There is so much bad hype about leadership and, honestly, some of it is valid. But let us not be misled, true leadership can be particularly good and valuable.
But not all of us are in leadership positions, or even aspire to be in those positions. However, here is a little secret: we can all be influencers and, you know, in some ways, that is what we are all called to be.
In 1 Corinthians 11:1 (NIV), Paul says, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” We will explore this statement a little later.
John Maxwell says, “Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.” Maxwell talks about looking for the influencer. Often, the influencer will have a larger impact on the people than the titled leader.
What a thought. I, as an influencer, could have more impact on a group of people than the person in charge. The scary thing about this is always what lies in the heart of the influencer. We can influence for good or for bad, and that means we have a responsibility to keep our hearts and minds on the things of Christ.
Paul encourages us in 1 Corinthians 10:32 (NIV): “Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jew or Greek or the church of God – even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.”
Paul was adamant on seeking the good of others, and that is key to being an influencer.
Influence can result in change, affecting outcomes, without necessarily having leadership.
Linette Montae (Profitable CEO) says: “An influencer’s unique ability to effect change in strangers and have them happily follow to destinations unknown requires more than leadership.”
I love the influencing wording that is used in so many Scriptures. Hebrews 10:24-25 starts with, “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” Don’t see “I command you,” or “You will!” but drawing people, with Him, to something bigger than themselves.
1 Peter 2:11 -12 (NIV): “Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”
Note how Peter says, “I urge you” and then gives them what he is urging them to do and why he is urging them to live good lives, doing good deeds.
Influencing is about inspiring, persuading, and encouraging. Not telling, bullying, manipulating or commanding. I am pretty sure that many of you are influencing others already and are simply not aware of it.
In short, being an influencer is easier and more possible than you may have realised.
Here are a few ideas on how to be an influencer:
• Build trust
• Stay humble
(Romans 12:3 (NIV): ”For by the grace given to me I say to every one of you: do not think of yourselves more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”)
• Help others
• Serve others first
• Stay in your lane – don’t be someone you are not
• Consistently do what is right, even when it’s difficult
(Psalm 15:4b: “Who keeps an oath even when it hurts and does not change their mind.”)
• Be passionate
• Develop good relationships
Influencing is about helping people see a different perspective, and overcoming challenges, and this can only be done when we take the above steps into consideration.
An influencer is reliable and sincere, genuine, and thoughtful, only seeking the good of those around them.
Folks, being an influencer is within each of our grasps, and we are encouraged to be that to those around us.
Nadine Judge is Women Of Reverence guest contributor:
Lead Elder’s wife, Human Capital Specialist and Executive Facilitator
Nadine Judge is married to Francis Judge and together they lead Venture Church in Fairlands, Johannesburg. They have 3 adult children, 2 of whom are married. Nadine and Francis also have one granddaughter who blesses them both abundantly.
Nadine is proficient in English and Afrikaans, and has experience operating in multi-cultural contexts. She has developed leaders in South Africa, Zambia, Lesotho, Switzerland, Bulgaria and Iceland. When she isn't inspiring leaders and assisting Francis in leading a church, Nadine is often found where coffee, books and internet converge.