April 1, 2009

Called to a Global Context

By Elijah M. Brown

On March 13th an important – though mostly unannounced – milestone was reached: the 20th Anniversary of the proposal of the World Wide Web. As a recent Economist article notes, Tim Berners-Lee first proposed the World Wide Web in a document that went by the rather unassuming title, “Information Management: A Proposal.” The original idea was to use the web to link together documents and understanding related to particle physics from around the world into a connected platform for collaboration. Two decades later the web has moved far beyond science and has radically transformed life and society as we know it.

Even with the web, however, our natural tendency is not to think globally, but to think locally and personally. What is going on in my community? How does this affect me or my ministry? What about my church, my calling, my setting?

What if we began to think globally? What if we changed the equation from how can my ministry grow to how can my ministry, in its current form, partner with others to transform the world for Christ?

Such a mindset raises a new set of questions:

  • What area(s) of the world is the Lord calling me to intentionally adopt as a focus for pursuing transformation?
  • Who is already at work in that area or among that subgroup? How can I listen and learn from those already engaged?
  • Who are my potential partners and how can I deepen my relationship with them?

On this 20th Anniversary of the World Wide Web what strikes me is that the proposal stemmed from one individual. One individual who understood the power of collaborative thinking and global connectivity. In the economy of the Kingdom, size and amount of resources are not the chief ingredients. It is yielding to the Spirit – not size – that matters most.

The question is not, “Does my ministry have a global calling to reach new areas for Christ?” Rather, the question is, “Where, Lord?”

The World Wide Web started with one individual. Now just imagine how God could use you. Be encouraged. And let us together answer the question:

“How can we begin to think and minister globally?”

(Twenty Years of the World Wide Web. What’s the Score? http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13277389&CFID=48160950&CFTOKEN=14777343)

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