When I write the word “leader” what do you think?
Living in the church world I think of my role as a pastor and other elders at Cornerstone Bible Church.
As a consumer I think of CEOs I admire like Howard Schultz of Starbucks and Steve Jobs.
As an American I think of our controversial president “leader of the free world.”
I guess most of the time I think of title positions when I think of the word “leader.”
But then I remember what John C Maxwell wrote:
“A leader is someone who has influence.”
Pastor, CEO, President are all titles. Yet, a title doesn’t always have influence. For example years ago a pastor ranked pretty high in terms of trust for most people. Even for folks who didn’t attend church. Today, surveys show pastors competing with lawyers in terms of trust in the community.
The title “pastor” doesn’t have the same inherent influence it once owned.
So a title doesn’t always endow influence. Influence comes through respect, or trust, or debt or title or etc. If you think about it, anyone can lead.
My wife Ashley manages our house with just the title of Mom. Yet her influence extends beyond our house to a network of other moms in Terre Haute.
My 6 year old Christina loves to influence what type of play her friends do. When they listen, she is exerting influence.
I have a diabetic daughter and another with Leukemia. When I speak or write on these topics, quite a few people listen. I have influence born out of my circumstances.
Even the Goose, my 3 year-old influences people to like her because of her silly antics. She uses cuteness to get her way. She uses influence. She leads.
The need for leaders
Now that I’ve kind of shown how even a toddler leads with influence; let me make my case. We need more leaders for good!
The YMCA needs men and women to influence others to join, give, and invite others in.
Terre Haute needs friends using their influence to pull their friends out of drugs.
Cornerstone Bible Church needs families to use their influence to share their faith.
The Vigo County School Corporation needs men and women using their influence to educate our kids well.
We need to lead, friends! Not when we feel like we have the strength or power. We need to lead today! The problems in our families, in our churches and in our towns need attention today! Our world isn’t waiting for gifted, intelligent, confident leaders. It’s desperate simply for people willing to try.
So go. Write a message. Make a phone call. Start something.
Our world needs men and women and children using their influence to make our world better.