In 1969, the environmental group Friends of the Earth, had as
its slogan, “Think Globally, Act Locally.” The basic message if this
slogan was to encourage people to do what they could for the
conservation of the entire world’s environment by taking action in
their local area to help conserve and clean up the neighborhood
environment – all the while maintaining an overall view of the rest
of the world. They believed that if people in each locality would
take local action to protect the environment then eventually the
whole global environment would be restored.
This article, however, is not about saving the physical
environment. While the protection and conservation of our natural
environment is important, it pales in comparison to the importance
of saving the spiritual environment of our world. This can be
carried out by thinking globally and acting locally. Christians have
been called to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the
Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all things that I have
commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of
the age…” (Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV) This is our Great
Commission – make disciples of all the nations. How do we
First, begin at home – personal evangelism within your own
family. We could begin by focusing our evangelistic effort on our
non-Christian children, parents, siblings, or other close relatives.
Consider, 1 Timothy 5:8 “But if anyone does not provide for his
own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the
faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (NKJV) This specific
context deals with taking care of physical needs, but in the larger
Biblical context, it addresses the spiritual. If we will not see after
the spiritual needs of our families then we deny the faith.
Second, work with our friends and neighbors – expanding
our efforts gradually – focusing on the need the act locally.
Consider Galatians 6:10, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let
us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of
faith…” (NKJV) What better way to “do good” toward our
neighbor than to “make disciples” of them?
Third, become involved in mission work – both at home and
abroad. Note that there is little difference between mission work
and evangelism. Mission work is part of evangelism with a slight
twist. Local evangelism is when we carry out the Great
Commission in an area where the church is already established.
Mission work or world evangelism when we carry out the Great
Commission in areas where the church has not been established or
areas where it is in the process of being established. This may
include neighboring cities, counties, states and foreign countries.
Jesus said to go into all the world. How we accomplish that is left
up to us.
The first two steps mentioned that involve thinking globally,
acting locally are relatively simple to carry out because we already
have the opportunity to teach our family, friends and neighbors.
But in what way can we think globally and act locally with regard
to world evangelism? One way is to travel abroad and help in an
evangelistic effort. Beltline has different outreaches around the
world that one can participate. Thanks to recent technological
advances, it is no longer necessary to for every one who wants to
carry out the Great Commission abroad to travel to foreign
countries. Through the internet and even through bible
correspondence courses it is now possible for the average Christian
to become directly involved in world evangelism without having
set foot outside their home. There are numerous programs in the
church today in which individual Christians can become involved.
Yes, you can become a world evangelist. You can think globally
and act locally and together we can save the planet, especially the
souls of the people on it! It is going to take a sustained, continuous
joint-effort, but it can be done. Begin at home – teach your family,
friends and neighbors, but remember also those who toil on foreign