rebelling against low expectations

How do we change the world when the world doesn’t want to change?


RACHEL WRITES: Okay, here is why I asked that question. My church started a “Big Hard Thing.” We planted a church in the middle of a bad part of town. I was really excited about this, but… (Ha. You knew that was coming.) There are so many people I’ve met who don’t want to change.

We have tried so hard, but something we keep coming across is that people don’t want change โ€” even though they really need it. (like. a lot.) It’s one of those things that I feel strongly about but it’s like I’m talking to an empty canyon. Everything I say comes back to me.

Have you ever experienced this? And even if not, what would you suggest to someone who is trying to change the world, but is finding that the people they are trying to help don’t want to change?

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are submitted by real rebelutionaries who are looking for godly answers to tough questions and lively conversation with other young adults. You can join the conversation by commenting below. If you'd like to submit your own discussion question, email us at [email protected].


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  • Hello everyone, this is a new idea that I discussed with Nick and Rachel. We’d like to provide a place for you to converse together. If you like the idea help make it a success by sharing your thoughts on Rachel’s question and submitting your own questions and topics using our Submit Content Page. Thanks guys!

    • Hey!! you added it already! and there I am talking on a different conversation about whats going to get set up on this ๐Ÿ˜€ Thx a ton Brett and Alex for adding this. Real great way to get to know other people your age. Is there going to be a link at the top of the page, you know, something like “commonly asked questions” or something like that. I’m not trying to take over or anything ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m just really excited to get really into this blog and the articles published as well as the conversations carried out.

      • Just wondering, when i share something, why does it always wind up at the top of the screen……..Everybody else’s is at the bottom. I’m confused….

          • Great. =)

            Also, you should definitely submit a question or topic for this section. We’re just giving this a try right now, but it would be great to have more than one discussion going.

            It wouldn’t have to be something dreadfully serious. It could just be, “What fiction books do you recommend?” or “What is your favorite subject in school?” or anything.

          • Ah I see lol, well, like I said aboce, I would prefer not to be asked for ideas. I’m only 12 and got on the blog today. However, i would like to become more active on it. After a while, if you still want, i could brainstorm some ideas for the questions section. ๐Ÿ˜€

          • There. I just submitted a question. It’s not dreadfully serious. I think I rambled a bit though. I need to get better at composing…and public speaking.

          • I’m done making you guys call me programguy. You can call me Sam. Or whatever.

            Hi Brett! My question was about why so many Rebelutionaries at homeschooled. It’s an interesting question, but I did a pretty poor job writing it. I don’t know if it’s worth doing.
            I have a better question that I would really like some help on. You can find it here:

            By the way, I just started rereading Do Hard Things. I read it just less than two years ago. This time it’s really interesting (not that it wasn’t before) because I know the message of the book and I’m looking at all the thinks I still don’t expect from myself. It’s a little scary. Looks like I need to get serious about raising my expectations.
            Thanks Brett.

          • Yay! You do have a name! (I was worried that your parents had named that….) (not really.)

            Thus, I will say this, “Welcome to the Rebelution Sam!” warning: when changing from one name to another there is that moment when your like, “How do all these people know my name?”

            Trust me. Your talking to someone who used to go by awesome sauce.

          • Yeah Awesome Sauce, I wondered if you had a name. You actually kind of inspired me to use mine. I didn’t totally ditch the programguy thing just yet because I wanted people to recognize me. The candy corn pic should help a bit though. Just in case you wondered, my local friends don’t normally call me programguy ๐Ÿ™‚

            And you’re right, it is a little weird to see one’s name suddenly all over the comment section!

          • lol. Yeah, i was awesome sauce for a little (and it was a little cool to see people call you “awesome” all the time. it really boosts your self esteem…”) I think that you are the only one with a candy corn pic…. It makes me smile every time i see it!

          • I can’t quite figure out what it is about me and candy corn. All of the sudden I started raving about the color orange, and I somewhat pretended to be obsessed with candy corn. I like candy corn, but I really isn’t all that exceptional. It does, however, make for a unique profile pic. Lol, now you know my life’s story.

          • I just submitted like 30 questions. Hopefully a few of them get through. ๐Ÿ™‚ lol

            Would you mind praying for me and my friend, Sabrina, real quick? I just would like to know God’s plan for me and her and how I should go about the current situation. I want to be wise with what I say and do and yet, not be paranoid. I want to be kind, but not inappropriate. I want to be encouraging, but not pushy. And most of all, I want to reflect Christ, both in easy and hard times. Thanks, Rachel and God bless!
            – Trent

          • I do hope to see some questions from you ๐Ÿ™‚
            I will pray for you and Sabrina.

          • Thanks man. It’s very much appreciated.

            BTW, congrats on the 100 comments mark! I didn’t have time to enjoy it because Liam, Rachel and I were debating The Rejected when it happened. Before I started, I had like 40 comments. When the debate was over, I had like 120! I am glad you do comment on the Rebelution. The Candy Corn dude is always fun to talk to.
            God bless,
            – Trent Blake

          • Hey Trent!
            No problem. Prayer is the best.
            Dude woah, just like a few days ago I had like 70 comments. Which weren’t quite all on the Rebelution. I originally started commenting on a tech site. The Rebelution suddenly seems extremely active the past few days. Hmm. Ever since Nick showed up! ๐Ÿ™‚
            I love commenting here. I feel like it is helping me learn how to express myself. I still ramble a lot, but my first comments here probably weren’t quite as good as my recent ones.
            I discovered not to long ago that I like talking to people. I’m glad that there are real people who are Rebelutionaries. I’m glad you comment here. I always like what you have to say. Do you know of any other blogs like the Rebelution? Wait a sec, aren’t you the dude with a blog?

