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Why Your Influence Matters More Than Your Following

06.30.2024

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Introduction

In our current digital age, it’s oftentimes tempting to believe our digital presence is the same as our personal significance–but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Scrolling isn’t the same as sympathy. Followers don’t compare to fellowship. And the art of aesthetics pales in comparison to the art of authenticity. You have influence right now, right where you are.

With algorithms forcing influencers and too-relevant reels to interrupt our screens constantly—the temptation to believe that your following is equivalent to the capacity of your calling is ever-present. 

But the invitation to step into your influence right where you are for the sake of the Kingdom is trajectory-shifting.

If we were face-to-face right now enjoying your go-to drink order in your favorite hometown coffee shop (can never go wrong with an almond milk cappuccino), I would look you in the eyes and tell you this in love: 

You don’t need a huge following to make a difference; you just need to tap into the influence God has given you today. 

This is something so counter-cultural to what we see happening online, but here are a few practical ways you can tap into your influence right where you are.

1. Share the gospel.

I once heard Jonathan Pokluda, Lead Pastor of Harris Creek Church, share a leadership nugget in a podcast I loved. He was in a team meeting and asked the people around him if they had shared the gospel lately. They all hadn’t, so he encouraged them to share the gospel and come back to work once they had done so. Those people weren’t the lead pastor preaching each Sunday, but he wanted them to share the gospel regularly. Not because they had growing platforms or countless followers—but because they had influence and it was essential to their mission.

As believers, we have the invitation to share the gospel right where we are. 

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Matthew 28:19-20

We’re told to share the gospel. 

We’re not told to share the gospel only if…

We have __ amount of followers.

We have an audience.

It’s convenient.

We have the right blog.

We have a book publishing deal to share it in.

It fits into our schedule.

Somebody puts us on a platform.

We feel like it.

We’re told to share the gospel…no asterisk attached.

2. Ask yourself the question, “How am I stewarding what I’ve been given?” 

It doesn’t matter how big your following is as much as it matters what you’re doing with the following you have. Whether you have 3 followers or 3 million, how are you bringing hope, light, and the power of Jesus to the people in your sphere of influence?

At the end of the day, we’re all responsible for stewarding what God has given us well, regardless of our social networks. Luke 16:10 says, Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”

Are you being faithful with what God has given you? 

If you don’t aim to make an eternal significance with the influence you have now, what will make you decide to make an eternal significance with a bigger audience?

3. Recognize your influence instead of focusing on the influence you wish you had. 

When I think of somebody who shared their influence regardless of the cultural barriers around her or the lack of followers she had, I think about the Samaritan woman. She didn’t go to Jerusalem to get a huge following—she went to her hometown and told as many people as possible about Jesus and what He had done. Why? Because she was so overwhelmed with awe and wonder she had to share it with as many people as she could. 

She told the whole city about the One who knew everything she had ever done but saved her anyway. The best part? It led to much of that town being saved.

Who has God put in front of you to connect with? Let’s be intentional with the friends surrounding us. Let’s share endless hope with the people at our gyms. Let’s be a light to the other parents at our child’s school. Let’s cultivate the art of authenticity in our lives to propel others into the mission and vision of the gospel. Let’s ask God to clarify who our people are to pour into, and let’s watch Him show up above and beyond what we’d imagine. 

The Enemy would love for the influence you don’t have to distract you from the influence you do have. 

It’s his low-hanging fruit plan we saw play out in the garden. God abundantly gave to Adam and Eve—but the Enemy distracted them with what they didn’t have.

You’re not missing out on anything. 2 Peter 1:3 tells us, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” The season, people, and influence God has intentionally placed right in front of you is too good to miss.  

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Scripture References

  • Matthew 28:19-20
  • Luke 16:10
  • 2 Peter 1:3
Ana Munoz Ana Munoz is from Las Vegas, Nevada, and resides in Atlanta, Georgia. She is currently the Director of the Office of Louie Giglio and an editor for Passion Publishing. She is passionate about leadership, healthy living, a good cup of coffee, and encouraging others to unleash their fullest potential of who God created them to be.