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January 29, 2021Interviews

Change Your World with John C. Maxwell and Rob Hoskins

An adapted excerpt from Ed Stetzer's interview with authors John C. Maxwell and Rob Hoskins.
Change Your World with John C. Maxwell and Rob Hoskins
Image: Wheaton College Billy Graham Center

Ed Stetzer: Let me ask you tell us a little bit about why you wrote Change Your World, and why ultimately, this book matters.

John C. Maxwell:Change Your World was written because we think that in the times in which we live, it is better to turn on the light than to curse the darkness. Change Your World is all about how anyone, anywhere, at any time can really make a difference in their life. The book is a result of both Rob and my own experience in trying to do transformation around the world. I’ve been pursuing it with our Equip group and with a few select countries on the invitation of the presidents of those countries. And of course, Rob has been doing this too, with great success. And so we decided to come together and bring our experiences of trying to bring transformation to people’s lives into the book.

What is fun is the fact that we did it together. We have just kind of fed each other. When you put two people together and they have the same heart, you begin to really compound and multiply some good work. What we’re finding with the book is that it was not only a labor of love, but of colleagues.

We believe that the world can be changed. Therefore, we have a how-to book guide on how to do it. And it’s not theory, because we’ve done this with millions and millions of people and we’ve seen terrific results. Now, we’re trying to put it in the hands of people who can be the ones to change their world. It’s not “change the world,” but “change your world.” Start with where you are.

Rob Hoskins: John’s been mentoring me for several years and we’ve worked together. We were talking about our favorite subject, transformation, and I said to John, “Do you think there’s a book here?” I know both of our passion is to see peoples lives change, transformed families, transformed communities, and even to see nations transform. What does that mean? What does that look like?

John is one of the masters of being able to popularize things in an incredible way. And he said “Yes, Rob, I think there is a book here. In fact, can I write it with you?”

I said “Let me think about it—yes!”

It’s been a wonderful time writing the book. We were actually writing it when COVID-19 started and finished it during this time. That has obviously impacted all of us, and created an opportune time to come out with a positive message, and to put tools in people’s hands to see transformation in their own lives.

Ed: Some people might look at the book and think “These are obviously two guys who have changed the world in a very specific way. How can it be relevant to me?” What would you say to those people?

Rob: I think what we’ve learned on our journey, and what the book talks about, is that if we’re really going to change anything, it has to be built on values, and particularly good values. We’ll talk about that in a second, but that also means that what creates real transformation is when you have a group of people that are really committed to a common cause and work together. Everybody is a part of the transformation process. If not, you’re just on a walk by yourself.

Allowing everyone to see what their part is within a transformational process is so key and critical to us. Living those good values that we talk about in the book is the first step to everything we’re doing now.

John: I would like to add this. Most of my life was spent in the secular world, with a purpose specifically of adding value to that world, and then being able to connect with people in such a way that I sometimes get to share my faith. That’s kind of our end game. About 20 years ago, I was asked to write a book on business ethics, and I said there’s no such thing. There’s only ethics. The publishers told me to write a book on ethics instead.

And, I did write the book. It was based on the golden rule, to treat others as you would want them to treat you. You see the golden rule is in every religion, in every culture in the world. When I finished that book, I began to have these incredible moments, and realized that the way to reach a secular community is through values. If you teach values, it’s pre-evangelism. The moment people start to embrace these values, they’re now more open. That was life changing for me.

So, I began in my work and leadership to teach on values of leadership. We trained 6 million leaders in every country, but there's a difference between a leader with a set of leadership skills and a leader with the leadership heart. Galatians 5 teaches us about the fruit of the spirit, and it talks about all these wonderful, attractive traits of divine love, joy, peace, long suffering. At the very end, the last line it says that these qualities and values are limitless, and they're above the law. What I have really learned is the fact that if we'll really helping people learn and live good values is the foundation.

If I don't value you as a person, I will de-value, you I'll manipulate you. I'll take advantage of you. And so you must value in everybody. So when you do develop a foundation of valuing people and then teaching them good values, all of a sudden you have set an environment that is very conducive for life change to happen.

Most of our work is done in a secular community. When people begin to discuss these values, we began to see life change very quickly, because they're just values that they have never really considered, talked about or embraced. Once they learn to live with these values , everything begins to change in their life.

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Change Your World with John C. Maxwell and Rob Hoskins