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Bob Roberts writes: People don’t change the world, the world changes people. I know that sounds like heresy from an evangelical, but it’s true. There are those few “world changers” that seize moments, but it isn’t because they thought it up, it’s because the environment was created that allowed them to see it first and then do something about it. Paul didn’t come up with an idea to change the world with the Gospel. It came from Jesus. His first encounter with Christians is to stomp them out. He’s traveling and persecuting the church around the Middle East. These Christians have spread out because of the Roman roads, trade routes, and businesses. They don’t run and hide in the desert or band together as tribes, now, because of the road system the Romans have built they can disperse, all of them like Abraham. In context, what Abraham did when he left Ur and came to Canaan was radical because there were no roads as the Romans would develop. It was a radical for him to take that journey as it was for Columbus to cross the ocean. The gospel could spread because of the road systems, the Roman army and business people. It was a very organic thing. I’m optimistic about this emerging generation of 20 Somethings and how they are connected, view the world, and are actually doing stuff, not just talking. Everyone has been seeing the world change before their eyes. It’s changing how they act within their tribe, but not so much outside their tribe and/or country. Why? Because those behaviors are not in their DNA. Why is this younger generation changing? Because their DNA is a global DNA. It’s different from previous generations. They’re not changing as much as they are responding to an open world. This open world has yet to be seized by Americans that see everything everywhere. /// Read more from Bob on why people have (and need to) change.  Interesting stuff. What do YOU think?

Bob Roberts is the Senior Pastor of Northwood Church in Keller, TX.  He’s doing something that many evangelical pastors would not dare to do… hosting a multi-faith forum in his church. OK.  Stop. You’re judging. This isn’t a forum where everyone gets together to find common ground and leave singing Kumbayah. Here’s how Bob describes the first ever “Global Faith Forum”:

In this time of tension between faiths, this Global Faith Forum comes as such an important time, for Christians and Muslims and Jews and other faiths to be respectful of one another’s faith and yet allow one another to hold on to their faith convictions in contrast to some other inter-faith conversations where genuine differences are glossed over. While there may be misunderstandings, that’s all the more reason it is so importance to be engaging in conversation with other faiths in this day and age and this Global Faith Forum is hosting that conversation.

Bob continues:

No one believes in the Great Commission more than I – it is what I have given m life to.  Do we realize how our rhetoric, attitude, and actions are in direct conflict with the Great Commission?  It is not 1985 anymore – that was the beginning of a major global shift in every way.

Twenty-five years ago, when we started NorthWood Church where I pastor, God gave me a verse that we would be a global church – but I really didn’t know what that meant and less about how to live that out.  God knew.  He knew all the changes coming to the world, he knew we would all be connected, he knew all the things back then I’ve been learning the past two decades.  In his own way, he was preparing me and NorthWood and the churches we start in the US for this adventure and it’s been a grand adventure. first started as a couple of my friends who were non-Christians were going to come to visit me and my church because they had “never met an evangelical” like me.  I told them there were many, they just didn’t hear from them as much.  They wanted to visit the church where all these people were that were doing all these amazing things in Vietnam and even other places.  A couple of non-Christian friends had come and they were telling the others, and several were wanting to come.  I also asked them if they could come in our missions month in November for our church and they agreed. I’m always asked by pastors to take them on trips with me to meet global pastors and other world leaders that are non-Christians – so I thought here would be a good chance to let them meet them.  So I asked my friends if they would be willing to meet with several young pastors that would be starting new churches and young pastors that led influential mega-churches in the US.  They agreed.  Then many of my friends began to talk among themselves and my secular non-Chrisian friends were asking if they could come also.  So I went back to my initial friends and said what if we have a in Dallas and lets invite several people – we’d all have to volunteer to speak because I don’t have the money!  They knew a lot of the humanitarian work I’ve done, so they agreed to do it – maybe as some payback.  The rest is history.  The speakers are Vietnamese, European, American, Arab, Jewish, Muslim, Men and Women almost everything!  Over half of the speakers are not Christian – but they are my friends.  The Christian speakers and panelist are young church planters, young influential leading pastors, Christian statesmen like Os Guinness and Ray Bakke.  Global business leaders like Al Weiss, Diplomats like Prince Turqi – Al – Faisal of Saudi Arabia and Ambassador Le Cong Phuong of Vietnam, pastors Vance Pittman, Mark Demoss, Kevin Cox and others will be speaking. What are we trying to do?  Expose evangelicals to the world and instead of listening to emotional rhetoric, let them listen for themselves to global leaders how they think, what the world is like, and how evangelicals can have a voice.  How do hold on to our faith, not compromise – yet treat others with respect and build long term relationships. So… there you have it. Bob is having conversations that not many of us are having.  Important conversations.  Conversations that the church needs to be having (in my opinion). Check out the Global Faith Forum for more information.  You can also check out Bob’s blog here. Todd