3.5 Degrees: Why “You Can Change the World” is No Longer Cliché

3.5 Degrees: Why “You Can Change the World” is No Longer Cliché

Somewhere out there, Kevin Bacon is smiling.

Most of us have at least heard of the concept of “degrees of separation.” The concept goes like this: each of us knows someone, who knows someone else, who knows someone else. In this way, we are all connected to one another at some level, and each person along this chain of connections is considered a “degree of separation.”

Theorists have long surmised that every single person in the world is connected to every other person in the world by a maximum of six degrees. In the United States, movie buffs have even made it a silly but challenging game to figure out how many degrees it takes to connect any given celebrity to actor Kevin Bacon through their Hollywood film roles.

But according to the researchers at Facebook, the world is actually much more connected than we ever imagined before. According to a recently published report, each of their 1.59 billion Facebook users are connected to one another by an average of 3.5 degrees.

Indeed, it’s true what Walt Disney has told us. “It’s a small world, after all.”

The Ripple of Your Influence

At Lead Like Jesus, we get a little excited about this ever shrinking web of connections. In fact, it’s what drives Our Vision: Someday everyone, everywhere will be impacted by someone who leads like Jesus.

Someday everyone, everywhere will be impacted by someone who leads like Jesus.

You see, we believe that everyone is a leader, because everyone has influence. And your influence can be measured in ripples.  The people that you influence will go on to influence other people, who in turn go on to influence even more people. 

Through your influence in the life of just one person, you could theoretically change the entire world. Now multiply that times every family member, friend, co-worker, and acquaintance with whom you have influence. The implications are astounding!

That’s why it is so important, critical even, that you use your influence effectively. Your leadership matters. In fact, the world is depending on you.

An Impossible Assignment

In His final instructions to the disciples, Jesus gave the mother-of-all difficult homework assignments.  He looked into the eyes of a ragtag group of ordinary people and challenged them to do the absurd.

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Can you imagine?! All nations?!  Travelling by foot, mule, and the occasional boat ride?  It must have seemed like an impossible task. 

But the disciples had spent the previous three years in intimate fellowship with the God of the impossible. And they wholeheartedly believed His promise that He would be with them always, to the very end of the age.

The disciples spent 3 years in fellowship with the God of the impossible. 

So they rolled up their sleeves and got to work. And it’s because of those first disciples’ influence that so many of us know Jesus today.

YOU Can Change the World

Look around you, friends. The world is shrinking. We are a global community, far more connected to one another than at any other time in history.  What you do in your little corner matters.

Global change starts in your heart. In your home. In your church. In your community. 

Global change starts in your heart, your home, your church, your community. 

As cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead so famously said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Jesus is with you – always –and He wants to create lasting transformation in and through you. You can lead like Jesus. You can change the world.  

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for the awesome gift and responsibility of leadership. Thank you that you have entrusted me to be Your hands and feet with my family, my friends, my co-workers and everyone else I will encounter today. Help me to lead with boldness, truth and love, using my influence to point others back to You. Amen.  

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Heather Day

Heather Day

Heather Day is an accomplished writer and communicator, who served as Lead Like Jesus’ Director of Communications for two years. She also spent nine years as Director of Marketing Communications for Olivet Nazarene University, three years as the Creative Services Coordinator for Bible League International, and two years as Community Outreach Coordinator for St. Anne Community High School. Heather and her husband, Robert, reside in Bourbonnais, IL with their two young children, Emma and Jackson. She is an active member and volunteer leader at Manteno Church of the Nazarene.