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Posts Tagged ‘Influence’

This idea of carrying the weight of influence scares me. If I was being most honest, it scares me to think that my life, words, actions, silence, beliefs, and values affect others. I do not take the fact that I am in influential positions lightly. I choose my words carefully.

These days I am finding myself more and more in positions of influence. As a Life Coach, I am working with individuals to make desired changes in their lives. That is a big deal to me. As a speaker, I am responsible for the words spoken from my mouth. My heart feels heavy just thinking about the weight of influence that desire holds for me. The weight of that influence represents truth, hope, living as one who believes and knows someone greater than myself. My life is meant to magnify the one I want to speak about.

Blogging is a way of speaking as well. Social media reflects our character and how we treat people. There is a weight I feel when posting. I am methodical about what I write, even if it’s light-hearted. I desire to influence those who read.

Written words, in any form, and for any reason should not be taken lightly.

Everything I say and do should reflect the answer to the question Jesus asks of who I say he is. Before I can be a Coach and a Speaker,  I have to just be a follower after him. Before I can play those roles, I must walk out the identity I claim in him. If I had no job, I would still be responsible and accountable to claim Jesus as the Christ. There is still a weight of influence to those who you don’t know are watching and listening. There is a weight of influence for yourself.

You have to be what you want to say!

I do not take my words lightly. I want to be good for others. I desire to speak truth, provide truth and hope. I crave the weight of my influence to point people to someone greater than me. Even the ones I don’t know are listening and watching.

How do you handle the weight of your influence?

How have you seen influence used poorly?

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Leadership is a powerful word. I am sure we can all think of ways that leadership has been carried out well, and ways in which it has been manipulated.

Leadership is no small thing.

The thing most forgotten about leadership is that leadership is about leading.

Leaders crave influence the most. They desire for their words to have weight; they want to know that what they offer has value.

Leaders are drawn to stepping up into directing roles. Leaders are often enabling situations to offer into.

Leadership requires the character traits of humility, wisdom, compassion, and integrity. I also believe that leadership requires the character trait of open handed leading.

John the Baptist is my hero when it comes to mastering this balance of leadership. He is always my go-to guy when I need a reminder of how open-handed leadership is done well.

What is open-handed leadership?

It is the ability to hold loosely to the ones you are leading. No one is a possession. No one is “ours.”

John the Baptist always made it clear that he was not the Christ. He was so great at directing everyone’s attention and reverence to Jesus. John freely confessed that he was not the Christ. Do we?

There was even a time where John’s disciples were ranting to him that Jesus, and his disciples, were baptizing more than they were. The people were going out to Jesus instead. John responds by saying that they should. John reminds them that he is not the Jesus.

John came to lead the way to Jesus. This is the same truth for our lives as well.

I am hugely passionate about leadership. I am always drawn to the leadership role. I love soaking up knowledge that pertains to leadership. I will most often step up and pursue the directing role as well.

There is a tension and a balance that needs to be mastered when it comes to leadership. I always need to ask myself the question of, “where am I leading to?” Leaders most often get struggle when it comes to the direction of leadership.

I confess to my own human flaws of struggling with the balance of leadership. I love influencing. I love offering. Sometimes I can forget to keep the focus off of me and on the one I am leading for.

I still struggle with jealousy when it comes to leading. I have been the one ranting to God that more people are going to him than me. That’s just honest. I struggle with fears of having nothing to offer. I struggle with the fears of not being liked, and being made to feel foolish. These are some of my weaknesses wrapped around my love of leadership.

I have been learning a lot from John about the character and value of leading with open hands.

Leadership is about leading well towards him.

So allow me to ask you…where are you leading others to?

 

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I am a huge fan of the Indianapolis Colts. Some of you might be thinking that it’s because I have jumped on the Peyton Manning bandwagon. The truth is that the Colts are more than one player. They act like it.

There are no real show-boaters on the team. Every player actually looks like he is in the game to play. I have always loved the Colts because they exude character. I have always been attracted to how they challenge one another to be better players.

The character of the Colt players is evident when they encourage one another instead of yelling after a dropped throw or miscommunication. I have not seen Peyton leave the field cussing after throwing an interception. He sits on the sidelines and talks strategy with his teammates for the next offensive opportunity.

I recently started reading Tony Dungy’s, “The Mentor Leader.” Through reading this book, I have gained more respect for the team I love. I also found the answer to what I had been attracted to in my team in the first place.

Jim Caldwell, acting head coach for the Colts,  puts into words what he discovered while talking to Tony about the Colts.

The team had a policy of placing character in the forefront of the player-selection process. It was a common organizational practice to eliminate players — even talented “difference-makers” – from consideration in the draft if they possessed questionable character flaws.

Character matters. It is evident in that team just how much of a difference character makes.

Some people might say that the Colts are on to something with their policy about character, but this policy was in place a long time ago when the church was forming.

Pauls’ letters in the New Testament are filled with this character policy. Paul described the details of living differently for the Lord in multiple letters. There were policies in place for the requirements of those who wanted to be in church leadership.

The leadership of the church was held to a higher standard of living. This higher standard can also be called character. Deacons and Overseers were required to be people who were living life above reproach, faithful, respectable, hospitable, teachable, gentle, self-controlled, and able to manage is family well.

Character matters. Our character matters. Character influences every area of our lives, as well as, the lives of other people. People who have good character are on the front lines of following after him. Good character is attractive. Character is a not so small thing that makes teams and people great.

The same character policy that Paul understood for building the church applies to us today. Character stands out and makes people different.

My character needs some work. My desire is to be different.

