When I was in journalism school, one of the first writing assignments we had was to write our own obituary. Yes, it’s morbid and more than a little weird, but we had to do it. I wrote something I barely remember about wanting to be a magazine editor, wanting to touch peoples’ lives, and my desire to be a wife and mother.
I think what I was trying to say—and probably failed at miserably—was that I wanted my life to matter. I wanted something about how I lived my life to leave the world different, changed—even if I just left one person different or changed.
Almost a year ago, a valued member of the ec team left her job with us to go to law school so that she could fight human trafficking in the world. It was clear that she was following God down this path, and her passion for her work was almost tangible. In the months that followed, I began to question why I do what I do. I asked myself why I came to work in the mornings and what fueled my desire to be a magazine editor. I wondered if God had other plans for me and if anything I did as editor of ec actually made a difference.
The answer didn’t come in an instant or all at once. Through conversations, prayer, massive changes at work, and even Facebook messages from readers, God reminded me of one simple truth over and over: that by serving as editor of essential connection and presenting His Truth month after month, I have an opportunity to change the world—even if it’s just one person. If anything can change the world, it’s a relationship with Jesus.
The point in all my rambling is that changing the world isn’t always a big, splashy, attention-getting decision. Sometimes, it’s a conversation or reaching out to people in your community. It might mean giving away some of your money, sponsoring a child, sharing the gospel, or spending time with international students. It may lead you down the street or on a mission trip halfway around the world. But the truth is that you—when you’re following where Christ leads—can change the world.
That’s the point of the “Change the World” issue of ec. There is a big world out there, full of people who need to know that Jesus, who need freedom from poverty and addiction, who are hungry, ignored, and overlooked. In this issue of ec, we want to make you aware of those needs. It’s why we included stories like Nikki Boyd’s article, “Holding the Ropes” (p. 26) about praying for missionaries, Will Snipes’ story on how you can change the world (p. 34), and Amy Pierson’s challenge to be the person who doesn’t just talk about changing the world, but actually takes action (p. 36). You may think you don’t have much power or resources to make a difference in the world, but “Change the World with $20” by Adam Richards and Leslie Hudson’s article on page 30 tell a different story. Whether God is calling you on an international mission trip or to reach out to the kid at school whom everyone ignores, you can change the world.
Even if it’s just one person at a time.