Isn’t influence peddling a crime? What are you on about this time, Andy? Influence means power. I believe Christians have an unhealthy relationship with power, and therefore an uncomfortable relationship with influence.
Another word for it might be, persuasion. When I was an English major back in college, writing to persuade was all the rage. It was technically one of five styles of writing, known by the lofty term “rhetoric,” but most of my professors were of the opinion that there wasn’t much other reason to put fingers to keyboard than to persuade the reader of something. It conjures up images of cynical people saying things like, “everybody is selling something.”
The other day I had the pleasure of interviewing a young lady named Jessica Kriegel, who helps companies create growth through aligning their corporate culture with their values and strategy. She mentioned that companies all have a culture whether they intend to or not. They either let it happen organically and then end up fighting it every step in order to reach goals, or they intentionally pursue a culture that communicates and reinforces the companies vision and keeps employees engaged and pulling the same direction. It made me wonder, what if Christians have an influence whether they mean to or not?
It doesn’t sound like a bad thing to be influential. That makes it sound like you have a reputation you’ve earned for being able to get things done, and therefore people are more apt to get onboard with whatever you’re doing next.
These days, I see it used as a job description–a “social media influencer.” That’s when someone has a following and they’re paid by people (with something to sell) to recommend their products or services. We don’t feel manipulated by this concept until we really sit down and think about it. Let’s face it, the world has grown very complex and we’re drowning in information. Nine out of ten people consult reviews before making an online purchase, and 84% of shoppers trust an online review as much as a friend’s. Social media influencers can be a professional reviewer who acts as a sort of tour guide to the possibilities. Of course, many are just accidentally famous or a swimsuit model, or just someone who’s built an audience.
The price an influencer charges depends on the number of followers they have, i.e. the number of people they influence. If I’m right, you influence people every day. What sort of influence are you having?
God has been speaking to me about this topic for a while, although I didn’t know this is where He was going with it. All good things come from the Father of Light (James 1:17). God put the 1st couple on Earth in His image to “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.” (Genesis 1:28) Since Jesus was the second Adam (Romans 5) we are restored to that purpose. Which means all that “good” coming from God to us in Christ is ours to do something with.
1) Be fruitful
3) Dominate the earth
What does it mean?
What is are we here to be and do, as a people and individually?
I’ve been pursuing the answer to these questions for a decade and I have a lot of answers. The 1st part of my discovery I put in my book, “Primacy of God,” which makes the case that we don’t receive the answers to a lot of our questions because we won’t let God be God. God didn’t put it on us to be holy and redeem ourselves. He knew we’d fall and He planned for His son to pay the price. We must embrace that mystery. It’s beyond us to do some things and if we hold God out of those we won’t receive the substitutionary power of God. Can we nullify our salvation? I doubt it. But we can constrain God’s ability to bring transformation in our lives by insisting, “we’ve got it from here, God.”
But I made the case in Book 1 that there is a path out of the wilderness into our personal Promised Land and I said I was on the banks of the Jordan across from Jericho listening for God’s guidance. I promised that when I found out how to cross into and lay hold of my Promised Land I was share it with you, so you can lay hold of your own. I get emails from readers all the time asking when I will finally write book 2. I believe I’m ready to do that. I have been fighting and searching hard for an answer and I believe I have it.
When I wrote book one, “Primacy,” I blogged the rough draft and then cleaned it up to publish. My readers got to follow along for free. I want to do that again. It’s not a simple process. You’ll have to let me blog each day wherever it goes. I can’t promise that it will come out in perfect order. This is frantic and often messy process, but I’m committed to it.
Starting Monday, 2/22/21
Starting Monday, 2/22/21 I’ll be blogging every day, for 63 days or until book two is complete. So join me as I draft “Authenticity of Self,” and discover with me what it looks like to march around a walled city declaring that the land is yours in the name and authority of God.
What’s all this got to do with Christian Influence Pedaling? Well, if I’m right, everyone has an impact on the world around them. We can let it be our reactions to our circumstances that only declares the pain of our situation in the context of what we’ve been through in life (our scar tissue/experience), or we can be intentional about what we’re putting into the world. If we choose the latter, we can be a conduit of something that runs counter to our circumstances. We can choose to be light in the darkness.
Things happen to us. The rain falls on the just and the unjust. Blessing or curse often depends on our perspective. A farmer likes rain, a home builder not so much. What if every circumstance in your life were engineered by God to bless you if you could find the right perspective. What if choosing to live in that perspective influenced how the people around you view what’s going on around them.
What it God wants you to be a Christian Influence Peddler?
It’s scarier than that even. What if He has a plan for you to serve others so you earn the right to speak into other peoples’ lives? What if He wants you to learn something about persuasion so that when you have right to bend someone’s ear you are effective at it? What if God has a plan to make you worthy of a larger audience, but it involves getting purged of your dark places?
Or maybe you’ve been dreaming of that your whole life. A mentor of mine, Pedro Adao, once told me he suffered from ministry idolatry. He knew how to make money but he wanted to do something really great, which meant saving kids in Africa or something. Long story short, Pedro learned that doing business right makes it ministry. Business is about solving problems and when you do it in a manor that lines up with the Kingdom you can witness about the King.
The secret we’ll discover in “Authenticity of Self” is how to be a conduit of Kingdom by receiving Good from God, Being Transformed by it, Taking authentic Actions to hand it to others, and Having Kingdom Results. It’s about living inside out in Authentic Vision and Rhythm. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll see you all on Monday.
PS If you have questions you can reach me by replying to my posts on my FB page or LinkedIn or posting a comment on this blog. I’ll respond to any of these and I check them often. If you’d like a free half hour clarity call with me reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for a link to my schedule. God designed me to be a guide to the wilderness of the soul, which means in addition to writing I help people through business and life purpose coaching.