The Salt Series Finale
WARNING: What you are about to read is guaranteed to inspire you. It may be long but I encourage you to read it all. It challenges me every time I read it!
It’s an excerpt from my latest column article published in MINE Magazine, a youth-led publication and ministry committed to raising the next generation of leaders.
If you are in a reading mood, also visit my blog for previous editions of The Salt Series.
The Salt Series Finale – Inspiring Stories of Real People Creating Real Change in a Real World
This edition of The Salt Series will conclude the series. I hope it’s been a blessing to you as much as it’s been to me. I must take a minute to thank everyone who has written, texted and sent me messages on Facebook to share stories of the impact the series has had on them personally, friends, churches and social initiatives. It has indeed been a massive privilege for me to read from and pray with you as I have. God bless you.
And Father we welcome you to conclude what You started. Again I look to You for grace and mercy as I pray that you write through me; a pen in the hands of a ready writer is all I ask to be. Nothing more. Do a deep work in the hearts of every reader as we explore the inspiring stories of real people making real changes in their local communities; living the God-intended life as the salt of the earth. And my desire is that You will inspire a new dream in my readers’ hearts so that they get up and create the change they want to see… the very reason and purpose you created them. Lord, I want to see and read of new projects kicked off and led by churches and individuals across Africa, Europe and America to show that we are being relevant in our societies and impacting real people with genuine solutions to their problems. This is my prayer O Lord and I know this is not too much to ask… and through Christ Jesus I believe you will do this. Amen.
That was just my opening prayer (in case you are wondering)… and that’s the way I want to welcome you to the last edition of the Salt Series. What I want to do here is simple; no theological jargons, no over-spiritual babbling. I promise. I will share with you true stories of real people (young Christians like yourself) who heard the key messages of the Salt Series and how, with some support, they have been inspired to change their world and local communities. And they are still doing so today.
Note: these are not some 40-50 year olds… rather these are folks in their early and mid twenties making significant impact.
One theme has remained consistent throughout this series; start something, make your life count. Don’t sit and wait for a solution from heaven – you are the solution that God has placed on earth. So don’t waste your life.
Let me share with you some success stories of youngsters who are not wasting their lives and how they are practically living the God-intended life as salt in the earth. In the last few days of 2010 and the wake of 2011, I hosted The Life Course; a group-based discussion initiative aimed at exploring the issues that affect us all in our communities (crime, stress, political instability, corruption, religion and more personal issues like depression, rape, etc) and how, as Christians, we can become change agents that will solve those problems.
At the end of the two-day intense, open and candid debate attended by 20 people, half the group made a commitment to be solutions rather that ‘talk’ of solutions in their lives and communities. Read some of their stories… (among many)
JIDE is a youth leader based in Liverpool with a clear passion for young people. Today, he leads a group of 15 youth leaders responsible for over 60 young people. In January of 2011, he shared with me his desire to speak at schools and inspire schoolchildren. He didn’t sit and wait for the opportunity to come, he sought for it, he created the opportunity and made it happen. In February 2011, he was asked to become a school speaker. In March 2011, he delivered his first school speech to over 400 schoolchildren in two sessions.
YINKA holds no official title. She works at a local council office. But that’s what I love most; ordinary people changing their world. In Dec 2010, she shared with me her vision to kick start multiple projects: a community garden initiative in Liverpool (GROW Liverpool) and The Big Lunch. Both projects have one purpose: an opportunity for individual Christians and the church to reach its own community. This September, Yinka and a small team from her church successfully organised The Big Lunch which saw the church reach out to over 400 local people in one evening through food, games, social activities, business opportunities and of course the gospel. The event made media coverage and feedback from the community was so encouraging.
Her GROW Liverpool project is now sponsored by O2, one of the biggest telecommunication companies in Europe and recently her team have secured key partnerships with local councils and charities in the city to make this project happen. And she is not stopping there. Today, she is a committee member of the annual International Conference of Nigerian Students (ICONS) in the UK and in October 2011 became a Facilitator of The Life Course, to which she credits her inspiration.
SARAH is in law school and made a commitment to support disadvantaged children in the local community where her church is based. Today, she has kicked off a youth development initiative, working closely with children excluded from schools in one of the poorest communities in Liverpool.
WANI is geared up to work with university freshers in her city and forging close partnership with Christian cell groups too. She is also receiving training to become a facilitator of The Life Course in the Liverpool and Manchester regions.
The list is endless. Through The Life Course, we have inspired over 80 people in 6 cities across 2 continents: Lagos, London, Liverpool, Manchester and Abuja, with more planned in Durban (SA), Birmingham (UK), Nottingham (UK), Germany and in the cities we have already been to. We have delivered key projects that demonstrate being a salt is a call on us by God to be practical and real as Christians.
So what will you do? That’s what God is asking you. That’s what I am also asking you? Having read these stories, what will you do in your community, church, school, work, etc to become the salt of the earth in which you live in? How will you maximise your network of skills, resources and manpower to kick start something that will outlive you. The whole world is waiting for you, not your pastor. The whole world is waiting for you, not your General Overseer. The whole world is waiting for you, not your twin (Romans 8:19).
Will you answer the call? Will you respond in a way that will ensures you do not waste your life? Or will you just be inspired by this series and do NOTHING? On your behalf I say ‘God forbid!”
As a church, I am asking you; what will you do for your local community to demonstrate your faith is relevant to them? They already know you preach bible, so no further bashing in that respect. Your community wants to see you feed the poor, provide a platform to support basic education, clean water, and create job opportunities for the younger generation. That’s how we make our faith relevant in addition to teaching and preaching the gospel. That’s how we demonstrate that we have fulfilled the law of Christ, in addition to preparing men for heaven. Our churches have a wealth of network power; people with resources that can be harnessed to create a strong platform for ‘doing good’. So let’s do it.
You may be asking… “So where do I start from?” That’s the easy part; start where you are. Nothing is too small. Write me, email me, send me a message on Facebook, share your initial thoughts and we can support you to shape that idea into solid building blocks that you can work with. Share your ideas on The MINE Magazine Page on Facebook and others will join in to express how they can support you. As a member of The World Changers Foundation UK, I have the privilege of knowing some amazing people in this life and we use our network to support ourselves and others to become everything God has made them to be. I’d love to read from and support you on this journey. But you must be passionate about the change you want to create.
So remember the key lessons of this series:
1. Salt has purpose – discover it.
2. Salt has influence – don’t waste it.
3. Salt has relevance – show it.
4. Salt has a mission – just do it.
Be a salt.