Last Sunday after church, our small group discussed the idol of power that Pete Wilson had taught about earlier that day. During the discussion, one of our group members claimed that he was a ‘chronic follower’ and didn’t have to struggle with power issues. I found that idea to be pretty interesting, so I spent some time thinking about it. My conclusion: what a dangerous way of selling ourselves short.
I’m going to throw out a few questions:
- Do you own a business?
- Do you have any employees?
- Do you have customers/clients?
- If you’re not in business for yourself, do you have any co-workers?
- Are you a member of any organizations, teams, or activities outside of work?
- Do you have any siblings?
- Do you have a spouse?
- Do you have children?
- Do you have any friends?
- Can you fog a mirror?
If your answer to any of the questions above is yes, then I hate to break it to you, but you’re a leader. If you have any sort of influence over some other human being in this world, then you are a leader. It may seem insignificant sometimes, but it is very real. Cliche alert:
“To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.”
Sure, it looks different in some situations. The leader of a Fortune 500 company has very different concerns for himself and for his people than the pastor of a rural church in Oklahoma. Don’t think for a second, however, that the stakes are any different for either one of them.
I picked this story up from reading The Hole in Our Gospel(not an affiliate link) by Richard Stearns:
There was one a young man from Boston named Edward Kimball. Kimball taught Sunday school classes at his church. One day, a particularly rough teenage entered his class. He had some trouble reaching the boy in class, so Kimball tried visiting him at work.
Mustering up his courage and coming in to visit at the right time, the difficult teenager was so moved by Kimball’s words that he decided to give his life to Christ in that moment. That boy’s name was Dwight L. Moody and he went on to become the most successful evangelist of the 19th century, preaching to an estimated 100 million people during his lifetime (before the time of radio, television, cars, and airplanes!)
Moody would go on to help a man named F.B. Meyer, who mentored J.W. Chapman, who started a ministry with Billy Sunday. Sunday held a big evangelist revival in Charlotte which was so well received that they invited back one of his associates named Mordecai Ham was invited back to hold another one a few years later.
On one of the final nights of Ham’s revival meeting, a scraggly looking teenager came wandering up to the altra in response to one of his calls to “give your life to Christ.” That teenager’s name was Billy Graham.
What if Kimble hadn’t taken his leadership responsibility seriously? How different would our nation be today? How would each and every one of those people be different? How would we be different? Don’t ever underestimate your power to influence and lead the people around you. If you’d like to learn more about how to tap into that power and be a better leader, subscribe to the feed and join the discussion below.
Each one of us needs to embrace the fact that we are all leaders in some capacity. The way we live and act with other people can have a profound ripple affect with the power to be felt through generations. When we realize that our actions and decisions affect all of those within our “sphere of influence,” we can stop leading our lives and start living lives that lead.
Why wouldn’t you consider yourself a leader?