How to be an Influencer (a lesson I didn’t want to learn)

Seven hundred women prepare to make their way to Concord, NC, this week for Proverbs 31 Ministries’ She Speaks conference (for aspiring Christian influencers). I won’t be among them.

One minute I’m fine with that, the next my heart longs to be attending. Yet I know this door has been closed to me this year.

As I reflect on this closed door, I feel I need to pass on a lesson God began to teach me at She Speaks 2012 and presented again powerfully at She Speaks 2015. It’s a lesson for those attending this year and for anyone who longs to make a difference in the world.  

You see, both conferences brought me great blessings, but neither time did I receive what I wanted.

Let me explain.  

I wanted a book deal, a speaking gig, an invitation to write or speak somewhere/somehow. I wanted validation that this writing desire wasn’t a crazy idea.

I wanted to be acknowledged as an influencer and encourager. And I believed the lie that a book deal or significant speaking gig would bring me that. 

But God knew what I needed was perspective. And He helped me gain it.

be an effective influencer

Proper Perspective

God helped me see that I  had started running ahead of Him, not following Him. 

He helped me see that I already had what would bring me fulfillment — God Himself. 

He helped me see that I already was an influencer and encourager — just on a smaller scale too easily taken for granted. 

No one needs a large audience to influence and encourage. We just need to be faithful to share the reason for our hope and joy with whoever we come into contact with … one soul at a time.

Don't wait for a large audience to influence & encourage. Share the reason for your hope w/ everyone you meet. Click To Tweet

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin,” Zechariah 4:10, NLT

Remember Why

In my desire to have my plans succeed, I was losing sight of the reason for my plans. I had misplaced my “why.”

In my eagerness to do work that matters, I was leaving out the One who matters (and was ignoring those other ones in my life that matter as well).

In your eagerness to do work that matters, don't leave behind the One who matters. Click To Tweet

I was becoming preoccupied with validation instead of embracing the growth the journey itself brings.

I needed to learn the joy of being faithful in the smaller assignments. To not discount the worth of the assignment God has for me now. 

Because it’s not the size of the ministry that matters. What matters is the One we make it about. 

It's not the size of the ministry that matters. What matters is the One we make it about. Click To Tweet

Pushing forward in an assignment prematurely will cripple our effectiveness and make it about us instead of Him. God knew I needed to be further grounded in my why, in the very reason I am doing this writing thing. 

So, no, I didn’t receive what I wanted from either She Speaks conference I attended. Instead I received exactly what I needed. 

Some of you have high hopes for advancing your ministry. Some of you will be attending She Speaks or another event that offers exciting opportunities and launches amazing dreams.

May I encourage you to not lose sight of the reason you’re there. It’s not for fulfillment, that should be in Christ alone.

All Christian ministries should be about glorifying God and reaching one more soul with the good news. And that can be done effectively with a reach of 1 or 10,000. 

Be an Influencer: Let God Lead

If you share the Gospel, you’re already an influencer.

If God wants to elevate your reach, it’ll happen. Don’t try to push the clock forward prematurely. Rest in His perfect timing.  

It’s not always easy to set aside our thoughts of what will be best for us, but trust that God, indeed, knows what’s truly best for you. 

There’s no guessing on God’s part. He planned your past, He is working in your present, and He is instrumental in your future. 

As you move forward in whatever assignment God has called you to, be open to His leading. Open your heart to accepting and being blessed through His great plan for you instead of holding tight to your own plan and asking Him to accept and bless it.  

Instead of plowing forward with how you see your dreams unwrapped, rest your plans in His hands and let Him shape them. Be ready for action, but act in the perfect timing of God’s clock, not your own. 

In your assignment, be ready for action, but act in the perfect timing of God's clock, not your own. Click To Tweet

Then you’re guaranteed to be walking on the best path toward your fulfillment and His glory! Then you’ll be the influencer you want to be! 

“Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be serious and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:13

Reflections: In your eagerness to encourage and influence, are you leaving behind the One who created you for that purpose? Are you looking for fulfillment from accomplishments instead of holding tight to the One who’s already provided it? Do you need to step back and slow down and let God retake the lead in your life and ministry?

Going on 5 years of counting and I’ve passed 5,000 gifts in Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare! What a blessing! Here are numbers #5168–5188. Read my entire list by clicking here.

  • Drive time to interact with my teen; Perfect weather to watch Joey and the band march in the parade; The mix of simplicity and complexity in my girl
  • Completing errands during Joey’s weightlifting; Homegrown blueberries; Rachel’s rather comical insistence that anyone who is home go along on walks with her
  • Spending the entire day with my guy; Enjoying catching up with past friends and acquaintances at a park ranger retirement; Attending the Building 429 concert at the fair
  • Great health report!; Spending the day with Mom and eating supper with her and Dad; Meeting Danny for lunch
  • Dave and Joey off on a transforming week at the National LCMS Youth Gathering in New Orleans; An evening hanging on the deck for just Rach and me; Zach home to camp with friends
  • A day with my girl; Watching and worshiping via the live stream of the National LCMS Youth Gathering in New Orleans; Listening to my 2 older boys chatting on the phone, getting caught up with each other’s lives
  • Rachel’s excitement at having her brother Zach working at Camp Courageous while she attends this week; Conversation with Dan over Coldstone ice cream; Beginning of my 3-day writing sabbatical

By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

One comment on “How to be an Influencer (a lesson I didn’t want to learn)
  1. Cecelia Lester (Quiet Spirit) says:

    Julie: Your thoughts are wonderful. I have two weeks to consider going to an area college to attend a 2 day writing conference. Hubby’s surgical procedure is tomorrow. The conference is on Aug. 5th and 6th. I did tell the woman in charge of the registration what I was facing and I wouldn’t be able to decide until shortly before that date. Something in me wants to go but I want to do God’s will for me and for my hubby.

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