One of my spiritual mentors pointed out an interesting passage in scripture to me recently. It was a random Bible verse about 400 ordinary hoodlums that, when united, went on to change the world.
(Note: I realize that not all of you are Jewish history buffs nor do you necessarily believe that the Bible is more than stories. But stick with me, because I still think you will get something out of this!)
Does the scripture actually call them hoodlums? Well, not exactly. But I’m pretty sure your Grandma Farley would call them hoodlums. This is how they are referred to in the Message version of the Bible, “all who were down on their luck came around—losers and vagrants and misfits of all sorts.“
Here is another translation:
Then others began coming—men who were in trouble or in debt or who were just discontented—until David was the captain of about 400 men. 1 Samuel 22:2 NLT
Okay, now that we’ve established their hoodlumivity, let’s backtrack a little. Who were these hoodlums and how did they change the world? To understand their ripple effect, we have to see who they partnered with.
The Kingster, David
There once was an ancient Jewish king who is still pretty famous throughout Christendom called David. He is of such renown that there are still almost 4,000,000 people with just the first name of David alive today in the United States (which in my opinion, puts poor Hercules to shame). He might be most known for his epic childhood battle with Goliath the Giant, killing the big dude with a simple slingshot and a lot of ridiculous faith.
But between David’s slingshot Olympics and ascending the still shiny throne, he pretty much ran for his life. A lot. You see, the first king of Israel (Saul) had a vendetta against his personal harpist and giant-slaying, son-in-law David. David became a great military leader, despite the fact he refused to kill his enemy Saul. (Even though David was already anointed as the next king, he didn’t believe it was his business to kill his predecessor because of a “if God put him on the throne, he would take him off the throne” attitude.) It was at least fifteen year between when David was anointed as king to ascending the throne, and even then, he wasn’t full ruler over Israel for another seven years!
It is easy to talk about the King Davids. They always have an apparent legacy. It’s not as easy to notice the people that push the vision of the Davids forward.
(I was going to prove how extensive King David’s legacy was to you, but realized you’re already likely tired of my anthropological lessons. I moved it to a new post before you were bored to death. You’re welcome.)
Why Do 400 Hoodlums Have a Legacy?
Although there are plenty of other heroes in this particular case study, I wanted to point these guys out. They might be nothing other than ordinary, but they are still distinct.
Why? Because they are actually part of the story! They didn’t have to be part of the story, but there they are!
You see, David’s hoodlums could have sat at home watching him and wishing him the best. Or they could have sat at home really, really hoping David would win one day. They could have fervently dreamed for a better Israel, God’s Israel.
They could have done all of those things.
But then they wouldn’t really have been part of the story. They wouldn’t be listed in history as the 400 who helped David establish the kingdom God wanted to establish in this epic story.
Why Drives Us To Join Someone?
I can’t help but wonder, “why, though? Why did they join him?” Did they like David’s rhetoric? Did they feel like they had no other choice? Was it out of desperation? Were they just downright rebellious? Were their reasons spiritual? Did they follow him because they believed he was already God’s next chosen leader (and was that even common knowledge)?
I’m sure all of those were reasons why David’s band of misfits joined him. Even so, I theorize that their motives went beyond the person of David, to the hope that he represented. David himself wasn’t the vision. It was the kingdom they were establishing together that was the vision. David was just his generations’ rallying point.
What causes me to join someone? I think I join others for two reasons:
- I believe in them as a person and want to support them.
- I see something happening around that person and want to go where they are going.
Less Visibility Does Not Equate To Less Value
The 400 ordinary hoodlums who joined David are almost always skimmed over with no notice. But they aren’t applauded like David simply because they aren’t as visible. They had a different world-changing role than David, acting as key supporters of a vision rather than the rallying point of it.
Even though millions of people aren’t named after each of those 400 people millennia later, this doesn’t make their role was any less valuable. Beyond military support, these guys were his brothers. They refined David’s ideas, character and leadership skills. They were his friends. It makes me wonder if David’s legacy as we know it would have even come to be if it wasn’t for his comrades. After all, it was a tough season.
