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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

06 Jun '11

Thinking spiritual influence rather than personal recognition

Our world is driven by success, personal recognition and financial accumulation. For Christ followers there is a far more important goal, no matter what our job or role: it is that of maximizing our spiritual influence - the most important result our lives could have.

This recognizes that life is not about me but about God. Rather than personal recognition or fame, our goal ought to be to lift up the reputation of God and make His Son look great! When we meet Jesus face to face as we all will sooner than later our own personal status will mean nothing but what we did to lift up the reputation of Jesus and make His name well known will mean everything. This focus on God rather than self is counter culture and radical but it is the mark of a true Christ follower. 

Focusing on maximizing our spiritual influence means that we are always asking looking for ways to invest our time in ways that will have eternal value. When I spend time with my neighbors who don't know Jesus, it is all about spiritual influence. When I mentor other leaders to help them become better leaders, it is all about spiritual influence. When my wife Mary Ann uses her mercy gifts with those in deep need it is all about spiritual influence. When I write blogs, it is about spiritual influence. My point is that every one of us has ways that we can uniquely have spiritual influence with others in our neighborhood, workplace, among our friends, through our mentoring or giving or hospitality. In giving ourselves away rather than selfishly living for ourselves we expand our eternal influence for Jesus. 


We all have bank accounts. Our financial bank accounts will not mean anything on the day we meet Jesus. Our spiritual influence bank account will last for all eternity and is an investment in the Kingdom of God and the eternal destinies of others. I want to be rich when I die in my spiritual influence account. Not much else will matter. And all of us can be wealthy in spiritual influence. 

Those of us in full time ministry need to ask ourselves regularly whether what we do is about us or Him. It is easy to fool ourselves that we are about spiritual influence rather than personal recognition simply because we are in full time ministry. Not so: we face the same temptation as others to make it about us rather than about him. In fact, it may be easier for us to fool ourselves because of our ministry vocation. Each day is a choice. Am I investing for spiritual influence or for something else?