Most of us want to be used by God to bring change in our community, our country, and our world. What does it take to make that a reality? Where do we start?
All impact starts with observation and the realization of a need for change. So, step one is to keep your eyes open to your community’s current situation. What needs are there that are not being met?
Now ask yourself, “what changes are needed to meet the felt need?” Possibly several things need to change, and it is almost certain that some of the changes necessary will be out of your control. Do not get discouraged. Lasting change comes about in community.
Begin to formulate a plan. What steps are needed? The best way to create a plan is to begin with the action that comes to your mind first and then ask, “what needs to happen to be able to take that step?” Continue to work backward until you come to something that does not have a prerequisite. That is your first project. Now work forward from your original thought as far as you can see into the future. All plans are fluid until actual steps are taken, so do not worry about having to change your original ideas as you move forward.
What resources will be needed? This is counting the cost. Some changes cost nothing but time and action, while others will require way more than you can imagine. Once again, do not be frozen by the size of the task. No change comes about through inaction.
Build a team. This is where you share your vision with others. Some teams are there only for support and accountability because the change needed depends solely on you. For modifications that go beyond what you can accomplish on your own, your team will include active players in addition to support. The primary need in this step is your passion for the project. If you are not all in, your team will not form.
You have done a great job so far, but now comes the hard part. You must take a step. Every fantastic vision eventually boils down to work. Here is where your passion for impacting yourself or your community becomes active. I want to tell you that I have this wired, but I do not. Many excellent ideas have not gone beyond bouncing around in my head or being batted around in conversations with friends.
I want to say that all it takes to see change happen is taking that first step. But you know that is not true. You will have to push yourself to start and complete each phase along the way. Perseverance pays. Success breeds motivation to move forward, and that is true. But failure is often seen as a precursor of doom. Do not fall into that trap. When you fail – and you will – learn from it, make the necessary changes to your plan, and move forward. I call this resilience, and it is essential for every person of impact.
Finally, you must finish well. The world is littered with unfinished projects. Allow your team to encourage you and hold you to the task. Do not give up. Push through to the end!
Congratulations! You have done it.
Now, what’s next?