          • Yeah…. There wasn’t really a good place to celebrate when discussing the ever so interesting ins and outs of scientific what not.

            YAY!!! way to go Sam!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • This is so so great! Thank you so much Alex and Brett! I was hoping that there would be something like this. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was noticing how useful it would be when the comment thread on 11 Tips For Christian Dating got quite close to turning into a conversation on salvation and free will, lol. This is just fantastic. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Well, one answer to that question Rachel is, if the world doesn’t want to change, and you want to change it, start with little things. In “Do Hard Things”, (published by Brett and Alex), they did not start out with changing a whole country, or even a state, or so much as their county. they simply started a blog and went on from there. im sure that many of the teens on here never expected that they would wind up talking about Jesus Christ on the internet to complete strangers, and maybe they “didn’t want to change” from their every day life. Now look at what the Harrises have accomplished!!! they have their own blog, are leaders of many organizations on rebelling aganst low expectations, and have even published two different books on how they do it and what they started with. If you want to change the world, and it doesn’t want to change, try starting with little things. It can make a big difference. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thx for reading this long post

    • This is a great post, Nick. I definitely agree. Most world-changers didn’t set out to change the world. Maybe they set out to make a small change in their family, school, church, or community โ€” and it grew into something a lot bigger. Often it starts with just striving to change yourself and realizing that a lot of other people want to grow and change in the same way. When God works in your life it gives you something to share with others โ€” and sometimes that can set off a chain reaction.

      • like you did. you started the largest blog on the web for christian teens! im guessing you didn’t plan to do anything that major when you first started out

  • I’ve thought of a topic! What if we did what kinds of christian worship music we liked. Or what our favorite songs were. I know min is “Trading my sorrows”. Guys and gals alike could all share their favorite songs or hymns. Please share your thoughts, Brett, on whether you think that would be a “dreadfully serious” enough topic ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • You do? I didn’t know if it would be a good idea or not…I’m glad you lke it. But…I was just editing my post. I would prefer not to be asked yet or for that to be a published question. I literally only got on this blog today!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ thx again though

      • Oh, well, brett wanted some ideas for the next question to post. Im new, and didn’t think i could be depended on yet. I still need to learn the style and general talk of this blog before im ready to do much more than comment

        • I think you’d do fine. I am interested in asking a question though; I just need to come up with one. I’ll probably submit one today.

          • Haha yea, i just don’t like being put on the spot, if you know what i mean ๐Ÿ˜‰ I personally have read dozens of your comments on old posts, and think your the guy that should be asking the questions on here

  • Ok, here is why I asked that question. My church started a “Big Hard thing.” We planted a church in the middle of a bad part of town. I was really excited about this, but. (Ha. You knew that was coming.) There are so many people that i’ve met who don’t want to change. We have tried so much, like, a lot and something that we have come across is that people don’t want change, but they really need it. (like. a lot.) It’s one of those things that I feel strongly about but it’s like i’m talking to an empty canyon. Everything i say comes back to me.

    This is so cool Brett and Alex! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Rachel! I just remembered these verses upon reading this comment again today. This is awesome!

      Matthew 16:18 (NLT)
      Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means โ€˜rockโ€™),[f] and upon this rock I will build MY CHURCH, AND ALL THE POWERS OF HELL WILL NOT CONQUER IT. 19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit[i] on earth will be permitted in heaven.โ€

      WOW. That is who we are. That is what your church is in that part of town. You are on the offensive. You are the one that is expanding. The darkness has no choice but to be gone in your light that is shining!

      Ephesians 1(NLT)
      19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of Godโ€™s power for us who believe him. This is the SAME MIGHTY POWER 20 THAT RAISED CHRIST FROM THE DEAD and seated him in the place of honor at Godโ€™s right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is FAR ABOVE any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything elseโ€”not only in this world but also in the world to come. 22 God has put ALL THINGS UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF CHRIST and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. 23 And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.

      ๐Ÿ™‚ I remembered a pastor say, if Christ is the head and we are the body, then whatever is under the head is also under the body.
      And on that word ‘all’ is included every opposition that come our way, on that word ‘all’ is included every chain that is holding the people back (and maybe ourselves as well). He is above all. He has all authority in heaven and on earth. That’s why we can go and make disciples. ๐Ÿ™‚
      My gosh! I am feeling so excited! (And I am getting encouraged myself! It’s true! He who waters others will he himself be refreshed!) You together with His Church all over the world is on this great offensive with Him as our banner, the One who leads us, the One who fights for us, the One who has already won the victory for us. ๐Ÿ˜€
      If God is for you, who can be against you? Be strong and courageous! Every land you step on is yours. (Joshua 1)

      Haha. And since I’ve been listening to Love & The Outcome because of Sarah’s recommendation, the song now playing is just so perfect! “He is With Us.” ๐Ÿ˜€

        • Hihi. Just got back today. I am glad to be able to encourage you. But that’s not me at all. It is His Word. That’s what His Word does, it sets your heart on fire! So as you go on conquering that place, together with a deeper prayer life, get deeper with God’s Word. That will be your sword. ๐Ÿ™‚ Be a sword master! ๐Ÿ™‚

          So no lie of the enemy can get to you. ๐Ÿ˜€ I am excited for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • For a person who don’t want to change, a culture that is so stubborn…maybe what you need to do is battle in prayer (as you work hard as well)…don’t stop asking until you receive, don’t stop knocking until the door is opened…

    Nothing is too hard for God. When it is His Spirit that is at work, you’ll just be surprised of the revival that He brings

    “Fight where the real battle is.”

