You Are an Influencer

Everyone has influence...including you.

And if you work in children's ministry, you are a super influencer.

You have the opportunity to influence children and their parents as well.

I believe influence is one of the best ways to leave a legacy.  When you influence the next generation, you are sending a message to a day you will never see.

Influence is different than an inheritance.  An inheritance is physical items you leave for people, while influence is the spiritual investment you leave inside people. 

At the end of our lives, it doesn't matter what we own, rather it's about the relationships we have established and grown. 

I am reminded of the story of Alexander the Great.  He had 3 wishes for his funeral. 

First - I want my physicians to carry my coffin because people should realize that no doctor can really cure anybody. They are powerless and cannot save a person from the clutches of death.

My second wish to strew gold, silver and other precious stones on the way to the graveyard is to let the people know that though I spent all my life accumulating riches, not even a grain of gold will come with me when I leave this world. I want people to understand that it is a sheer waste of time, energy, and peace of mind when one yearns to be rich.

With my third wish of having my hands dangling out of the coffin, I want people to know that I came empty handed into this world and likewise will go empty handed from this world.  What a great example of what really matters in life.  

When you and I leave this world we will leave empty handed.  No matter how much money we've made, it will fall out of our hands.  But what you can leave is a legacy that was powered by the influence you invested in the next generation.  

I want to challenge you to live with this in mind.  God has placed you in the most important time of influence in peoples' lives...when they are children.  You can influence kids with your words, actions, priorities and walk with Christ.  

One hundred years from know it won't matter what kind of car you drove, what your address was, how big or small your bank accounts were or what designer fashions you wore.  What will matter is the influence you've invested in the next generation. 

Here are a few practical steps you can take to leverage your influence.  

Build relationships with kids and parents.  Influence is primarily passed on through relationships.  Learn the names of the kids in your group.  Greet the parents of the kids you serve.  Spend time with them.  When you do this, it will open their heart to receive what you are saying or showing.

Let your primary influence be with the people inside your family.  The most important people you want to influence is your own family. 

I have heard John Maxwell say this, "The people who love you the most should be the people who are the closest to you."

That's so true, isn't it.  Our greatest influence should be with the people who call us "dad" or "mom" or "grandma" or "grandpa."

Think back about the people who have influenced you.  In some cases, it was a negative influence.  And in other cases, it was a positive influence.  Much of who you are today was influenced by these people.  

What a great opportunity God has given you to influence the next generation.  Grab hold of it.  Begin to invest in people with your words and actions, and you will see your influence grow exponentially.