I have been challenging myself to become a World Class Christian.
What is a world class Christian?
“World-class Christians know they were saved to serve and made for a mission. World-class Christians are the only fully alive people on the planet. Their joy, confidence, and enthusiasm are contagious because they know they’re making a difference.” – Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life
So, how do we become a World Class Christian?
Rick Warren suggests we need to:
- Shift from self-centered thinking to other-centered thinking
- Shift from local thinking to global thinking
- Shift from “here and now” thinking to eternal thinking
- Shift from thinking of excuses to thinking of creative ways to fulfill your commission
As a mother of four, I almost always instinctively think of others before myself. However, I am definitely more local thinking than global thinking. I have a tendency to focus on the immediate people around me: my family, my friends, people in my immediate community, and myself.
Although I have become more focused on trying to store up treasures in heaven, I make excuses that prevent me from becoming all God desires.
A Step Towards Becoming a World Class Christian
This summer, I went on a 9-day mission trip with three of my sons and 45 other people from Grace Community Church to a small community in the Dominican Republic. It was my first mission trip, and was spurred by reading the chapter “Becoming A World Class Christian” in The Purpose Driven Life.
“I urge you to save and do whatever it takes to participate in a short-term mission trip overseas as soon as possible. It will enlarge your heart, expand your vision, stretch your faith, deepen your compassion, and fill you with a kind of joy you have never experienced. It could be the turning point in your life.” – Rick Warren
Why had I never gone on a mission trip until now? Perhaps I was held back by the fear of traveling to a third world country; perhaps I didn’t think I was capable of doing construction work; perhaps I didn’t think I had anything of value to offer.
All these fears and misbeliefs turned out to be wrong.
I am physically and mentally stronger than I ever believed. When we first arrived at the worksite, the project appeared daunting. We were to carry heavy cement blocks and buckets of wet cement, and literally build a community center, cement block by cement block.
What I didn’t expect was that women and children in the community would jump in to help mix cement, and carry cement blocks and buckets of cement, alongside our mission team of 49 people.
I was so blessed to have been able to serve in this El Batey community along with three of my sons.
Our team of 49 helped build a community center for adult training sessions, dig a trench for a baseball field backstop, build a lunchroom for the local school, dig a septic hole for the community church bathrooms, and play with local children during Vacation Bible Study. We laid the foundation for these projects and were able to make a valuable contribution for this community.
Although I treaded carefully over the heavily damaged bridge to El Batey on our first day, I can proudly report that I walked back over it without any fear on the day we left the community.
I am still digesting everything I experienced on this mission trip abroad. But, I can say that I left El Batey with both joy and sadness. Joy to have experienced first hand what community really means – where people literally jump in to build their community, and raise each other’s children. It puts a whole new meaning to “it takes a village to raise a child.” Sadness that I have rarely seen or experienced this sense of community here in the U.S.
Becoming a World Class Christian is a life-long journey. It requires stepping out of our comfort zone, which might mean traveling to places we’ve never been, helping people who speak a different language, and doing work we don’t think we’re capable of.
I leave you with two more quotes from Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life:
“God doesn’t want to use just some of his people; he wants to use all of his people.”
“If you want to be like Jesus, you must have a heart for the whole world.”
For more information on this mission trip and others, check out Foundation for Peace‘s website.