    Eph 6:10…Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of Godโ€™s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we[d] are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places….

  • We are getting the same thing here actually with our website:
    Initially, we had hoped to inspire more Singaporeans to travel to more offbeat countries, but after a year-ish of lukewarm results, we are now trying to just diminish the negative stereotypes associated with places like Africa and the Middle East.

    Granted, its about travel, but even then, changing stereotypes and perceptions that have been reinforced your entire life (between 15-50 years)… its tough. :/ But I think, it all starts with interest and awareness… like, real-life inception ๐Ÿ˜‰
    That’s what we’re trying to do and we all start somewhere!!

    All I can say is, we gotta keep going, keep pushing!


  • thats a great question. were i work i interact with a lot of people who have severe issues of it seems like all sorts (drugs, drinking abuse, etc) and most do not want to change at all. but in the office you know we have the 10 commandments and some other random stuff, and it seems to me like when you can provide a clear example without stuffing anything down someone’s throat but yet not be ashamed of what you belive, that can be the clearest witness anyone will read. Do good work. and pray really hard, i have seen some really awesome answers to prayers, pray bible verses and pray according to God;s will. be clear with your example, like when i am around many people who talk epicly dirty but yet i dont it can send a message way more loudly than calling them out for what they say… just some thots

  • I’ve found that in that situation the best thing you can do is pray and keep trying. Pray first becuase for any change to come about inside of a person, they have to decide that they are going to change. And I think it’s incredibly important that you can’t trying to reach out to them because if you give up on them, it’s much easier for them to give up on themselves and fall into a state of apathy, or worse yet, contentedness with their current state. So my advice is, pray that God softens their heart so that they are open to the possibility of change, and continue to let God show Himself through you, your work, and your character. And kudos to you and your church that ministry! It’s a great effort. =)

  • What aspect of these people are you trying to change? Are you trying to change their actions, such as drinking, smoking, etc.? Are you trying to change their ideas on an important issue? Are you trying to change the way they talk? Or are you trying to change their hearts?

    • The point Grant brought up is actually a really important one, Rachel. People won’t change until they’re convicted, and they’re hearts start the transformation. Not only that, but we also need to remember that the Holy Spirit is the one that brings the change in an individual’s life, and makes the transformation. We’re here to help as much as we possibly can, and to set an example of reflecting Christ’s character.
      There’s been a lot of talk about prayer in the comments here. I remember when I was searching for God’s direction in my life, and even when I discovered His calling to me and was looking for a definite step to take but couldn’t find one, this was what people would tell me. They’d always tell me to pray. But I was a young(er) ๐Ÿ˜‰ person who wanted to immediately take action and have the results, pronto. It doesn’t always work like that. I don’t know whether you struggle with this at all, Rachel, but patience in prayer is a huge thing. As well as being patient for God’s working in the people you’re trying to reach.
      I would also encourage you by telling you there is definitely a reason God has you and the other members of your church in this area at this particular time. 1 Corinthians 12:18 is a great example of this.

      This may have already been mentioned, but Philippians 4:5-7. Thanks for posting this, and I’m looking forward to more conversations like this.

      • Wow Sadie… that was convicting.
        I *tend* to struggle with patience. I want everything to happen *Now*! And it drives me crazy when it doesn’t happen that way. Thank you so much!

        • I know, I was exactly the same way, and I still struggle with it. You’re so welcome, I’m glad it was something that you could strongly relate to.

      • Patience is indeed a massive part about change. I know this in my own life as well as my good friend’s.

        In my own life, I try to live each day better than the last with specific concerns I pray about. For years, that has been how I interact with people. I used to be very caustic and hurtful, but one day I realized that I actually wanted to “break” my friend. He had said something hurtful to me, and I knew where to hurt him. I nearly went in for the emotional kill, and that desire scared me. It end up being over a year of prayer and conscious decision-making before I stopped being regularly cruel to others in my words. It’s still something I struggle with three years on.

        You also have to be patient with others. I have a friend I’ve known for thirteen years, since we were small fry. As a kid, he was violent and abusive, and sometimes we weren’t allowed to play with him. As time went on, I just kept on being his friend, even when I had to walk away. Later, as young teenagers, we had many conversations about the Gospel, and he did not believe. It was only when he ended up in jail did he come back believing. Even now, a few years on, he’s still made poor decisions (and he knows it), and if you looked at him, you might wonder if he’s changed at all. Knowing him like I do, the change is mind-blowing, but it’s taken a long, long, long time.

        Sadly, we don’t get to see people for that long usually. Even at school or college, it’s just for a few years at best – usually just a semester or two or a single interaction. Change comes through patience, but it comes through more than just patience and prayer. It comes through accepting that you are merely a cog in the great machine that is the Church. The Holy Spirit brings you into contact with people all the time, often for just a bus ride or a quick conversation. Rarely when you share the Gospel will you “win.” You’ll rarely lead someone to Christ. That’s okay. I’ve never led anyone to Christ, but I’ve shared the Gospel many times. They can accept it or reject it, but I trust that the Holy Spirit will bring someone else along who will help seal the deal.

