If I were to ask what the point of ministry is, what would you say?
Drawing people to Christ? Developing them as disciple-makers? Deploying them into service?
Albeit, these are all fine answers…but what if I told you we can sum up ministry in one word…
Would you agree?
Regardless, the Word is clear our ministry emerges from our influence.
Consider 2 Corinthians 5:11…
“Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others.”
If you’re like me, you hear ‘persuade’ and immediately think ‘convince’; yet, when we dissect the Hebrew and extend it through v. 21, we find Paul is actually talking about influence.
Applying this filter, we can better understand how influence not only partners in God’s ministry of reconciliation, but matures our effectiveness as marketplace influencers.
Granted, there are many ways to broach the topic. For now, we’ll start with our usual ‘core three’ and work from there…
1. Know who you’re fearing
As mentioned, the bottom line of ministry is reconciliation achieved through influencing; however, to get there it’s important we grasp the fear of the Lord.
Note the latter reference:
“So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.”
This tells me two things:
- Godly fear multiplies wisdom and virtue in addition to faith.
- The evidence of influence is peace inspired by encouragement.
Therefore, when we talk about influence, we’re not talking as much about personal strength as we are the maturation of corporate morale and pointing people in the direction of Jesus (more on this in future posts).
Contrarily, it’s important we understand what influence isn’t.
‘Cause while the key to influence is the fear of the Lord, the enemy will use the opposite spirit, the fear of man, along with memories of past hurt to contrive a narrative where we’re seeking to overcome what’s already been overcome.
Thankfully, as Kingdom agents…ministers of reconciliation who can persuade through the fear of the Lord…we can rhythmically resist this mindset whiling combating the compromised systems of the world.
For as long as there is sin, enterprise will be governed by hierarchy1 where people are bound by control, manipulation, and intimidation. Yet, as for you, you can see people as God sees them (i.e. forgiven) and help them find purpose through daily influencing where they are.
After all, freedom begets freedom…and He craves it more than you do.
2. Know how you’re leading
As effective influencers2, it’s imperative we not only have the right mindset towards people, but our work as well.
For starters, we must view our work as an opportunity to show people who they are as opposed to a stage to prove our self-worth. In this way, we not only invest trust in God being the one to open eyes, but free ourselves to influence through our wiring and discover new strengths through how God uses their responses.
‘Cause truth is: When we allow God into our realm of influence, we trade the pressure of of accomplishing goals for a humility motivating others to reach them.
But Cam…what if I’m not a team leader or in a place of authority?
Again, to answer this question…we must ask ourselves why we’re asking it.
If we’re talking about what we’ve been conditioned to believe…then authority is nothing more than the appointed person governing ‘over’ us; however, if we’re talking about absolute authority3, then we can see how a) God alone carries it…and b) what we often associate as ‘authority’ is, in fact, influence manifest through the seven motivational gifts (as outlined in Romans 12).
Again, the system…a real life Matrix if you will…runs by pecking order, production, and the Jerry Maguire mindset of ‘show me the money’, but…
…as Kingdom influencers, we can approach metrics and outcomes without agenda by combining nurturing with our competence4.
Thus, whether you’re a supervisor in crunch time or a subordinate in training, you can help hold your team accountable to achieve certain goals in your respective roles. Just remember no matter what you do to galvanize effort, make sure it stems from a desire for everyone to succeed given a true influencer always values people over goals and never risks reaching them at the cost of another’s well-being.
For when we value people and decompartmentalize our desire to impact them, we not only influence a place where encouragement and goodness abound, but also where confidence and favor are ultimately shared.
Stay tuned next time when I’m unveil my third and final step to maturing as an effective influencer in the marketplace.
‘Til then if you have any questions, thoughts, concerns, feel free to leave them below in the ‘comments’ section and I’ll return serve as soon as I can.
Peace for your week,
- As well as the idea leadership is greater than serving (contrary to Romans 12 which tells us each gift is equal and carries status and dignity)
- All influencers lead, but not all leaders influence
- Difference between authority and authorities
- A simple formula for adding value to your team members in a way they’ll turn to you for guidance and feedback
Cover photo creds: MikeLavere.com