For the past decade or so, it has become clear that our planet is shrinking. Not that it’s going on some sort of cosmic diet, so that the circumference of the equator is not as far around. The planet is shrinking in that distances and connections (both perceived and actual) between people in various parts of the globe have increasingly shortened.
Thomas Friedman got at this idea in his best-selling book The World is Flat. He argues that the rise of technology (especially the Internet), multi-national corporations, inter-dependent national economies and even aspects of culture like music, movies and clothing have drawn the world much closer together. There’s just not as much difference between a person in Stockholm and San Diego, in London or Little Rock, in Mombasa and Milwaukee as there used to be. Add to that the ease of travel and the vast numbers of people from other nations moving to the US, and you suddenly realize that the world is not so much “out there” and it is “right here.”
We are not unaffected by that in Lexington. As a city with a major university brimming with students from other nations, and near a significant outpost of a major international corporation like Toyota, we see the impact of globalization every day. It’s part of the fabric of our life.
There are enormous challenges and opportunities to living in a time like ours—and not just for venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and students. What does all of this have to do Christ-followers? How does a Christian disciple look at it?
The rise of a so-called global community has huge implications for the idea of missions—of bringing more and more people to “know and treasure Jesus above all things.” Every day, we deal with ideas, people, cultures and more from all sorts of global perspectives. Unlike any Christians in the past 2000+ years, we regularly deal with people from the ends of the earth.
So, look at a shrinking world. Now, listen to Jesus: “Go and make disciples of all nations….repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in Christ’s name to all nations…. you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and in Samaria and to the end of the earth.” (Matt.28:19, Lk. 24:47, Acts 1:8) Do you see the glorious opportunity the Lord has given us to bring a world to a relationship with Jesus that will change their lives now and forever?!
At this time of year, many churches focus on our call and opportunity to change the world by sharing Jesus with all peoples. One idea is “Going Glocal” ( and no, that’s not a misprint.) We are all missionaries – in both a global and local sense. To the nations and right here in Lexington. Therefore, we are on a glocal mission!
We focus on aspects of our calling—praying (for the mission and with missionaries), giving (to our Glocal Impact Missions offering), growing (in our understanding and awareness) and going (becoming personally, actively involved in missions).
Yes, the world is getting smaller. In God’s sovereign wisdom, all that does is bring the people of the world closer to us so we can love them, serve them, tell them about a Jesus Who loves them enough to cross the chasm between heaven and earth to die and being them life. What a joy!