        I barely see change in myself – and I’m saved. How could I expect more from the unsaved?

        • What is your (to Rachel and to everyone else here) picture of “changing the world”?

          What is your picture of revival?

          What do you think of this prophecy?
          Joel 2 (NLT)
          The Lordโ€™s Promise of His Spirit

          28 [e]โ€œThen, after doing all those things,
          I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
          Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
          Your old men will dream dreams,
          and your young men will see visions.
          29 In those days I will pour out my Spirit
          even on servantsโ€”men and women alike.
          30 And I will cause wonders in the heavens and on the earthโ€”
          blood and fire and columns of smoke.
          31 The sun will become dark,
          and the moon will turn blood red
          before that great and terrible[f] day of the Lord arrives.
          32 But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord
          will be saved,
          for some on Mount Zion in Jerusalem will escape,
          just as the Lord has said.
          These will be among the survivors
          whom the Lord has called.

          And this verse in Matt 24:14
          And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations[c] will hear it; and then the end will come.

          For me, the picture of changing the world is evangelism and discipleship.

          And I agree that this takes patience and perseverance.

          After all, He promised that He is faithful to finish the good work He started in us until the Day of Christ Jesus.

          And when we take a look at Gen 2:1-3,

          we will see that God only rested after He FINISHED everything He intended to create. He is that kind of God, a finisher, one who never gives up. And this is applicable to us and the people we want to be won to Christ, the cities and nations we want to be changed.

          It might not be a 12-hour overnight or so but God is always on the move and it’s important for us to persevere in faith (prayer and work). Though it is always wonderful that even in the times when we become faithless, He is still faithful (His grace is amazing!).

          Sorry if this is getting too long. My point is we should not be afraid of dreaming about changing the world since our God is the God of the impossible. And that yes, it will take patience and perseverance (Remember the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed becoming a huge tree enough for birds to dwell on?)…

          Wanna end with this verse our pastor is emphasizing the past weeks:

          Daniel 11:32b ….but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.


          • JN, that rocked and probably took a million years to write out!! I loved the way you spoke with bible verses, something i wish would come back! Thank you for your encouragement! Prayer can move mountains!

        • God can do whatever He wants. Don’t say prayer has limits. I do think I see your point. God has been changing me and when I think about where I was, it feels like a miracle. God is good.

  • I like this discussion idea! So I’ll go ahead and chip in my piece here. As most will say, the best approach to people who don’t want to change is prayer. Prayer is not a plan B or a last resort; it should be the starting point. Nothing we can do can change people’s hearts, only God can do that.

    Know this, I’ll add a little more to the mix. Ask yourself, Why are they not changing? Is it because they simply resist what they know to be true, or is it that they don’t see what you’re telling them to be true? The latter is heavily a worldview issue.

    A worldview is based solely on what a person determines to be truth. Essentially, it’s what they accept as the one unquestionable, foundational belief; then every other belief is built off of that truth. For Christians, it’s scripture. For others, it could be a variety of things.

    So how do you change a worldview? I would say that it starts with convincing them of the truth. In our culture, “religion” is labeled as neither true nor false. It’s simply whatever works or is beneficial. So ultimately, it begins with helping someone to understand the truth of Christianity. From this, both WHY change is needed and WHAT change is needed will be obvious.

    I’d love to go into detail, but rather than continue rambling in this already-long comment, I’ll leave this as an open-ended, follow-up, discussion question. How to you change a worldview? and how do you convince someone of the truth(s) of Christianity?

    • Wow Nathan! That made my mind kind of swirl with all the “Whats.” How do you convince someone that this is the truth? when they don’t believe it and don’t want to? Even though they so totally need Jesus???? hum… you’ve given me even more to think about!

      • It is a lot to think about, isn’t it? Combining the words “truth” with “Christianity” is enough to make just about anybody’s head spin! And that’s because society doesn’t realize that this Jesus that they need is more than a “belief.” He’s more than a concept. He’s more than a mystical ideal of morality. He’s fact. He’s real. He’s evident in every facet: math, science, politics; He’s truth. That’s what the world needs to know. (At this point I’ll put in a shameless plug for a great book I’m reading: Total Truth, by Nancy Pearcey, which addresses the exact issue in an amazing way.)

          • Hey, while we’re recommending books! Ine book that immediately came to my mind when you submitted your question was the book Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard. I have a suspicion that the brothers who wrote it are Christians. What they have to share (more from the perspective of sociology than theology) would be very helpful for any rebelutionary trying to make a change of any kind.

          • Ok! Also looking that up…. YAY! This is going to sound weird but i love reading theology on weekends. I don’t have much time on the week days but…..( I actually got this idea from reading a really cool blog. I think ya’ll would like it. It’s called The Rebelution and it’s about teens doing hard things….) Please tell me i’m not the only one like that!

          • Rachel, your are absolutely NOT the only one like that! Thatโ€™s EXACTLY what I do! I also read scary theological books on the weekends. XD What books have you been reading? (Or is this question too off-topic?)

          • LOL….
            Hum… I’ve read “he chose the nails” by Max Lacardo, (A very good book!!! I couldn’t put it down!) Death by Love by some dude. (I did not like that book. Please don’t read it.) I’ve read lots and lots of CS Lewis and… I don’t know what all. I feel like I’ve read a whole bunch, but I neglected to read the title. (I know right?)

