by Rachel Elyse Hunka
You have influence.
You don’t need to earn it. You don’t need to look for it. You don’t need to wait for it. Here and now, you have influence.
Cranky person in the check-out at the grocery store? Influencing the cashier’s shift.
Person in the office gossipping behind closed doors? Influencing the level of toxicity in her work environment.
Boss who initiates a personal development seminar? Influencing the growth of her staff.
Friend who comments on everyone’s social media posts hyping them up? Influencing people’s perception of that person.
Parent who speaks positively to her child? Influencing her child’s self-esteem.
It costs no money to influence others, but the way we steward our influence can cost all our peace.
Did you know that Jesus began his famous Sermon on the Mount with his back to the crowd? Matthew 5:1 says that Jesus ascended the mountain with his disciples then sat to teach them. He wasn’t speaking with the crowd in mind; on the contrary, he walked away from the crowd to speak to his small group of committed disciples. Eventually, he let the crowd stay to listen, but they were never his focus.
Throughout much of the Gospels, Jesus is seen leaving crowds behind or being refused by them. On a few occasions, such as the Sermon on the Mount, he allows the crowd to listen in on his teachings, but let’s not forget it was the crowd who sent their Savior to be crucified.
Jesus was keenly aware of the magnitude of well-stewarded influence on just a small group of people. During his three years of ministry, Jesus poured all of himself out to a few, gave genuine friendship to a few more, and allowed everyone else to decide for themselves if they wanted to like him or not.
Jesus sought commitment, not follower counts. In a world obsessed with paid influencers, be the person who speaks into the value of every individual instead of pushing hustle culture.
So, what’s your goal?
Is it earning 10k plus on Instagram and getting that swipe up feature? Or is it seeing your neighborhood connected through genuine friendship instead of internet likes?
Do you want to see your co-workers start sharing meals instead of spilling the tea? Show them what it means to value each other more than a viral TikTok.
Tap into your influence. You are the only person with your life experience, perspective, interactions, and position. No one else in the world can be you. Bring what you have to the table and boldly lay it all out there. Don’t see a seat for you? Make your own table. I guarantee someone you know is just waiting for anyone to give them an invite to sit down. Build your table and give them an invitation to something edifying.
Do you like to create? Bring your idea to life and share it. Your bravery will inspire another creative to do the same.
Do you like to write? Start a blog. Every reader is an opportunity to inspire.
Do you like to teach? Volunteer to lead a study or start a Propel Chapter. Every person that shows up is someone God has brought.
You have influence and the way you use it matters. Focusing on pleasing the crowd will rob you of all your peace, but taking close care of the people in front of you will bring you unimaginable joy. Crowds have been crucifying their leaders for thousands of years. Don’t glorify an idea and forsake an opportunity. Steward your influence.
Give relentless faithfulness to the opportunities God lays before you. Every life transformed is influence well used.
Rachel Elyse Hunka is a professor at Malone University and with a masters in Global Leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary. She is a writer and content developer for Bloom: Women in Church Planting and the Tribe Collective. Rachel is also the Founder and Director of the Absurd Conference, a national conference that exists to see a reconciled world thriving in a celebration of Kingdom Diversity, and co-host of the Bless Up Podcast. Rachel lives in Canton, Ohio with her husband and three daughters. You can follow her on Instagram.