The Path to Becoming a Difference Maker

God has to do something in you before he can do something through you.

What it looks like to be a difference maker in our daily lives and how we actually make that happen is this: First of all, God has to do something in you before he can do something through you.

So being a difference maker isn’t just jumping out there and going for it. It’s saying, “God, I want you to work deeply in me. I want you to do something inside of me.” And as he does something in us through salvation and through our Christian growth, then he wants to do through us. And being a difference maker is when the action gets put to what he’s done inside you.

So the first thing is letting God do something in you. Spending time with him, enjoying him in prayer, reading the Scriptures, journeying with him in your faith. And then from that place, saying, “Okay Lord, I want to be watchful and I want to be courageous. I want you to do something through me.”

Being watchful is key. Where is God moving? Where can I join him? What can I do to step into the place where he is? What are the circles that God’s put you in? Where has he placed you? What school do you go to? What neighborhood do you live in? Where do you work? What’s going on in your life? Who do you intersect with? And when that happens, you’re able to say, “Lord, I want you to use me in that place at that time.” And now you’re watchful. You’re looking for it. You’re saying, “God, how can you use me?”

We’ve seen this through so many of our friends, through our church in great ways. We actually have difference makers T-shirts that a lot of folks will wear. We give them out at church, and what will happen is then someone will say, “You know what? I’m a little league baseball coach.” And so the coaches will wear their difference makers T-shirts.

There’s another group in our city in Houston: the SWAT team. One of the police officers came to our church. They kick in the doors, they knock things down, they go after the bad guys, and they named themselves the Difference Makers. And underneath their bulletproof vests they wear difference makers T-shirts. So they want to make a difference in our city by catching the bad guys.

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So that’s how you put it in. You have to ask, Where am I? Where has God placed me? A little league baseball coach is far different than a SWAT team member.

Second, you have to be courageous, saying, “I want to jump out in courage. I want you, Lord, to use me.” A difference maker is a person of faith. It’s not easy. You gotta step out. You gotta go for it. There’s gonna be that moment where you go, Ah, should I say something? Should I not say something? Should I give? Should I go? What should I do? And when you step out as that kind of difference maker courageously you’ll find that the Lord—because he’s done something in you—he’s gonna do something through you. Watchfulness and courage make a huge difference.

Let me give you two other examples of how you put this in your daily life, from different ends of the spectrum.

The first example is a lady and a husband whose son was killed in a tragic accident. I know them well. I was at the house just a couple days after they had the accident. I preached the funeral. And their misery has become their ministry. They’ve used this painful thing they’ve gone through to make ministry or to give ministry to people so that they could be difference makers in a journey that nobody wants to be on. So that’s one mom.

Now let me give you another mom on the other side of the spectrum. She had a burden for sex trafficking and human trafficking. So she called together some moms on Tuesday night after all the kids were in bed. They would head over to this lady’s house. They’d have some brownies. They’d have some cookies. And they would pray the wallpaper down off that wall. I mean, just asking God for great things.

My wife was a part of that group, and I would say to my wife, “Your prayers are being answered in the Houston Chronicle.” Because we’d see all these brothels being busted and people being arrested. God was using these moms. This actually turned into a ministry that now has 20-plus churches that partner together against human trafficking.

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So you look at two different moms, one in grief and one in sorrow of another way of being broken, and saying, “I want to be a difference maker.”

So what is a difference maker? Someone whom God has done something in and then God’s gonna do something through them. How do you do that? Well, you walk watchfully and you walk courageously and you step out and you let God do whatever he wants to do. And if you’ll take that step, you’ll be a difference maker in a great way.

Let me give you the difference maker declaration that’s dear to my heart and also in our church. This is what it says—we would say this together as a church:

“I was made for more than watching. I’ve been given a history-changing, difference-making, Spirit-empowered legacy to leave. Jesus, I ask you to do something deeply in me and clearly through me as I pray, give and go in your love. I am a difference maker in Jesus name. Amen.”

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This article originally appeared on and is reposted here by permission.