.
Oh, how I wish I had been beaten over the head with this kind of truth in my spiritual infancy! I might have avoided a lot of frustration, distraction, and even discipline from the Lord!
... my less-than-godly motives eclipsed my pure motives. I wanted Matt Moore and his writing to be known by the masses more than I wanted Jesus Christ and his gospel to be known by the masses.
Thankfully, God stepped in with fierce grace and, through a series of painfully humbling events, shattered my self-promotional perspective of Christian ministry and my ministry-infatuated perspective of the Christian life.
... He taught me that the legitimacy of my personal ministry isn’t measured by how wide my influence is but by how faithful I am to love others well by ministering content that is drenched with the grace and truth of the gospel.
Amen. Thank you, Matt for your honesty. More than a few Christians have tragically fallen for the seduction offered Jesus in the wilderness during the temptation.