Nashville Baptist Association
Assisting & Networking Local Churches


Leading through Influence

As a leader, are you approachable? Are you demanding? Are you willing to allow others to have a voice at the table? Does your leadership team trust you? Do you have an enthusiastic approach toward the future of your church? Are you sincere?

Let’s look at what the word influence means. According to Webster, influence is defined as “the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself; the power or capacity of causing an effect in indirect or intangible ways, the act or power of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command.”

As a pastor, God has not called you to operate without Him. But he has called you to lead through loyalty to Him. It is this loyalty to Him that results in the ability to influence the community, region and world.  Look at what Jeremiah 3:15(ESV) says.  “‘And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. What a statement from the Lord regarding the call that He has on your life today as a shepherd. You have been hand-picked and chosen to be influential in your church, work place, community and home.

One of my favorite leadership quotes is from John Maxwell.

“Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” 
― John Maxwell

Leadership is a relational and ethical process of people together attempting to accomplish positive change and/or positive momentum. Leading through influence is what it takes to create the plans and strategies to meet goals and visions which shape a win/win outcome. This approach to leadership through influence is purposeful, strategic, builds commitment and inclusive of diverse points of view.

Your influence sets the tone for a positive environment in your church, business and family. In other words, you have an effect on behaviors and the character of others. In spite of naysayers or warfare, you have something great that can affect the destiny of your church and others. Listen, there is someone waiting to hear and learn from you!

Now is the time to Be. Be means to: have reality or actuality, to occupy a position. I have heard the phrase, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” As leaders, we are called to be the examples because you might be the only Bible that people will read.

You might be in the middle of a revitalization process, feeling inadequate, planting a new church or taking on a new pastoral position. No matter where you are in the process, be sure to pay attention to your influence. Think about it, you have what it takes to take the church to the next level. Remember, in the first chapter of Joshua, Moses has died and the Lord calls on Joshua to lead the people to cross over the Jordan. The Lord tells him in Joshua 1:6,  “Be strong and courageous…”  Then, He encourages Joshua to “not turn from it to the right or the left, so that [he] will have success wherever [he] goes.” Wow, what a declaration!  

I want to encourage you to be strong and courageous and be process-oriented and relational. Here’s why. You have been chosen by God and are probably influencing more people than you think. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will never leave you nor forsake you.  Be the leader of influence that others want to model and follow. Continue to let God work on you by His Spirit because He has great plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11-13). Focus on God and what He has chosen you to do and see what happens.

Be influential by:

  •   Leading with prayer.

  •   Leading with passion.

  •   Leading with partnerships.

  •   Leading with strategy.

  •   Leading with influence.

  •   Leading with guidance of the Holy Spirit.


Let me close with these two words: Forge Forward!

Dwayne Lewis
Church Strategist



JoAnn Howard