These misfits were a small band, but they were just what David needed to live out his calling. They joined his team in support. And because of that, they are still influencing us today.
These 400 hoodlums were world changers because they joined a world changer. They needed each other.
What Does This Have to Do With You?
So when I read about the four-hundred hoodlums, I couldn’t help but think, these are my people! The ordinary misfits!
I talk about it a lot about it here already, but Average Advocate is dedicated to helping the every day person become a world changer. We might be ordinary and we aren’t famous. But we also will not accept the status quo, living out our lives drugged by indifference towards those needing intervention–the oppressed, the poor, the unloved.
Is this you?
- We are burning with discontent for the state of our country; heartbroken for the state of our world.
- We realize that the poor and oppressed need intervention on their behalf.
- We might have our back-pocket full of blotched screw-ups and regrets.
- We don’t feel like we fit–we are dissatisfied with the suburban status quo, ticking off life in order: School, career, marriage, house, dog, kid 1, vacation, kid 2, retirement, sickness, death with little to no legacy.
- We want something meaningful to get behind, to fight for.
We are like David’s hoodlums in so many ways.
Are You Ready To Commit To Being a World Changer?
I realize I always write to you as if you have already joined me in being a world changer. But I don’t actually know if that is true.
Is this the direction you are going in?
- You might want to stay indifferent.
- Or maybe you don’t mind feeling overwhelmed by the major “suck factor” of oppression, hate, and poverty in the world.
- Maybe those problems don’t bother or depress you.
- You might forever be okay with not knowing where to start in discovering your calling as a world changer.
- Or at least okay with it until you retire.
- And then, you might plan on engaging when your grandkids don’t need you so much.
- (When you are seventy and hopefully still full of energy and health. A good 20, 30, 40, 50 years from now.)
- You can be a world changer . . . then . . .
I get it. Life is a lot and maybe being a world changer isn’t your thing. In that case, this blog and call to action probably isn’t for you.
I am speaking to the people who want to grow into their calling and leave a legacy by intervening on behalf of people who need love. I am talking to those who actually want to live their story and make the difference they were born to make.
And maybe you don’t know where to start. But that is okay. I don’t have it all figured out yet, but I won’t leave you behind. I have a vision to work towards and am paving a path to get you there. You aren’t facing all the terrible social issues of the world by yourself. (Whew!)
Join The Vision: World Changers United
One thing that has become clear to me in the last few months is that the vision I have–creating a platform that empowers everyday people to change the world for those who need someone to rise up on their behalf–it can’t be done on my lonesome. Of course, I have people that have been following Average Advocate since the dark ages. I have hundreds of followers here and hundreds there and some in between and some in my back-pocket. (A different pocket than my back-pocket of regrets . . . well, maybe there are a few followers in that pocket too!)
But what I don’t have is 400 misfit hoodlums committed to this vision with me:
- That we are each are born to make a difference
- There is a bigger story–a greater hope–for humanity than simply survival of the fittest
- That we each have an equally valuable and unique role to play in this larger-than-us story
- But, without help, we will be overwhelmed, have no direction, lose vision, burn-out, and never start
If you don’t want to wait until your grand-kids grow up to be a world changer, I invite you WOULD LOVE YOU TO DO ONE (OR ALL) OF THE FOLLOWING CHALLENGES!
I know many of you are being world-changers in various ways already, and that is great. I know many of you are resting and finding life before you venture out again, and I encourage you to pursue that! But for the rest of us, for those that want to take a step forward, to find your unique role, overcome indifference, overwhelm, and start on this path–I invite you to join me.
I need 400 ordinary hoodlums to believe in and help me push forward in the mission and vision that Average Advocate was built on. I passionately believe something is happening through this platform, conceived to equip other ordinary people like myself.
