You can think you have influence because of power. Bullies think this way. If I am the strongest on the playground, then I can dominate. True to a certain extent, until someone stronger shows up.
You can think you have influence because of position. Managers think this way. If I am the highest on the org chart, then I can do things my way. True to a certain extent, until someone passes you on the org chart.
I would argue this, real influence, influence not dependent on power or position comes because you have the TRUST of someone. If you are a parent, grandparent, teacher, coach, leader of any kind, this is the kind of influence you long for. This influence comes from showing up, being present in someone’s life over a long period of time.
Jesus had both power and position, but He gained influence by showing up on earth. Jesus took off the heavenly robes, walked across the stars, and became a human. The writer of Hebrews tells us this about Jesus.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to EMPATHIZE with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet he did not sin. Hebrews 4:15 (NIV)
Jesus hit pause, left heaven, put on humanity to value and interact with us. So Jesus is able to empathizes with our weaknesses. We can trust that He knows what it's like to be human, yet without sin!
The most powerful thing a church can do, a parent can do, a community can do is to show up in the lives of the next generation over and over again. Why? Because showing up builds trust and trust is the kind of influence that makes a difference.
So this week hit pause and…
· Talk to the next generation.
· Call the grown up moved away next generation.
· Message the next generation.
· Listen to the next generation.
· Imagine what it’s like to be the next generation.
· Watch a documentary on the next generation.
· Teach the next generation.
· Share your story with the next generation.
· Do something to value and interact with the next generation.
Power and position are temporary, but trust is forever.
Scripture: Hebrews 4:15 (NIV)
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to EMPATHIZE with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet he did not sin
"Heavenly Father, I am thankful Jesus showed up on earth. While Jesus had both power and position, He humbled himself and took on flesh. And because of this, Jesus can empathize with our human condition. I trust Jesus. I am so thankful for His approach to influence. Now help me to follow Jesus. Help me to gain influence through trust and not power or position. Help me to hit pause and show up in the lives of the next generation. I confess the times I have been too busy to show up. Forgive me. In Jesus' Name, Amen."