Influence

Who are the heroes today?

We all want our lives to count for something, and the only way our lives are going to count is if we exert influence in the areas where we’ve been gifted.

Grete and I are moving to the LA area. For the past few months, I’ve been thinking about how there are really just a few ‘epicenters’ of American culture. Washington D.C. influences politics. New York influences finances. LA influences entertainment and media.

Guess which one influences our daily life the most?

The storytellers of any culture end up directing the culture much more than any other force. Movies, music and television shows that touch people emotionally leave a longer impression and change more actual behavior than any public policy.

Entertainment changes beliefs. Those beliefs then seep into politics and every other domain of society.

The only other thing I’ve seen that changes society more is authentic service. When people go and do what they can for others because they just care, the impact is amazing. It gets attention. We’re all looking out for ourselves. When someone starts looking out for others, people want to know why.

Then I saw this quote in the Los Angeles Times:

“‘For a long time I thought I’d go into politics,’ [Ben] says now. ‘But who really has more influence: a congressman or Rupert Murdoch?’ As much as anything, it is a comment on his generation—ambivalent about Democrats and Republicans, but likely to volunteer, buy socially responsible goods and be steeped in media. Bristol came to Hollywood with similar ambitions. Al too: ‘I didn’t want to work in government,’ Al says, ‘but I wanted to effect change. The cultural arena provides just as good an opportunity.’ Ben, though, had the cash to act on that impulse. ‘There’s an emerging culture of giving a d— among young people,’ he says. ‘We just want to offer a platform for that.'”

The story is about Ben Goldhirsh. He’s financing films, a magazine (called “Good”) and other things he cares about. Stuff he feels can make a difference in society.

Regardless of his beliefs, this guy is a hero. He’s doing something to change the world – to make it a better place. That’s something that many people – especially the under 30 crowd – respect.

Christians have often avoided two of the most influential arenas of today’s culture: entertainment and service. We need to speak powerful stories into the media and serve because it’s who we are – who God is – not because it fits an agenda.

It’s time to effect change. That change comes by doing what we’re passionate about and serving others in the process. For some people that will mean being a change agent in politics. For some, it will mean doing good and building relationships in the medical field. For some, it will hopefully mean making amazing music and telling powerful, life-changing stories through film.

Christians have been given THE life-changing message to share. It’s real. It’s powerful. It’s potent. We’ve also been told to serve and love.

We need to live that call out in every area of society.

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Influence

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