            How about you?

          • I’ve read lots of CS Lewis too: Narnia, Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters (including the brilliant sequel essay, “Screwtape Proposes a Toast”!), The Abolition of Man, Miracles, The Great Divorce, The Problem of Pain, and The Space Trilogy! I’m also reading an apologetics book, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist by Norm Geisler and Frank Turek. It’s a GREAT book! I’ve also read… hehe I’m gonna give you a whole bibliography at this rate… I’ve read How To Be Your Own Selfish Pig: And Other Ways You’ve Been Brainwashed by

          • I have a huge stack but the one on the top is Dietrich Bonhoeffer. All I have to do is find time to read it. I also want to read William Wilberforce and Crazy Love.

            That one “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist” sounds like an AMAZING book.

            Any more books you would suggest?

          • I heard that The Cost of Discipleship by Bonhoeffer is a good book!
            Hmm… there are way too many books I’d suggest! Are you interested in a particular subject such as politics, media, art, economics, science, or something else? Do you also like classic literature?

          • I’n not a big fan of politics and economics. I save that kind or reading for school. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I LOVE classic literature. What do you mean by Media? Like books about music and tech?

          • ๐Ÿ™‚ I love classic literature too! What are your favourite classics?
            And yep, that’s what I mean by media. I was thinking of the book Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman. I actually haven’t read that book yet, but I heard that it’s a great book and am planning to read it…after I’ve finished reading the other books that I plan to read! ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • I Adore little women (Still.) and The girl of the Limberlost. ๐Ÿ™‚

            And I totally know what you mean by “After I finish all the other books I plan to read.” lol. That is totally me.

            Do you have any favorite classics???

          • Yay, I love Little Women too!! I haven’t read The Girl of the Limberlost. What is it about?

            You bet I do! My favorite classics include The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton (a brilliantly hilarious and suspenseful book!!), A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens, Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky (except for it being a
            looong book), and The Dragon and the Raven by G.A. Henty. And I like just about all historical fiction!

          • I tried to read Crime and Punishment…. I’ll leave it at that. Girl of the Limberlost is about a Girl who lives in a mash (called the Limberlost) and she has to go thought school and whatnot. It’s amazing, and I’m not doing a very good job explaining it. Oh… here’s the author… Gene Stratton-Porter.

            Have read any of Ray Bradbury’s books???

          • Haha! Well, I really like Fahrenheit 451 even though I’m not a big fan of dystopian books!
            What kind of books do you like best?

          • Another book that you might want to check! It’s called ‘None Dare Call It Education’ by John Stormer. He’s showing in that book how the America that we know today came through as a result of what is being taught in school the past years.
            It starts off with this quote in the Introduction: “The predominant value system of an entire culture can be overturned in one generation, or certainly in two, by those with unlimited access to children.” – Dr James Dobson

        • Yes, Total Truth is an excellent book!! I’ve heard so many great things about it, and I’ve just started reading it for myself. I’ve also heard that How Now Shall We Live? by Chuck Colson and Nancy Pearcey is another great book! Total Truth is apparently the sequel to How Now Shall We Live?

    • Nathan,

      I completely agree with you, especially when it comes to the power of prayer. I work a lot with peers of mine who are struggling with partying, drinking, drugs, etc, and I would say the most important thing to remember is that we aren’t the ones who can cause change in their hearts, God is. It honestly has nothing to do with us and everything to do with the fact that God is using us to do His work. That’s why I love to pray for the Holy Spirit to just come alive inside of me, speak through me, live through me, give me the words to say and the actions to do, as well as praying for the Holy Spirit to convict those that I may be speaking to and lead them to Christ. Because at the end of the day, we can’t do any of it on our own, it’s all about God’s glory and plan.

  • The things we often forget that we are the part of the world itself. In order to change the world, we must change ourselves first. In this context, I guess we can’t just wanting everything to be like the way we want it to be. We must remember our sinful nature, like Paul said “there’s no one righteous, not even one”. We have to think deeply behind our motives of every our holy ambitions. Is that really the will of God or just the will of mine? So first thing first, we must pray because our we’re in the middle of cosmic war. Our war isn’t against the flesh and blood, but againts the power of this dark world (Ephesians 6:12). We must realize that we can’t do nothing without God.

    Secondly, we have to get to know better about society nowadays. We live in the postmodern world where every people are defined by what they’re doing. People are preferring act more than just idea. They will never understand what you are going to do no matter how much time you spend to share your thoughts with them. You must show them something real. Show that you really care for their soul. Make them jealous of your infinitely hope in Christ. If they are keep rejecting you, I’m afraid that they haven’t seen the real Christ lives in you.

  • The Bible does talk about these kind of things. Jesus calls us to be fishers of men, but before that, He calls us to follow Him. Our eyes need to be set on Jesus, our hearts and minds need to be focused on Him. He needs to be our vision. As we do hard things and rise to the opportunities He gives us to impact other’s lives, to shine for Him, to spread His Word, we need to trust Jesus. Trust His Spirit to lead us and give us the words to speak, and trusting Him also requires that we leave the outcome of a situation up to Him. By God’s grace we may plant seeds, but only He can make them grow. We are called to follow Christ and to make disciples of all nations. But The outcome is the Lord’s, the Glory is His. The world is changing as hearts are changing- but ONLY Jesus can change a heart. We, by His grace, are the vessels He uses to spread the Gospel. We need to be faithful to our calling and trust that our God holds the world- and everyone in it- in His merciful hands.

