Influence is always the most visible aspect of a leader’s leadership. Influence is also the most dangerous aspect of our leadership because it is the most visible and most desired. No one sees what you secretly identify with, perhaps a few see your integrity on display in quieter moments and certainly many see your acts of intentionality on a daily basis, but far and away, the most public and visible aspect of one’s leadership is their influence. Let’s put together the last few weeks in this series and look at the life of a Gospel-centered leader from a wholistic perspective. This diagram helps to demonstrate how the 4 Marks of a Gospel-centered Leader build on each other.
Influence the most dangerous aspect of our leadership because it is the most desired and it the easiest of these 4 marks to be confused with “power and position“. It is important to note that God alone positions us for the level of influence that he desires for us to steward. God grants leaders influence:
Daniel 2:21 He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.
Influence is something that must be stewarded in the life of a leader. The question is not “ what is your current level of influence ”? The question is: “how you are stewarding your current level of influence ”? Do you leverage your current level of influence for the good of others or personal advancement? These are some of the very real challenges and opportunities that influence presents leaders with.
“The Christian leader will respect the role of power in leadership but will never glory in it” – Al Mohler
2 Components of Influence
With increased influence comes increased responsibility. The responsibility that influence brings involves setting aside “ rights ” for the good of those you lead.
If you are unwilling to lay down rights then you are unqualified to lead.
Leadership is often inconvenient and messy. With influence and increased responsibility comes the necessity of ownership and the willingness to model faithfulness to the mission through endurance and suffering.
Influence is not only a responsibility to assume but a privilege to enjoy. Leadership is not a “right” it is a gift of the Great Leader that should be enjoyed for the gift of grace that it is. One of the glorious realities of influence is that it presents a unique opportunity to reflect the character and image of God. Yahweh is a personal eternally existing, self-sufficient leader and we are not, but in our own unique “creaturely” way as image bearers we have been given the unique privilege to demonstrate a form of leadership that properly portrays the holy character of our God.
Ultimately, all of our leadership roles and positions will one day cease. Every leader is an interim leader. In the blinding light of eternity, the roles and scope of leadership and influence will matter little. How we stewarded that influence will matter much.
The Gospel-centered leader leads with an eschatological urgency. We lead and leverage our influence now so that on that last day we may hear from our Lord and Leader: “Well done my good and faithful servant.”.
A couple fo questions to ask:
Q1:What rights are you currently “laying down” for the sake of those you lead?
Q2: Do you see leadership as a privilege and responsibility?