When the invitation to join the launch team for Raising World Changers in a Changing World by Kristen Welch posted to Facebook, it was a no brainer for me. I signed up without even knowing what it meant to be on a launch team! I’m a first timer, and hers is the first book I’ve reviewed on my blog. But I knew I wanted to do whatever it takes to help her message reach as many readers as possible. I believe in her, but even more so, I believe in her message. It is one she has lived, is living and it is life-changing because she lives surrendered to the greatest Life Changer of all: Jesus Christ.
When I first learned about Mercy House Global, the ministry Kristen founded after God first broke her heart in the slums of Kenya, I read her book Rhinestone Jesus: Saying Yes to God When Sparkly, Safe Faith Is No Longer Enough. (A definite must read! I give it often as a gift, and it has impacted every reader.) Her “Yes!” to God has influenced my “Yes!” to God in ways she’ll never know. Since then, I’ve gotten to know her and her ministry through shopping at Mercy House Global Market in Magnolia, volunteering, attending her annual Gala at the Barn and other special events (like the upcoming Spring Tea and Fair Trade Fashion Show May 12…eeek!!!) and helping to spread the word about the world-changing work God is doing through Mercy House Global.
That’s what made applying for her launch team a no brainer for me!
When I first said yes, though, I questioned myself.
Wouldn’t someone else be a better fit?
After all, I’m almost done!
My kids are 29, 24 and married, 20 and 16, so why read another parenting book (as if our job of parenting is ever over, especially when one is still 16)? Almost immediately, though, God used Kristen’s life and message to parent MY heart, which must be parented first before I can parent my children’s hearts.
The power behind Kristen’s words is the way she and her family live their life, which comes to life in the pages of her book. Her message is challenging and shared with honesty and brokenness. She’s not “supposing” the truths she shares from scripture; she’s living them, and her testimony and the gospel are conveyed in word and power.
She is and talks about “brokenhearted kingdom hunters” who “met Jesus face-to-face in the middle of their giving, and it made them want to give their lives away too.” You know what? I want to be a “brokenhearted kingdom hunter”! I believe God is in the process of chipping away at apathy and distraction and idols in my life that serve to harden the heart of flesh He gave me when He saved me. I believe He is transforming me into a “brokenhearted kingdom hunter,” and I am so thankful for the Kristens who have gone before me throughout generations to model and mentor me in what that looks like. It may not look like her story, but I and you and our children can be world changers! Every single one of us, and in every case, it’s going to look like obedience to whatever God puts before us. Our obedience to walk in Jesus’ ways will change the world.
I will say, Raising World Changers in a Changing World is rather convicting. I found it impossible to read without examining my own heart, priorities and beliefs. In my experience, though, nothing lasting or worthwhile has ever come from just being inspired, because once the inspiration wanes, so does the change hinged on it. For me, lasting change only comes from conviction.
If I had to pinpoint one truth Kristen stresses that pierced my heart the deepest, it is this:
I was created for more than surviving, getting by, or moving to the next phase in life…We were created to give our lives away.
And as Kristen says,
Jesus is the greatest giver of all.
The Lord wants to stir our hearts to be more like Christ. If I could sum up the message I took from Kristen’s book, it is this: Jesus is the most generous giver and world changer; in Him, we are to be generous givers and world changers, too!
Here are some of my favorite quotes:
We have a choice: we can let the world change us, or we can change the world.
Small acts of kindness and compassion do change the world. Mostly, however, they change us.
Our abundance isn’t for us to keep. It is given to us to be given away.
Giving doesn’t make us poor, but it does cost us.
Perhaps the most powerful lesson we teach our children is that their unique places and positions in life are not for their convenience; they are for God’s glory.
To that last one I would add: And so are ours.
If you are looking for a way to parent with conviction, connection and practical application in order to affect heartsets and mindsets for generosity and gospel living, this is a great book to read, discuss, implement and keep close at hand. Each chapter ends with “World-Changing Conversations with Your Kids” and “Practice Generosity” activities to help put what you’ve read immediately into practice, which is right up my alley!
What good is knowledge if it doesn’t change us? As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 8:1, “We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.”
That word edify? It means “to be a house builder.”[i] Not in the sense that James and I are, but are we building our lives as houses on Jesus Christ as our foundation, generously emptying ourselves that we might be filled? Are we hearing His sayings as we read scripture or as others share them with us as Kristen does in her book and doing them?
This is what Jesus says:
Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall (Matthew 7:24-27).
Provers 24:3-4 says, “Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”
I want to build my house on the Rock, laying down my life so that other houses might be built on the Rock too! I want rooms filled with precious and pleasant kingdom riches, not the kind that rots.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19-21).
Kristen’s book inspires, instructs and convicts us so that we can do just this. It is available tomorrow! I highly recommend it for anyone at any age, because even if you’re not in the stage of parenting at home, God may just use it to parent your heart to be a world changer, like He did mine. Buy a few copies, because chances are good you’ll want to give them away!
[i] “G3618 – oikodomeō – Strong’s Greek Lexicon (NKJV).” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 30 Apr, 2018. <https://www.blueletterbible.org//lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3618&t=NKJV>.