  • What you and your church are doing is planting seeds in these people’s hearts. God will provide the rest when the time comes to want the change.

  • I think something to keep in mind is that ultimately we can’t change people on our own. We should do all we can, pray, and leave the rest up to a powerful God.

  • I think the best way to reach someone who doesn’t want to be reached is to be consistent. If they see you living for Christ day to day they will notice. The people that are the hardest to reach out to are those who have been burned. They have had people around them, a lot of the time people they were very close to, who were not consistent in their behavior, lifestyle, and belief. Don’t be a hypocrite. Live what you believe.

  • For those that have not heard of the “Feed My Starving Children” program, it travels nationwide and sets up at local schools. It gathers volunteers who help mass-product bags of food mix: vitamins, veggies, soy, and rice all freeze dried. Then missionaries take boxes of the mixture to Africa in poor villages. All they need is a bag, and hot water, and then a cup and they have a healthy rice cup a day that will sustain them easily. I just came back from a shift of it, actually. My entire youth group git to go!!! Great experience!! In the 2 and 1/2 hours that you work, you pack 90-130 THOUSAND boxes: each one containing 32 bags of food. It is a great way to help make a chang in the world

  • Rachelโ€™s Question: How do we change the world when the world
    doesnโ€™t want to change?

    Louis’ Answer: Pray. (Pray about what God wants you to do…
    or pray and ask God what He is already doing, and join His plan, which always
    works better than when we make up our own plan, and work at it with our own
    strength, and ask God to bless it whereas it (many times) was never God’s idea
    in the first place, and you can’t expect God to work that way: for God to work
    on your terms instead you on His). The wicked world will never want to change.
    Not in Noah’s day, not in Jeremiah’s day, not in Christ’s day and not in Paul’s
    day and not in our day. Because of the rebellion of their hearts. How you
    change those who live in resilient rebellion towards God? Simple. You can’t.
    But God’s Holy Spirit can. And when does He? When we obey Him and start to pray
    for those people. So the answer, again, is prayer, along with obedience to the
    Bible and how God leads you, and a humble submission before God to say,
    “Lord, no longer my will be done, but Thy will be done.” Hudson
    Taylor found that this worked the best, and called it “God’s work done in
    God’s way.” =v)

  • The world as whole cannot decide that it doesn’t want to change. It takes individual people to change anything. In today’s society, especially with social media, our lives are constantly being available for the world to see.
    It doesn’t have to take anything special. Our world does not need another pro-peace organization. There are plenty of those out there already, and yes, charities and organizations can be a very good thing!
    But that’s not what is going make a difference in anything. Individual people will.
    If one person sees the genuine joy and peace in another, they are going to want to have that, they’ll be influenced by the individual not by the big corperation.

  • I’ve come to point that whenever I see a hideous crime on the news being done by numerous people, or seeing the sufferings of millions in wars, I cry. Some say that I shouldn’t cry, and I must smile that those aren’t happening to me. But how can I not be affected? I believe that God connects us all, may every person believe in Him or not. And being one family with everyone, I am deeply saddened to realize that not everyone have experienced (or have known about) God’s love for them. He Himself! And I am bothered because as a Christian, it’s one of my tasks: to make Him known. To glorify Him! But I’m just here, crying and thinking that this world is a hopeless place now. Like how can I make them listen to me if all the people are always busy just listening to themselves?

    And that’s when I turn back to God and pray for wisdom and grace. For the next time I would encounter someone–anyone!–I’d be able to share Him. And it may not be a person doing a crime or anything, but I know for sure that that person who I’m going to share the Gospel with “has fallen short of His glory.” And in that way, I pray, I would have advanced His Kingdom, until it may ripple effect to an international level. It may seem impossible for me, but it isn’t me who’s going to move. God is. A lot of people needs to know Him more. And may I be an instrument for His will to be done: to bring peace and joy to everyone’e heart and life.

  • Well I guess if people don’t want to change the least we can do is be the change that we want too see in our society . Like don’t force it upon them, but be the light of the world as it says in Matthew 5:14. then when they see us and our behavior then they will maybe want to be like us and slowly realize that change me be necessary to theur lives

  • Perhaps different methods would be better. In my church’s neighborhood, we’ve tried to evangelize, but there has been no response. My pastor suggested that instead we go out and find a common interest with other people, and as we become friends, to give them the Gospel. The result of this is that any converts wouldn’t be in the same neighborhood as the church, but what is more important, that people come to know Christ, or that the converts are from the same area? Something to remember is that in Acts 6:1 it says, “In those days, when the number of disciples was still increasing…”(NIV). This implies that church growth did come to a halt. In history we have seen the same thing happen. We’ve also seen revivals, but when people are rejecting the gospel, do we need to sometimes “shake the dust off of our feet” and find different avenues of ministry? Now I could be way off base on this, so if I’m wrong, please correct me.

  • Hi, Rachel. ๐Ÿ™‚ Part of your question was asking if anyone else had gone through this before. Yes, I have gone through this before! A few months ago, I was an on-fire pastor’s kid surrounded by a church full of people that were lukewarm. As in, “We have absolutely. no. intention. of changing. ever. not in any way.” That’s not exactly identical to your situation, but it is under the “change resistant (or downright change defiant)” category. So, what do we do?

