Most people think the best way to change the world is to do something grand or spectacular, like cure cancer or put an end to human trafficking.

Those are needed and noble pursuits, no doubt, but you’re probably not the one to do them.

Eating ice cream. Asian girls sharing an ice cream. Beautiful ch

I seriously doubt that you will ever become president, start a worldwide movement, or make a great scientific discovery.

But you can still change the world if you want to. And you can do it today.

Here’s how.

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I am a huge fan of social media. In fact, I started blogging before there was blogging, circulating a weekly e-mail “post” to a few hundred subscribers back in the mid-1990s. I use Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram every day.

Social media has flattened the world, making it easier for anyone to connect with everyone. As a pastor, whose job is communicating good news, I love that.

Businessman yelling at female colleague through tin can phone ag

However, as a reader and editor who thinks words have real power to do good or evil in the world, I have concerns. Sometimes it seems we have simply forgotten how to be nice.

Social media is like a power tool. With it you can build a beautiful platform—or make a big mistake really fast.

And these are not harmless errors. They are gross abuses of the power of speech, virtual literary sins. They harm not only you but those who read them.

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The first question I hear from every newcomer to Fall Creek Wesleyan Church is the same: “What does Wesleyan mean?”

We have a proud history, so I never mind the question. It’s just cumbersome to explain.

  • Connected to the great revivals led by John and Charles Wesley that transformed England and America.
  • Historic leaders in social justice causes such as the abolition, women’s rights, temperance, the pro-life movement, and anti-trafficking.
  • Ordaining the first woman in America.
  • Believers in the Bible but not fundamentalists.
  • Evangelical with a small “e.”
  • Founders of Indiana Wesleyan University and five other institutions of higher learning.

How do you reduce 250 years of evangelism and social action to a single sound byte?

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I am a big fan of pastoral ministry, and I’ve written about that elsewhere. Yet I know that many people find the pastorate an uncomfortable fit and are quietly looking for a graceful exit.

The number is nowhere near the erroneous, unfounded, and gleefully over-reported figure of 1,700 pastors a month suffering burnout.

Man having an interview with manager and partner employment job

Even so, some pastors—like some lawyers, doctors, and plumbers—do want to change careers.

The problem is they don’t know how.

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An urban legend circulating around the church holds that pastoral ministry is the most highly stressed, undervalued profession on earth, and all pastors are miserable. In support, this factoid is nearly always given: “1,700 pastors leave the ministry each month.”

Open Door

You’ll see that number touted on blog after blog—always without a citation. This unverified datum flits around the Net like a vampire bat, sucking passion from ministers and their churches.

And it simply isn’t true.

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I did something for the first time this week: went to Washington, D.C., to advocate for political action on a matter that is important to me: comprehensive, common-sense immigration reform.

United States Capitol Building east facade - Washington DC Unite

On Apr. 29, 2014, some 250 evangelical pastors from around the country met for a rally at the historic Ebenezer United Methodist Church (4th & D Sts., SE). Then we set out for appointments with congressional offices. Our visits were arranged by representatives from Evangelical Immigration Table.

Fellow Wesleyan pastor Zach Szmara of The Bridge Community Church and I partners for the day, and we met with representatives of House Members Vicki Hartzler (MO-04), Todd Rokita (IN-04), Luke Messer (IN-06), and my own Congresswoman, Susan W. Brooks (IN-05).

Here’s what I learned on my visit to Washington, D.C.

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Top Indiana evangelical leaders met today at the Wesleyan Church Headquarters, 13300 Olio Road, Fishers, Ind., for a press conference to highlight the biblical call to welcome the stranger and urge Congress to move forward with a vote on immigration reform.


I was privileged to be among local pastors including Darryn Scheske of Heartland Church in Fishers, Mike Colaw of Trinity Church in Fishers, Steve DeNeff of College Wesleyan Church, Marion, Ind., and other pastors and church officials from Indiana.

We discussed the moral imperatives for immigration reform and the April 29 #Pray4Reform event in Washington, D.C., when more than 200 evangelical pastors, including a dozen from Indiana, will meet with their members of Congress.

Here is the statement I delivered.

April 25, 2014

My name is Lawrence Wilson, and I am pastor at Fall Creek Wesleyan Church in Fishers, Ind. Our congregation is home to immigrants from 10 countries of origin outside the 50 United States, and my own wife is a naturalized citizen. We are a nation of immigrants, and our congregation reflects that reality.

I was privileged to attend the citizenship ceremony for one of my parishioners this year, an engineer from Germany. It was thrilling to see him and 71 other new Americans pledge their loyalty to our country.

Yet the experience of immigration is much different for many others, who come here to work at more menial tasks. Many of these workers are undocumented and receive much different treatment. Lengthy detention and separation of families is commonplace. Many live in fear of being deported, making them easy targets for unscrupulous operators.

We have two systems for immigration. Those who come to captain our industries or teach in our universities are welcome. Those who come to do the equally needed and desired work of serving at our tables and tending our properties are treated as outsiders.

This is unjust, and it harms people. For me, immigration reform is not a policy issue; it is a people issue. It is not about politics; it’s about holiness.

The question our society faces is this: Will we treat one another with dignity as persons created in the image of God? Or will we create a permanent class of underlings who are welcome to mow our lawns and serve our food but will never be recognized as equals in our society?

We must do the former, and I am going to Washington to urge congress to reform our laws in a way that ensures accountability, a more secure border, a stronger economy, and the opportunity for aspiring Americans to earn legal status with eventual citizenship.