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There is an association with the word “ministry” as being a vocation. I have repeatedly heard people say, “I work for this ministry,” or “I want to go into ministry.” There are some really great organizations who represent different characteristics of God, and they call that ministry. But I think our lives are ministry. You are ministry.

Everyone has a weight of influence in life. You may not realize it, but you influence the people around you. We see influence play out all the time in political offices, media, churches, and families. We influence one another all the time.  How we influence our kids affects them as they grow up. How our management influences us makes a difference in the workplace. This carries over into how we are believers as well. Each of our lives influence, and that influence affects people and makes a difference.

Whether we are conscious of it or not, we will all allow ourselves to be influenced by someone. The thread of that influence will produce something in your life, good or bad.

My model for living life as ministry comes from the person of Jesus. Jesus influenced so many by the way he loved, forgave, offered real healing, and by his words of truth. Ministry was not something Jesus did, ministry is who Jesus was. As I grow in an understanding of who Jesus is, I hope my life will reflect living ministry.

So what does it look like to be ministry? It looks very different than the never-ending standards of this world. It’s loving differently. It’s living out integrity and caring about your character. Ministry is showing others real respect, and speaking the truth out of love. Ministry looks like being an example of choosing the hard and honest choice, even if that means hard consequences.

Ministry is the action of living out your relationship with a real God. Your life will influence and change the lives of others. That is ministry. You are ministry

(repost)

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There is an association with the word “ministry” as being a vocation. I have repeatedly heard people say, “I work for this ministry,” or “I want to go into ministry.” There are some really great organizations who represent different characteristics of God, and they call that ministry. But I think our lives are ministry. You are ministry.

Everyone has a weight of influence in life. You may not realize it, but you influence the people around you. We see influence play out all the time in political offices, media, churches, and families. We influence one another all the time.  How we influence our kids affects them as they grow up. How our management influences us makes a difference in the workplace. This carries over into how we are believers as well. Each of our lives influence, and that influence affects people and makes a difference.

Whether we are conscious of it or not, we will all allow ourselves to be influenced by someone. The thread of that influence will produce something in your life, good or bad.

My model for living life as ministry comes from the person of Jesus. Jesus influenced so many by the way he loved, forgave, offered real healing, and by his words of truth. Ministry was not something Jesus did, ministry is who Jesus was. As I grow in an understanding of who Jesus is, I hope my life will reflect living ministry.

So what does it look like to be ministry? It looks very different than the never-ending standards of this world. It’s loving differently. It’s living out integrity and caring about your character. Ministry is showing others real respect, and speaking the truth out of love. Ministry looks like being an example of choosing the hard and honest choice, even if that means hard consequences.

Ministry is the action of living out your relationship with a real God. Your life will influence and change the lives of others. That is ministry. You are ministry.

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This week we have talked about different roles in which the weight influence can be seen and heard. We have looked at how the weight of influence should be valued from your closest relationship to the many you know and don’t know. What about in your house? What about those roles that impact a younger generation?

There is a great verse in Deuteronomy that states, “18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

For the past two weeks I have been attending a seminar on parenting that a mentor of mine has been teaching. Personally, I am very far from the role of parent, but her great tools still apply to me as a mentor and counselor. As I was sitting there listening to my friend, I realized that no matter what tools you have, tools are just tools. Tools have no value without strong character behind them. Younger people are great at seeing through what is being said and hone in on what is being done.

Jesus repeatedly stated that, “19Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these.”

Who we are matters. What we say and do matters. Rules and tools can only go so far; the weight is in who you are.

Africa has a saying that, “it takes a village to raise a child.” I have had mentors, Young Life leaders, teachers, and youth pastors who have helped raise me along side my parents. Their words and actions have all influenced my life for good and for bad. There is a weight in both.  I can honestly say I have always followed after the actions of those older than me. I can’t tell you one tool they used, but I can tell you what I heard and saw.

Jesus, in his simple words, followed after the what the father said and did. The weight of his influence flowed out of  just that. I hope to say those same words to those around me.

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The weight of influence is often attributed to people in the public eye or those who desire to be out front. It is easy to attribute influence to those who volunteer to stand in that position. What I have learned is that everyone carries the weight of influence.

Proverbs 27:6 states, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”

Our closest relationships carry the most influence. There are so many verses in the Bible that talk about the importance of the weight of intimacy we carry with one another. Throughout the New Testament you can find verses that state, “spur one another on,” “pray for one another,” “lay down your life for one another,” and “love one another deeply.” Our heaviest weight of influence is most effective in our closest relationships.

I am often reminded of this whenever I read the stories about the calling of the first disciples. In this story, Jesus is being followed by two disciples of John the Baptist. When confronted with awkward questions, Jesus invites these two men to “come and see” for themselves what he’s about. A couple of verses later, Phillip uses the same words to invite his brother to “come and see” who he knows.

Friends talk alike. Close friends, I am convinced, even look alike. People have accused me and my closest friends of being identical. That speaks to the intimacy of our relationship. I am so thankful for my closest friends. I know and feel the weight of who I am with them. We influence one another. With your closest, you are fighting for them, on your knees for them, believe in them the most, talk like them, laugh like them, are intimately known by them, and the most raw you with them. This is no small thing.

We are responsible to one another. Back in high school our influence was labeled as “peer pressure.” Unfortunately, peer pressure is not out grown as we get older. The hope is that our influence shifts form pressure to bringing out the best version of another.

Wounds from a friend can be trusted.” That is a powerful statement that deserves reverential fear. We influence others—the stranger, the crowd, and the people who know our innermost being. This is no small thing.

Pray this week for how you influence your friends as well as how your closest influence you. Your closest deserve the best you.

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