#14: World Changers

After 10 years of Forefront we’ve now done over 120 message series. Thought it might be fun and interesting to share with you my top twenty.

The idea for this series came from a Philip Yancey book called Soul Survivor. Philip Yancy is my favorite author and I get psyched whenever he has a new book come out. When Soul Survivor came out I was not psyched. Each chapter told the story of one of Yancey’s faith heroes. Henri Nouwen and G.K. Chesterton and Martin Luther King Jr. and Annie Dillard. I found that out and thought, “Boring!” But this book is anything but boring. I realized that people’s stories, even people you’ve never heard of, are very interesting, and often inspiring. I think this is why People Magazine and E! True Hollywood Stories are popular. We are voyeurs. We like to look in on other people’s lives.

I decided to do a series on non-biblical heroes of the faith. At first I called it “Biography” but later changed the name to “World Changers.” I had so much fine studying for and preparing this series, but I went into it with a bit of fear and trepidation. I assumed that people would have the same reaction I did to Yancey’s book. That they would think it’s boring to learn about people like William Carey and John Wesley and Mother Teresa but it seemed to go over really well. Their stories are so wild and powerful, it’s difficult to not get drawn in. And there are so many great Biblical principles we learn from studying their lives.

During this series we did video profiles of people at Forefront who are becoming World Changers, and that was very cool as well. Hearing stories of people who have started homeless ministries and are adopting orphans from Haiti, wow, that’s inspiring stuff!

I’ve actually decided to make this a repeating series. We have a couple of series at Forefront that we do over again, either every year (like “At the Movies”) or every few years (like “Seusapalooza”) and this is going to be an every few years series. I’ve already started working on the next set of people, so Forefronters will be learning about Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Charles Spurgeon and who knows who else. And it won’t be boring.

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