    I love that most of the responses were simply “pray.” Yes, we (including me) tend to think of prayer as a last resort; “all we can do is pray.” That’s so far from the truth! Prayer is not a chore or a Plan B! It is an awesome tool that God gives us so that we can have an intimate relationship with Him. Who doesn’t like texting their best friend? In the same way, we should pray. Don’t limit your prayer life to mindless droning. Say what’s really on your heart! Talk to God about this! Always pray, and remember just HOW powerful prayer is. (If you’d like a good Christian song on this topic, I recommend “Ask,” by Love & The Outcome. It’s an awesome reminder that God listens to us when we pray!)

    A verse that I just saw (literally) is 2 Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (NIV) If God told you to do this, it’s going to happen the way He wants it to! Be patient, and remember that is this is His will, too. He wants these people to turn and find Him.God doesn’t give you your next “hard thing” assignment and then walk off. He stands there with you! He’s not hiding from you during this. Seek Him! He’s not going to leave you out there on your own. (Maybe you can tell I’m musically oriented. I also recommend “You Carry Me,” by Moriah Peters. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I don’t have a “plan for action” that will solve this problem, but I can say this: pray and wait patiently. The changing takes time. “Many are willing to win; few are willing to put the effort into winning.” Persevere, and God’s will will be done. Lean on Him, and let Him grow you through this. I’ll “just be praying” for you! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Thank you Sarah! I just Youtubed that song that you where talking about and i have tears rolling down my eyes. (The one my Love and the Outcome.) I love Christian music so, basically that was like speaking my language. All the comments say kind of the same thing. To pray. And thus, I have been praying more. Thank you so much for this comment! #myheartissoaring.

      Sometimes i may get weary on the way, but every moment of my life, God, you’ve been with me everyday!

      And I’ll “Just be praying” for you too!

      • You’re so welcome, Rachel! I’m glad I could help! I love Christian music, too. That song really touched my heart a few months ago and it just came to my mind… it’s cool how God works like that, isn’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Wow! Now I got some more songs and artists to listen to! Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Rachel! (And everyone else!) I am looking for the e-books I have about this topic. I found these: (1) Revival Lectures by Charles Finney; (2) Helps to Intercession by Andrew Murray; (3) Revival Fire by Charles Finney; (4) The Prayer Life by Andrew Murray; (5) Waiting on God by Andrew Murray.

      What I have read so far is Waiting on God (haven’t finished it yet). I got these for free in an archive. I can send you a copy if you want ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I have been reading “Prayer” by Philip Yancy, It’s about prayer and… well… I haven’t finished it yet, but I’ll let you know what i think when I’m done.

        before that I read, “The Unexpected Adventure” By Lee Stroble (The same dude who wrote, “A case for a creator…” and i really loved it. It was about all the adventures that God had lead him on and… it was cool!

        Other then that.. let me know any books that ya’ll like on any christian subject! I love to read and I’m forever running out of things to read!

      • You’re welcome, JN! ๐Ÿ™‚ (Seriously, one of my favorite topics is Christian contemporary music… don’t get me started or we may be here for hours!!) So, how is “Waiting On God?” I’ve never read Andrew Murray’s books before, but I’ve heard of him.

        • It’s the kind that I don’t want to rush, something that you would want to savor day by day. ๐Ÿ˜€ Or maybe slower than day by day ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I think that it is key to realize that the world most decidedly does NOT want change. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, all men are born completely sinful, utterly depraved, and the last thing they want to hear is that they are sinners in need of a Savior. “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” {Romans 3:10-12/Psalm 14:1-3}.

    ” [T]he word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” {1 Corinthians 1:18}. “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” {2:14}. Also Ephesians 2:1-3.
    Nothing we do, nothing we say, can change a person’s heart. That is the work of the Holy Spirit. In order to change the world when the world doesn’t want to change, we have to stop trying to change the world. We have to get down on our knees and pray that God will work in the hearts of the people in this world. That he would open their eyes to see the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
    And then, we get up and live our faith. Really, truly live it out. Be imitators of Christ (Ephesians 5:1), love the people around you, zealously pursue truth. The world will look on, confused. And then people will ask why you are different. And you can point them to Jesus, and say it is not anything that I have done for myself, but entirely what Jesus has done for me, and will do for you!
    We are called to live as lights in the world, “children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation.”
    Live your life as unto Jesus,
    Leave the results, the consequences to Him,
    and the world will be changed.

  • Hey Rachel, great question….how to answer it…? I’ve had a lot of experience with people who refuse to change even though they realize they need it. Most of the time they try to justify their lifestyle or sin by comparing themselves to other people who have the appearance of being decidedly more wicked. It’s like if they look at all the bad others do, they can look past the bad they themselves have done, (or are still doing), and feel better about themselves. Whatever the cause for their adamant refusal to change, I know how difficult it can be to reach out to these kinds of people. I’ve heard it often said that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. My best advice would be, don’t try to push it on them. You can’t force anyone to change. (Also, for the sake of clarification, I’m not implying that this is what you are doing.) Just love them like Jesus; show them how much you care. You see, it isn’t up to us to save the souls of the lost. Yes, we are commissioned to spread the gospel, but we can’t save people. That’s God’s job. Our job is to be faithful and share the gospel with these people. In regards to those who are saved but don’t act like Christians and refuse change, again, it is not up to us to change them. We can explain to them why they need to change, but that should always be done in a way that is not reproachful or offensive. You can’t reach people if you turn them off right at the beginning. We preach the gospel, God saves the sinners and changes the lives. Be faithful, be prayerful and be a light to the lost and dying world. Show them the love of Christ. Jesus said if He would be lifted up, He would draw all men unto Himself. Lift Him up.

