I hope that my previous post, Discipling Individuals or Nations?, will serve to help relieve Christians and missionaries of the burden that they may feel to have to disciple a whole nation as a result of misunderstanding the Great Commission.
Having said that, I do believe that, at times, room is given to certain individuals or groups to help disciple and transform a whole nation/ethnic tribe in one or more areas of society. Some Christians that are in key positions such as education, media, and politics may get to appreciably change a significant aspect of their society. Others may be placed where they can influence important role players in their society who in turn can bring about change.
Okay, so what about the regular Christian? Can he or she affect a nation? In considering this, let’s not underestimate the Lord’s ability to multiply even the little influence that most of us have. Like the boy’s few loaves and fish in Jesus’ hands could feed a multitude, something we say can be used by God to reach the right ears and bring significant change in society.
Some of Jesus’ exchanges with individuals, like Nicodemus or the Samaritan woman, had more impact both then and in the long term than when He spoke to certain crowds. So, remember, whether it’s child-rearing or speaking to thousands, both have the potential to affect big change. We need only be obedient where God has placed us or sends us. Never despise what appears to be “small” work.
Individually, we may not significantly change a whole nation, but changing one person’s view, does change the nation, even if it’s only by that one. Also, remember that we are often one of many speaking the same thing. And, if each of us influences those that we are meant to, then, eventually, a nation can be changed.
Finally, this quote by Martin Luther King Jnr. is worth considering: “The church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores (customs and conventions) of society.”
Jim Wright, in his post, The Cultural Implications of the Great Commission, adds much more to my previous post concerning the impact that Christians should be having on all spheres of society.
Also, let me recommend Landa Cope’s online book, The Old Testament Template where she clearly shows that the Bible has principles for all spheres of society and nation building.