Out from Under the Influence
One thing that this generation wants more than anything is to influence. It boggles the minds of parents and teachers that nowadays young people aspire to be full-time Influencers. When did this become a legitimate career option?
Few people throughout history have had even a portion of the influence that Jesus has had throughout the centuries. His name is known in almost every nation and people group on earth. There are literally 2.6 billion people on the earth today who are devoted to his teachings and the lifestyle that he embodied 2000 years ago. The number seems unbelievably high, until you compare it to a certain Portuguese soccer player I've never heard of, who has 540+ million followers on Instagram. 540 million!?! How is that possible? With the global community becoming so connected through the internet and social media, people can have a greater platform than ever before in history.
So is Influencing bad? Is it good? How do I know? And, most importantly, What Would Jesus Do?
We see time and again in the Gospels that Jesus would heal people and instruct them not to tell anyone. Again and again he tried to keep a lid on his popularity. Maybe it was because he didn't want to be misinterpreted. Maybe he didn't want the crowds to get in the way of his work. Maybe it was all about timing. What I do see is that Jesus was less concerned about becoming TikTok famous than he was about serving.
"But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve,
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Many young people think that leading as another word for influencing. They think that having a title or leadership role in ministry means they can lead others simply by putting themselves on display. Acting the right way, wearing the right clothes, and giving the best Sunday School answers doesn't make someone a leader. Christ called his leaders to be shepherds and servants. As Christians, as leaders, we need to crawl out from under the influence of this culture of self-promotion. We need to remind ourselves and teach others about the one great example we have for ministry and life. Christ.