  • Hey Rachel, I’m just popping into this conversation for the first time, so forgive me if I seem out of the loop…because I am. ๐Ÿ™‚

    My family moved to Los Angeles 6 1/2 years ago to plant inner-city churches (specifically, house churches). I definitely know what you are talking about.

    This might sound oversimplified, but it really isn’t, so bear with me.

    I believe this really comes down to prayer and unconditional love. Prayer. is. powerful. I’m sure you know that already. I’ve walked suitcases packed with Bibles through metal detectors, and seen old, hardened men accept Jesus and get baptized only months before they died. Prayer works.

    Pray boldly and specifically. It’s going to take a miracle for people to surrender to Holy Spirit, so ask for one. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Also, love people unconditionally. Don’t treat or talk about them like their your project. Treat them like friends. Show them love, serve them, and be there for them when hard times come. Because hard times will come, count on it. If you walk with them through grief and struggle, you’ve won most of the battle. There hearts will be so much softer and receptive to Christ. People need to FEEL love. I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true. As Christians, we know that we don’t base our actions and beliefs off of feelings but off of faith. Why? Because We have felt God and seen Him work in the past and we can never deny these memories (that’s why it’s important to remember them). When we don’t feel love, we can press on knowing that God and others do love us and we will soon feel it again.

    So love people by serving and being there for them and pray for them.

  • Hey Rachel, great question! It really got me thinking. While I was mulling your question around in my mind, I suddenly remembered hearing once about an overseas missionary in the 1800’s – I believe it must have been Adoniram Judson, the first Protestant missionary to Burma – who waited 6 years before his first convert. I was so impressed by his undying, unwavering determination and endurance to serve God even when he had no visible gain for all his striving.

    God says the world is foolish, and will not want to change. But he also says โ€œGo.โ€ โ€œGo and preach.โ€ Preach of Him through your words and preach of Him through your actions. And He promises that His word will not return to Him void. He will work in hearts and minds.

    It already sounds like you have got the go part down. So I would just encourage you to

    Never give up.

    That, and

    Pray without ceasing.

  • (Sorry for being reeeally late to commentโ€ฆ. Been doing busy hard things! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    GREAT question, Rachel! Iโ€™ve actually been wondering
    about a similar question! Here are my two cents (do let me know what yโ€™all
    think of this answer)โ€ฆ.

    If people clearly and constantly refuse to change, maybe it might be better to
    move on, like the disciples in Matthew 10:13-14. The Bible also instructs us not to
    โ€œgive what is holy to dogs or toss your pearls before pigsโ€ (Matthew 7:6)โ€ฆ. Now
    Iโ€™m not saying that we should be like, โ€œPuh, these people are pigs โ€“ Iโ€™m gonna
    shake the dust of mah feet and leave now!โ€ ๐Ÿ˜› That attitude wouldnโ€™t be loving
    and Christlike. Iโ€™m just not sure about beating a stubborn horse, so to speak,
    because there might be other people who are willing to change if only someone
    witnessed to them! What if weโ€™re too busy trying to change one group of people until we forget about another? Iโ€™m also not sure if a lack of success might show that a certain project isnโ€™t Godโ€™s calling.

    BUT, if you/your church knows that the big hard thing is what God wants you to do,
    forget what I wrote earlier and keep persisting! Jeremiah 32:17 states that
    nothing is too hard for the Lord. Galations 6:9 also says, โ€œAnd let us not
    grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give upโ€
    (ESV). Keep praying, keep working, keep improving, keep persevering!

    See the following letter from John Wesley to William Wilberforce, the man who
    persevered for decades to change England โ€“ and, through the grace of God, did
    change it! I find this letter so inspiring. (The emphases are mine.) I hope it might encourage you a bit! ๐Ÿ™‚

    โ€œDear Sir:

    Unless the divine power has raised you up to be as โ€œAthanasius against
    the world,โ€ I see not how you can go through your glorious enterprise in
    opposing that execrable villainy, which is the scandal of religion, of England,
    and of human nature. Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them stronger than God? O be not weary of well-doing! Go on, in the name of God and in the power of His might, till even American slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it.

    …That he who has guided you from youth up may continue to strengthen you in this and all things, is the prayer of, dear sir,

    Your affectionate servant, John Wesleyโ€

    Hope this answer might help a little bit! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Another thought….

    I was at a conference this last weekend where I had the privilege of hearing Mr. Greg Harris speak. He shared that, statistically, it is estimated that a person hears/comes in contact with the gospel about 40 times before they accept Christ. He made the point that whether we are the first, twenty-first, thirty-ninth, or fortieth, we have a role in God’s plan for them. It is our responsibility to do the part He has given us to do, and He will take care of the rest.

    I will keep your church’s ministry in my prayers. ๐Ÿ™‚ God bless.

  • The best thing to do in my experience is to build relational equity with these people, and live in a way that shows love and caring towards them. Let them know you are a Christian, and pray for them at home. When they start questioning what they believe, they will say “Oh I have my friend so-and-so who I can trust and who I know believes in Jesus.” Sometimes there is not too much more we can do than that. Its not a project, but a process, and only God can change lives.

    This is a great quote:

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectationsโ€”a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More โ†’