I DON’T KNOW of any person who doesn’t want to make a difference in the world.

Nobody grows up dreaming of waking up, going to work, heading home, watching Netflix, scrolling through social media, and then doing it all over again the next day until their last breath. We all want to be used to change the world.

We don’t want to spend our lives being time-wasters, or space-takers, or binge-watchers, or game-players, or even book-readers. We want to be difference-makers. And my guess is the reason you picked up this book is because you want to be a part of something bigger than yourself.

But it’s easy to get caught up in the everyday stuff of life until the years slowly go by, and with each passing year, the question seems to get louder: Am I making any difference in this world? Everyone I know wants to have an impact.

One thing I’ve started to notice is that the way most people measure the difference a person makes is by how many and how much. How many friends, followers, likes, and comments someone gets on social media determines if they’re an influencer. How much money and power someone has is how we often gauge a person’s impact.

We want to make a difference, but there are so many opinions on the way to do that. We’re drowning in content that tells us how to make an impact with our lives. I’ve read the books, researched the articles, listened to the podcasts, and attended the conferences. I’ve taken notes as I’ve studied the autobiographies of difference-makers, trying to understand how they did it. What were their routines? Their habits? Their best practices?

We’ve never had more access to inspiring and helpful content to help us become people with greater impact and influence, and yet it seems that more people than ever feel like that’s not happening in their lives.

Maybe there’s another way to make a difference, and we’re just missing it.

I wrote this book because I discovered something unexpected when I studied the life of Jesus. Without a doubt, Jesus is the person who has made the biggest difference in all of history, yet his impact is surprising because he didn’t follow anything like the formula society gives us. He grew up in a poor family and worked as a carpenter for most of his life. He never traveled far from his small hometown. He never went to college, never was voted into office, never held a title or position that would’ve stood out on a résumé.

Jesus didn’t have thousands of Facebook friends or Instagram followers. He wasn’t TikTok famous. He didn’t have a YouTube channel. He never tweeted. I’m pretty sure he never even started a podcast.

So, how did Jesus make such a difference in this world?

If we study the story of his life as recorded in the Gospels, there are a number of answers we could highlight, but there’s one particular phrase that captures how Jesus had such an impact, and I believe it’s how he wants to use us to make a difference: one at a time.

Idleman, Kyle. 2022. One at a Time: The Unexpected Way God Wants to Use You to Change the World. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker.

We have just released a new Bible Study based on Kyle Idleman’s book, One at a Time. These lessons are available on Amazon, as well as a part of Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.