Don’t Call Your Kids “World Changers” {A Life Overseas}

Jonathan is at A Life Overseas today . . . 


It’s tempting. I get it. It sounds motivating and inspirational. I get that too. But I’ve come to believe that the good-intentioned, hopefully inspiring practice of talking about children as “world-changers” is, in most cases, damaging.

You can cover it with a spiritual veneer, you can call it “speaking truth over them,” you can call it a “parental blessing,” you can even call it “stirring them up to greatness.” But from where I sit, and after what I’ve seen, I’ll just call it probably harmful.

Let me explain.

I grew up among world-changers.

My family was part of an exciting, global ministry which had as its motto, Giving the world a New approach to life!Wow! What a vision! What a large, God-sized dream!

What hubris.

I sang in a choir of 5,000 teenagers, “It will be worth it all, when we see Jesus!” We were going to do it. Our parents had found the hidden truths, the secret. And with derision for rock music, an affinity for character qualities, and a navy and white uniform, we were in fact going to give the WHOLE WORLD a BRAND NEW approach to life.

And then we didn’t.

In fact, one of the most painful parts of my adult life has been watching peers wilt under the pressure of a world-changing paradigm. Families just aren’t designed to raise world-changers. They’re designed to raise children.

I watched friend after friend crumble under the pressure. Who were they? What were they worth when life just felt…normal? When the mission trips stopped and the typical bills came, a sense of dread and failure often settled in.

When the call of God, legitimately and accurately interpreted, looks nothing like the world-domination and global impact you were primed to experience, what then?

Finish reading here.

One thought on “Don’t Call Your Kids “World Changers” {A Life Overseas}

  1. This is good stuff.

    I grew up with enormous pressure (mostly self-inflicted due to misreading of my parents’ efforts to call out my gifts and talents) to do something huge with my life. I could do anything! I could change the world!

    As an adult it caused a lot of confusion and disappointment for me. Being a wife, mom, homeschooler, sister, friend, worshiper, doula, oil lady… were these “enough”? Did these measure up to the “huge potential” I showed when I was a child? Far more often than I care to admit, it didn’t *feel* like it. And that caused guilt because I *know* that all of those roles are powerful and meaningful, so why didn’t I *feel* like they were significant enough?

    There’s still a lot of unwinding to do of that twisted thinking… the thinking that says my worth comes from achievement. There’s been a lot of healing already and I’m so grateful for that.

    This whole article was excellent, but the section on the local church had my heart jumping with agreement. Here is a favorite snippet…

    “You know where normal people go to worship? You know where normal people go to learn and grow, slowly, steadily?

    The local church.

    You want to bless your kids? Be part of a local church. Church should be a place where slow faithfulness and deep relationships are encouraged.

    Cultivate in your children a deep love for the local church, wherever that is, and see what happens.”

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