by Ana Munoz
In our current day and age, it’s far too tempting to believe that our digital presence is the same as our personal significance – but it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Scrolling isn’t the same as sympathy. Followers aren’t the same as fellowship. And the art of aesthetics isn’t the same as the art of authenticity. You have influence right now, right where you are.
With algorithms forcing influencers 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 a delicious, warm pumpkin spice latte in your favorite hometown coffee shop, 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 your influence right where you are.
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:
I recently 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 go 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 still wanted them sharing the gospel regularly. Not because they had platforms or followers — but because they had influence and it was essential to their mission.
We have the invitation to share the gospel right where we are. Matthew 28:19-20 says: “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.”
We’re told to share the gospel. We’re not told to share the gospel if…
If we have __ amount of followers.
If we have an audience.
If we have the right blog.
If we write a book someday.
If somebody puts us on a platform.
If we feel like it.
We’re told to share the gospel…no asterisk attached.
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?
When I think of somebody who shared their influence regardless of the cultural barriers around her or 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 in front of her as possible about Jesus and what He had done. 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 to 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 watch Him show up in the midst of that place 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. Instead, show gratitude for your people and know that you’re not missing out. “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.”
Don’t miss the season, people and influence God has intentionally placed right in front of you.
Ana Munoz is from Las Vegas, Nevada and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. She has previously worked for many Christian organizations such as Central Church and Catalyst Leader—an organization dedicated to empowering leaders who love the Church. 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. You can find her on Instagram at @anaamunoz.