You and I don’t need a position or an official responsibility to change the world. We don’t need someone else to offer us to a reason to make a difference. In a world where official recognition, credentials and positions of authority we often co-opt our “difference-making” ability to the need for a position that gives us the right to actually do something.But the reality is that there are NO positions on God’s mission to change the world.
It’s not that all of the positions are filled. There are no openings for you and me because there are no openings to begin with. Contrary to the modern phenomenon where we often elevate certain Christian leader to the status of the fourth member of the Trinity because we assume that people of status and position make the real differences, I’d like to propose that real difference flows our of what we do outside of the public eye. God’s mission is one of self-sacrificial love, one that leads us to pick up a cross (See Luke 9:23). There’s not much glory in that. And we don’t need a position for it either.
Let me illustrate from the historical research of Rodney Stark found in his book The Rise of Christianity. There he tells us about one of the reasons the early church grew so fast, one related to an issue that no one seems to highlight that much. History tells us that the Roman Empire was hit by widespread disease multiple times, wiping out thousands of citizens. Secular historians tell us about how the Christians of the day responded to the decimating plagues. Roman citizens who had the means would flee the towns and cities hit with the disease. Those without financial means would quarantine themselves off from their family members who were infected, waiting for them to die. But records tell us that Christians would care for those who were ill, even non-believers abandoned to die. Medical historians tell us that survival was higher for those given care and nourishment. Many of those left to suffer and die became believers because of Christians who cared for them while putting their own lives at risk. Simply because care was given, the church grew.
No positions were needed to for these Christians to give up their lives for the sake of people suffering from the plague. They just offered love because they had been offered the same kind of love.
No positions are needed. No positions are even available. But all can participate.