If you’ve never read a book by John Maxwell, you’re really doing yourself a disservice. He has more leadership knowledge in his big toe than I have in my entire body. I’ve never met him, and probably never will, and yet he’s had a tremendous influence on my life.
In Maxwell’s book, The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leader’s Day, he says, “Leadership impact increases as influence increases.”
There’s no place that leadership is more important than the local church because the church works primarily through volunteers.
We don’t have the leverage that other organizations do. We’re not offering a salary and benefits.
As pastors and ministry leaders, we have to rely solely on our leadership and influence.
If the leader has no influence with the people they’re trying to lead, then they’re never going to follow.
It’s one thing to be obedient to God. We should certainly do what He says, but for leaders, obedience isn’t enough.
You need people to help accomplish the vision God’s given you, and if you can’t get people to follow you, then you’re going to fail your mission.
So, with that in mind, let me share with you a few thoughts on leadership and influence.
- Leadership is Influence
Think about it. Leadership is about getting people to follow you. The only way you do that is through influence. The more influence you have the easier it will be to get people to follow you.
- Our Influence can be Positive or Negative
You already know this. That’s why we’re so concerned about who our kids are hanging out with. You should be just as concerned about who’s leading in your church, especially in kids’ ministry, student ministry, and small groups. A lot of church splits happen because of someone using their influence in a negative way.
- Good Leaders use their Influence to Add Value
Whenever I write a blog or post to social media, I’m thinking how can I add value to someone else. Otherwise, what’s the point? Before you look to get something out of people, you need to make sure you’ve done a great job pouring into people.
- With Influence Comes Responsibility
Remember the story about the twelve spies sent into the Promise Land? Caleb and Joshua said we can take the land, but the other ten disagreed and started a rebellion. Their negative influence resulted in every one of their followers dying in the wilderness. Don’t take your influence lightly.
Remember, influence takes time. So, if you’re the new pastor at a church or the new leader of a ministry, it may take some time before people are ready to follow you. Don’t let that discourage you. Be willing to put in the effort it takes to become a great leader.
What are you currently doing to increase your influence? I’d love to hear about it in the comments. While you’re here make sure to subscribe to the blog to get tips on church growth, leadership, and more delivered to your inbox each week.