the BLOG of stuart mcdonald

Transforming Communities: An Interview with Joshua Yarbrough: Part 3
November 5, 2009, 9:26 am
Filed under: Ministry | Tags: , , ,

IMG_7518Joshua, the last two days we have heard about two important experiences that shaped your thinking about our responsibility as Christians, concerning the poor, and the necessity for community development in rescuing people from the horrible affects of extreme poverty.  You mentioned that we have a responsibility to get involved.  However, these problems seem way to big to wrap my head around.  I can’t imagine how someone like me can make much of a difference.  You seem to believe that I can.  Will you share more about this with us?

JOSHUA: First, I would encourage everyone to try focusing on their personal responsibility to share love and spread compassion to others around them and to the regions of the world that most need it.  It isn’t our responsibility to single handedly change the world.  That is much too big a task for any one person, one organization, or even one government to achieve.  God has commanded us to love our neighbor.  As I have wrestled with what it means to love my neighbor I have learned that there is transformational power in baby steps.  We take small achievable steps to do what we should and trust that God holds the bigger picture, causing us even unknowingly at times to do the necessary things that will result in the world He desires.  The beautiful truth in all of this is that God loves us, has our best intentions at heart, and even though this world will never be perfect He desires to use us to build a world that is ultimately for our benefit.

It is important along the way to educate ourselves on issues such as global poverty, injustice, our environment, and the people and organizations out there making a difference.  Our generation has access to more information than any other generation in the history of the world.  We can learn in seconds what would have taken months to learn in times past, and we have access to information that just didn’t exist several generations ago.  This means it is possible to become well informed without much effort.  There are wonderful websites out there that can serve as great starting points for you.  Some fun and attractive websites you may want to check out are,, and  If you get really serious about researching some of these issues I can point you to some other websites that can help you.

Becoming well informed will help you take the another necessary step in your life of activism.  We must grow beyond random acts of kindness.  I stated above that our responsibility is to love our neighbors.  Changing the world is God’s responsibility.  However, as we grow in our compassionate endeavors there is knowledge and skills that help ensure we maximize the potential of our acts of kindness.  Even if you never become an expert in economic development, community development, or disaster relief, through partnerships you can leverage your influence.  For example, if I want to maximize the potential of my financial investments I partner with an expert to ensure I get the greatest return.  I may never become a stockbroker or financial advisor, but I can benefit from their expertise and produce greater fruit financially than I could on my own.  We should approach our activism in the same manner.  As we partner with experts we can produce a greater return on our compassionate investments whether that be through giving financially, serving as a volunteer, or being an advocate for a worthy cause.

We believe that our organization is a great partner for those that desire to make a big impact with their “compassion investments.”  We have chosen a strategy that requires partnership because we know there is no other force as powerful as collaboration.  Every time a person enters into partnership with us the world gets a little bit better.  When the world gets better another orphan finds a home, another hungry person is fed, the oppressed are set free, and the sick are restored.  This sounds an awful like the parable of Matthew 25!

Our event on Saturday, November 7th is for people that are curious what such a partnership looks like.  We want to share an inspiring vision with you while demonstrating how you can collaborate with us in very practical and achievable ways.  We invite you to join us as we celebrate the launch of this new global initiative and to consider taking a journey with us towards rebuilding communities for God’s glory!


2 Comments so far
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Very great read. When you started this “series” the first question I had was “but where does one even begin if they don’t have a similar experience as Joshua?”. However, this entry puts it in clear perspective. Start small…and let God do the rest. Good stuff.

Comment by Krystle

The goal was to get to that point, but take you on a journey in the process. Glad you enjoyed it.

Comment by CreativeStu

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