Before I even get started on this topic, I want to make it clear that I love and respect my pastor. This article is not about him (or your pastor). Being a pastor is an extremely tough job and I could not do it. However, I believe you and I have a distinct advantage over them. This advantage, if leveraged consistently over time, can allow us to have an even greater impact for eternity!
Most pastors have considerable influence within their church membership. If doing their jobs well, they can strongly influence many of their members and have at least some influence on the majority of their members. Outside of that, their influence is often limited.
As Christian business leaders, we are not so limited. We have the opportunity to have dramatically more influence on the employees (and families) within our businesses. We can also have influence with our vendors, customers, and those in our community.
If you read the statistics, more than a third of America (38%) is unchurched. This trend is growing in younger generations and does not show signs of reversing. Whatever the reasons, churches as a whole are losing their influence within our culture. If we want to influence people for eternity (and they are not coming to church), then we have to do it where we are.
The marketplace is full of opportunity! While our approaches must be strategic and well-executed, the number of people within our range of influence is huge. It just requires that we recognize the value of long term results and adjust our strategies accordingly.
A Wide Range of Influence
If you are doing your job well, you have a team around you that respects your leadership and the example you live out every day. Your customers, vendors, and those in the community are also open to your influence. You just have to understand that it is your responsibility to leverage this influence for eternity!
Not only do you have the opportunity to influence more people than your pastor – especially the unchurched – you also have the advantage of speaking the language of those you are seeking to influence. Too often, pastors are seen as speaking “church” language. They are labeled by those outside the church as out-of-touch or detached from real life.
You, on the other hand, are working hand-in-hand with these people. You speak their language. You understand their challenges and are better equipped to speak into their lives. This advantage is too often overlooked or taken for granted. Foreign missionaries often spend years learning the native language and trying to integrate themselves into the culture where they are ministering.
You are already there!
You Have More Time
Finally, pastors typically only get to influence their congregations for an hour or two, once or twice per week and often must work hard to convince them to come in. The people you seek to influence come to you every day. You see them 5 or 6 days a week! Many employees spend more waking hours at work than they do at home with their families.
The bottom line is this – you have a tremendous opportunity to impact people. Just ask your pastor if he would love to have the opportunity to influence people like you have. I am sure he would agree that you are sitting in the catbird seat!
Take a look around. Stop and count the number of people you could influence in a given month. Count your employees, their families, your vendors, suppliers, and customers. Also count the population of those in your community that could be touched by the influence of you and your business. I am confident you will be awed by the number of people whose lives you can impact.
Now, go do it!
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