I invite you, I challenge you, to join me as an average advocate, a misfit to suburban-not-topia, to be an ordinary hoodlum.
I’m In! Where Do I Start?
First, thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m excited to get to know you on this journey!
Decisions must accompany action for them to take hold. And I have three actions for you. I won’t know if you don’t do all of them of course. But I really hope you will choose to do all of them because I think they will help you move forward as a world changer.
THIS IS YOUR NEXT MISSION
(If You Choose To Accept It)
1.) JOIN THE WORLD CHANGERS UNITE COMMUNITY
This is essential, and I mean it. Remember one of the core beliefs of the vision you just latched on to? We can’t do this alone? You can’t join a movement and not actually engage in the movement. That would be like the 400 hoodlums just hanging around their houses and not ever interacting with one another or David!
I have two ways for you to join the community:
(Note: your next step towards being a world changer will come through these so don’t ignore this step!)
The first is allowing me to contact you. This isn’t a profound request, but it IS a trust-requiring request, because no one likes to be bugged via junk email. I promise to not spam you or sell your email address (how does one even do that?). Most importantly, I will do my best to serve you.
Join the World Changers United list here or click the image below:
Choose to be asked into it by going here.
2.) INVITE OTHER TO BE A WORLD CHANGER WITH YOU
If you really want to move forward as a world-changer, having friends at your side is a must. We need each other and can’t move forward alone!
Also, I, at Average Advocate need to find my 400 hoodlums. I can’t make this vision happen alone! But to find these like-minded misfits, they actually have to know we are here before they can consider it!
But I believe in this mission. So for the first time in my eleven years blogging–six at Average Advocate–I am actually asking people to share a post.
I have THREE WAYS for you to invite people into this community:
1.) Share this post via email
This is by far the most effective way to share something. It is more personal and people usually see it unlike with social media. Send it to your sister, your brother, your mom, or your great niece. Or maybe your co-worker, baby-soother, or candlestick maker.
Try to think of SIX people who might want to consider being a world changer to share it with. (That way you will at least come up with two.)
What do you write? Something like:
- “You seem to like this type of stuff. Thought I’d pass it on. http://www.averageadvocate.com/2016/08/400-ordinary-hoodlums-who-changed-the-world/ “
- “I am inspired. Will you join me? I’ve really wanted to do something about human trafficking, or _______” Maybe if you hold me to it, I won’t put it on the back burner forever. Check it out: http://www.averageadvocate.com/2016/08/400-ordinary-hoodlums-who-changed-the-world/ ”
- “I love you, bro. So you better do this with me. http://www.averageadvocate.com/2016/08/400-ordinary-hoodlums-who-changed-the-world/ ”
- (Or alternatively, “I hate you, bro. So you better do this with me. http://www.averageadvocate.com/2016/08/400-ordinary-hoodlums-who-changed-the-world/ “)
2.) World Changers United
Once you join World Changers United, please invite other people into the group who you think might like it! If you are too freaked out of sharing this post, then by all means, just invite people into the group. As long as you get one JOINING and one INVITING action in, that will help you stay the course!
3.) Social Media
Of course! Facebook is sometimes nice to links that are shared by people and sometimes they aren’t. The more people that share them, the nicer Facebook is to it. You can share this from the @AverageAdvocate Facebook page or upload the image below into your feed with the link.
Pinterest, Instagram, and whatever else are also good places to find ordinary soon-to-be-world changers!
THANK YOU FOR BEING PART OF WORLD CHANGERS UNITED!
Thank you again for taking at least ONE joining action and ONE inviting action! (If you forgot to do that, you can go back now and finish that task.) I am so glad you are going to be one of the 400 hoodlums creating a legacy with me!
Your next mission–if you choose to accept it–will be front and center of the World Changers United Facebook group once you join!
Just like the 400 hoodlums with David, we are meant to make a difference. Average Advocate’s mission is to coach ordinary people to move past indifference and overwhelm, and giving them a clear path to change the world.