When did our world start telling us that we needed to be seen? Sharing photos of our meals in perfectly clean kitchens. When did #OOTD (Outfit of the Day) become a thing to post? And if I posted how much coffee I drink in a day - well, that’d be a lot. Live Tweeting, Insta Stories, Tik-Toks, posting, sharing, liking - all could be a full-time job. These “highlight reels” of people’s lives inundate us and can cause us to feel discontent with where we are in our lives.
In a world that makes us feel like we need to be seen, it can be disheartening when we are in the mundane, repetitive things of our lives. But if we can start looking at influence differently, we can see that we already are influencers. Every day we have the opportunity to love and influence those around us.
Oftentimes, we see people on stage as the influencers - the pastors, the evangelists,... And we think “I can never be like them.” Personally, as someone who has worked behind the scenes in a church for five years, I know there are many influencers that work to set the stage for the ministry to happen. For example, Production Managers are the people that work to make services and events seamless without any distractions. Administrative Assistants take care of the repetitive tasks, emails, communication, and important functions we take for granted. Hospitality management takes care of cleaning the building and making sure everything is sanitized and cleaned up for guests visiting. In every area of life, there are people working hard behind the scenes that are not seen, but they set the stage for others to be seen.
Scripture says in 1 Corinthians 12:15-19 (ESV),
If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be?
At times, we can get caught up on what we are doing individually instead of what we are doing collectively. We need each part of the body working to build the Kingdom. You don’t have to be hired in a ministry position to be influential in the Kingdom.
People that give their talents, time, and resources have influence. Those who show up and share the love of Jesus with a toddler (and all of their energy) are just as valuable to the body of Christ as someone leading worship on a stage. The Children’s Team gives an opportunity to the parents or guardians of the child to receive a much-needed break and have an opportunity to experience Jesus without distractions.
If we can embrace where we are in life and who is around us, we can be influencers. When you smile at the person in the drive-through window - you have influence. An unexpected love note in a lunchbox - you have influence. Showing up for a friend in their time of need - you have influence. To be an influencer you do not have to have 100k followers, you just have to show up for those you have in your life.
There are many heroes we encounter throughout our lives. They may not have a traditional influencer title, such as “famous,” or have won the “Nobel Peace Prize” or have been recognized in the White House for a courageous deed, but they touch our lives all the same. A friend and I have this code. When we send a "Prayer Hands" emoji to each other, we know to pray. She has been there for me through some of the hardest days of my life, always lifting me up and reminding me that we can decide what we put our focus on and to always choose to be kind.
What gifts do you have that you can share with the community around you? What time do you have that you could help a neighbor, friend, or expectant mother? How can you use your resources? And I don’t mean just financially. It could be providing a skill, a home-cooked meal, a ride to a doctor's appointment, or taking time to weed your neighbor’s garden. It could be giving resources: donating gently used furniture in your basement to a homeless shelter or sharing your outgrown children’s books with a local non-profit.
If we can recognize and use what we already have, we can be influencers in every part of our life. You have a God-given gift to offer the world around you. And to have influence, it doesn’t matter if you are featured on the local news station, spotlighted in your alumni magazine, or have 10k Instagram followers.
The influence you have is right in front of you. It can be found wherever you are: in your home, family, school, neighborhood, and workplace. Wherever you go, so does your unique imprint on this world. I love this quote by author and mother of several adopted children, Katie Davis Majors:
“It may take place in a foreign land or it may take place in your backyard, but I believe that we were each created to change the world for someone. To serve someone. To love someone the way Christ first loved us, to spread His light. This is the dream, and it is possible.”
So wherever life finds you today, take a moment to embrace that you have influence where you are. Show up. My friend, you do not have to be seen to be valuable.
Follow Up Questions:
In what roles do you have influence in your life?
How can we see influence differently?
Quote Taken from, Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption, by Katie Davis
Christiana is a happily married wife and has worked in ministry for five years. She completed her bachelor's degree in Organizational Leadership at Southeastern University. Currently, she is pursuing wholeness and healing through Jesus. She currently resides in her home state of Maryland and enjoys spending time outdoors, selling random stuff on Facebook marketplace, caring for her houseplants and sweet Maltese puppy Titus.
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