To Change the World - - We Don't Need John Wayne

Cultural change is not initiated by "Lone Rangers." Rather, networks of leaders must band together. For Pinnacle Forum, this means it is especially critical that we make forum meetings a priority. Prepare for your small groups. Pray. Be there.

In his important book, To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World, James Davison Hunter argues that we have been too individualistic in our understanding of how cultural change is led. Hunter insists that it is not so much heroes who change culture, but rather networks of heroes. He wrote that we need:

Overlapping networks of leaders and overlapping resources, all operating in the center or peak institutions--in common purpose. These are the practical dynamics of world changing. These are the conditions under which ideas finally have consequences.

Baby Boomers must acknowledge that Hunter's emphasis on networks runs counter to the rugged individualism we were immersed in growing up. Whether it was Matt Dillon keeping Dodge City clean, Marcus Welby solving a medical problem, or John Wayne calling someone "pilgrim," the entertainment industry set forth a vision of lone heroes. Local church pastors have often done the same thing -- representing the senior pastor as an ecclesiastical John Wayne. . .

But that's not how life works. The Lord Jesus Christ began with twelve disciples. And remember how he chose them:

In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot,  and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. (Luke 6:12-16 ESV)

Only God changes the world. And he doesn't use "lone rangers" - - but rather networks of people who are praying and working together.

When was the last time you, and a few others, got down on your knees and prayed that God would raise up a network of leaders who would band together?

Posted on September 21, 2014 .