We were a very tiny piece of the puzzle of relief that came to Houston in the aftermath of Harvey. But we mudded out over a thousand homes, raised over two million dollars in relief funds, received donations that turned thousands of square feet of our church at all campuses into a distribution center, and we hosted countless people from near and far coming to serve, to help, to pray, to bring good news, to bring a cup of cold water, to bring relief. And that’s exactly what it takes. When the rain falls, the church rises.

That’s what it means to be a difference maker. Not that you can, by yourself, change the world, or that you can fix all the world’s problems, but that Christians, one at a time, because of the gospel, join together to do something. We can each make a little difference somewhere. And all those little differences combined make a big difference. It did in Houston, and it’s doing so all over the world.

This is my invitation to you: to become a difference maker. This is the hope of this book. I hope, as you read the following chapters and see stories from the Bible of all kinds of difference makers, that you’ll realize that you’ve been called to do the same, and that you’ll live into this calling.

Throughout this book, you’ll find a common refrain. I call it The Difference Maker Declaration. We said this every Sunday for the year before Harvey hit and then we lived it more than ever. It’s simultaneously a prayer and a commitment. I’m inviting you now to say this prayer, to make this commitment, and as you journey through this book and through your life, to return to these words, knowing this is the calling God has on your life:

I was made for more than watching. I have a history-changing, difference-making, life-giving, Spirit-empowered legacy to leave. Jesus, I ask you to work 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.

Gregg Matte, Difference Makers: How to Live a Life of Impact and Purpose (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2019).

Want to fill your church with Difference Makers? It will take more than reading one article. I’d recommend you have every group in your church study this excellent book.

We have just completed a Bible study to guide your group into meditating on and applying these truths. The Difference Makers is our Bible Study based on Greg Matte’s book Difference Makers. It consists of 8 lessons with ready-to-use questions suitable for groups. It can be purchased on Amazon and is also available as part of Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service.