In his book, Developing the Leader Within You, John Maxwell says leadership is influencing. Someone else has said if someone is influenced by you, then you’re a leader. Now you can debate the idea of leadership, but the truth is we all influence people. If you are a parent, you influence your children or grandchildren. You have influenced someone because you purchased something and someone else tried it out or liked it, and they went and bought it themselves. Everyone influences someone. The question is how are you influencing people? As a believer, we are called to be a light in a dark world.(Matthew 5:16)
Here are some simple ways to influence someone for the Kingdom:
1. Have a genuine heart for people. Get to know people. Find out what they are interested in, what they do in their free time. Spend time getting to know them so that you can influence them. (John 13:34)
2. Make it a habit to pray for people. Pray for people you’re trying to influence. You may not know about a person’s spiritual condition, but you can pray for them. Pray God gives you the opportunity to speak to them about God. Pray for people who you know are struggling. (1 Timothy 2:1) .
3. Follow up with people. Often, we are given an opportunity to pray for someone. When that happens, the door is open for you to follow up with the person. Another form of follow up occurs inside the church. You can encourage and influence someone to return to church when you notice they have been missing for some time. Often people believe no one sees when they are missing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
4. Speak to people about Jesus. You may think that speaking to people is understood, but there are people who genuinely care for people, pray for people, and follow up with people but never tell people about Jesus. They do everything for people but never invite them to church to hear the Gospel. They are afraid to talk to them about Jesus. If you are truly going to influence someone for the Kingdom of God, then you must speak to them about Jesus. (Acts 1:8)
As of July 2016, Barren County’s population is 43,993 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. According to the research done by the Kentucky Baptist Convention, only 6,000 people in Barren County attend church on any given Sunday. We have a lot of people we need to be influencing. Will you start today?