...in order to change the world.

spheres of influence

In Os Hillman’s book Change Agent, he states: “If we are to impact any nation for Jesus Christ, then we will have to affect the seven spheres or mountains of society…These seven mountains are business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, the family, and religion.” Hillman goes on to say: “It is important to have conversions, but it is more important to have those who are converted operate at the tops of the cultural mountains from a biblical worldview.” These are some challenging words that I fully support.

When we look at each sphere of influence, it’s easy to see how in the realm of business, the abolishment of the ‘Blue Laws’ did away with Sunday as a day unto the Lord. This had a direct impact on our culture. We witnessed how systemic racism and oppressions can dictate who receives loans, jobs, and promotions. The rules of engagement continue to lack integrity and rules to silence any godly communication or celebration are being banded.

In our government, we have witnessed liberal and conservative laws give way to legalizing abortion, the destruction of biblically defined marriage, and the new Jim Crow movement which seeks to imprison minorities as a form of slavery.

The media has shaped the mind. The unfortunate reality of the media is that it is being controlled and manipulated by the opinions of its owners. The images and stories are designed to convince you of a prescribed world view. It’s amazing how the big story is not really a big story at all, but it’s that small story that gets mentioned in an obscure way to keep the status quo.

Arts and Entertainment decided to make homosexuality acceptable, and there were enough supporters at the highest level of this sphere that their efforts were successful. How, you ask; by writing, hiring, and showcasing this lifestyle as not only acceptable, but also as a mistreated, beaten, battered, and oppressed victim that deserves acceptance.

Our educational system influences us from childhood on what to think. We decided in 1963 that prayer in school was unconstitutional. We replaced prayer with tolerance, acceptance, and even promotion of every religion, lifestyle, and sexual preference. The tragic shootings, drugs, and bullying that have taken place in schools are a by-product of the world view of our educational system.

As mentioned previously, the family has been redefined. However, when you add the welfare benefits that are predicated on a child not having a father, you can’t be surprised how many fatherless homes are reported. When you compare the crime, incarceration, drug use, teenage pregnancy and poverty of a one-parent household as compared to two-parent households, the statistics are staggering.

Religion, and I’m going to be specific and say Christianity, is a sphere that has sacrificed its influence. We have lost our voice and purpose in the world. We have narrowed the mission to be so much about our personal walk and call that we have neglected the greater call, which is for God’s Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. The church is a people that must be equipped and empowered to go into each sphere of influence and impact it with the gospel. I don’t care if the job says you can’t promote your religion within the workplace.

Does that mean Satan wins and you ought to bow down and denounce your God when the bell rings?

We must strategically recognize the vocational mission fields where God has allowed us to be employed and begin transforming culture one classmate at a time, one coworker at a time, one neighbor at a time, one councilman at a time, one co-passenger on the bus at a time, and one believer at a time. The time is Now!

About the Author

Larry Anderson

Dr. Larry Anderson

Larry L. Anderson, Jr. is The Director of Church Health for the Southern Baptist Convention. He serves as an Adjunct Professor of Practical Theology at Biblical Seminary and he is also the pastor of Great Commission Church, previously located in the suburb of Roslyn, PA, but now situated in the West Oak Lane community of Philadelphia to provide a holistic ministry to an urban setting. Learn more about the project that Dr. Anderson is currently working on.


0 #5 Kenneth Foe-A-Man 2015-02-02 17:58
Interesting and practical approach for change processes. Useful in my work.
0 #4 Sharon Brendah 2014-07-21 03:15
How Can I know which sphere I belong to?
0 #3 Alexander Thomas 2014-07-20 07:07
That's exactly what I am doing with Saints United! This is our mission statement "Saints United exists to penetrate all aspects of culture in all cultures with the gospel and to disciple believers around the world resulting in their sanctification and God's glorification."
We have been in media (mainly social media) but are now spreading to arts and entertainment (via YouTube). In the future, I hope to enter all fields we've got to get our biblical world view back.
0 #2 Dr. Anderson 2014-02-12 10:56
Dr. Mangum this synergy that's building is very encouraging. Hillman quotes Hunter several times in his book 'Change Agent'.
0 #1 R. Todd Mangum 2014-02-12 08:26
Larry -- Amen! Thank you.

Also, the "seven spheres" sound very similar to James Davison Hunter's "culture shapers" (in his book, TO CHANGE THE WORLD, Oxford Press). Sounds like consensus may be building among (Christian) sociologists, as well, on these points.

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