Clay Finklea

Clay Finklea

Lead This Gen Pastor

Everyone Can Influence Someone

The word influence has really shifted in the past few years hasn’t it? Influence has transformed into the phrase influencer and influencers are the ones who (seemingly) run the world for This Generation.
 
Ask any kid what they want to be and it’s a video gamer, a youtuber, a social media star. Frankly, who can blame them… If I could play video games all day, make dumb videos, and get paid to travel to Greece because I am pretty… Have fun finding a new This Gen Pastor.
 
It’s easy to make fun of this idea of the “influencer” because it doesn’t feel like they bring much to the societal table. That’s not true. They have figured out how the game has been played and they are winning at it. Unfortunately, because they are winning at it, there is a feeling that the rest of us are losing.
 
The natural belief is that since they are an influencer, they have influence and because we aren’t influencers, we don’t have influence. This sends us down a spiral of self-doubt, pity, worry, anxiety. I know this because I have been down that path where I felt like I HAD to be in this position to be an influencer and if I wasn’t then I was worthless.
 
Looking back, this couldn’t be any further from the truth. Yet, so many people feel that way. This feeling will distort the image of yourself like a carnival mirror, we look at that mirror and say to ourselves, “You are too tall, short, stocky, ugly, boring, messed up, dumb, and worthless to have influence.”
 
Once again, I know this, because I have said that to myself in that carnival mirror. This drives us to a pit of despair filled with lack of action and false labels.
 
I have to imagine that the woman at the well that we read about in John 4 this week in Quest was much of the same mindset for much of her life. This Samaritan woman had made a LOT of mistakes and was defined by this. It’s why she went to the well at noon. She didn’t want to face anybody. She then has this incredible conversation with Jesus about living water and food that sustains. As someone who was always “thirsty” she was craving this.
 
Jesus was able to share this good news with her with grace and truth. This caused her to have a moment of clarity on who the messiah was. At this point she could have kept on doing her own thing or she could go and tell others about it. 
It really is a shocking thing to think that she would go tell the other Samaritans about Jesus because of who she was and what she did. She was an outcast! She was avoiding people! She was looked down upon! Most would be content to have that moment and then keep it to themselves because who could they even tell it to? The Samaritan woman was the opposite of an influencer… yet, she recognized the power of Jesus and had to share it with others. This unbelievable moment of courage led to more Samaritan’s getting to know Jesus the Messiah and their life changing as well.
 
You may be reading this feeling like the Samaritan woman today. You feel like an outcast. You feel like you need to avoid people. You feel like others look down on you for your past. So you are reading this and saying there is no way I could influence others. 
That’s not true. 
Everybody can influence somebody.
 
We all have circles of influence in our lives where we can make a difference. It may be a school, a job, a neighborhood, or even a single cousin. Regardless of how big or small the circle of influence is, there is opportunity to share the good news of Jesus. 
Where people get tripped up on this idea is that they believe that influence always comes from the top down. That is simply not the case. The reason everybody can influence somebody is because whether the relationship is a boss and an employee or Father and a son or a teacher and a student…. Influence works both ways.
 
Due to my position, I am blessed to have the opportunity to have influence over a lot of people. It might be the staff team I lead, the ministry teams I lead, This Gen, or when I am communicating with people from a stage… I have a ton of influence… but I’ll be honest, I don’t find myself influencing everybody I just mentioned as much as they influence me. Every single week I am gaining insight, perspective, wisdom, and enthusiasm from people. It might be a scripture insight someone shares with me, a kid worshiping incredibly hard, or a student stepping up and serving. Regardless of how it plays, I am being influenced by them.
 
You can be an influencer… You can change the world… You can change someone’s world. It feels impossible, but you can influence people. After all this you may still feel doubt because you don’t know how to actually do this. 
The way to do it is shockingly simple and obvious… Tell people about Jesus. 
Let’s re-read some of that last bit of scripture we read.
 
John 4:39-42, “39 Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” 40 When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, 41 long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. 42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”
 
How did she turn into an influencer? She told people about how Jesus worked in her life. 
It’s that simple… Tell people about how Jesus is working in your life and people will want to know more about Him. If we do that… everybody can influence somebody.