Influencing Your Fragmented World
Jerry White sharing at Sheraton Tower
The most important thing that we can do to be a witness for Jesus Christ is to have an influence. The question to ask ourselves is:
"How can I have an influence on others for Christ in this fragmented world (without adding more to my plate)?"
Read the summary of excerpts from the speech by Dr Jerry White, the International President Emeritus of The Navigators:
“The first thing we must do is to surrender our lives to God. God is always bringing us to a point where He is asking: Will you surrender?
The second thing we must do is to commit to holiness — to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.
The most important thing that we can do to be a witness for Jesus Christ is to have an influence:
7 Keys of Influence
1. Focus your efforts
If you want to have an influence on peoples’ lives, you have to first focus your attention and efforts. Figuring out what not to do is important as doing too many things can cause burnout. This means being intentional and selective about the relationships you establish and maintain.
2. Determine to live inside your existing network of relationships.
God has already given us an existing network of relationships. What are the networks that God has given to you? Church? Friends? Co-workers? We do not need to intentionally find all kinds of new people. In other words, pay attention to the people that God has put around you. Recognise your network and develop those relationships in your network.
3. Remember your family
Also, pay attention to the people in your family or extended family who have yet to know Jesus. Having close relationships with them would naturally increase opportunities for a gospel conversation.
4. Consider work as your Calling
God puts you in a profession for a purpose. Your purpose is not only to use your gifts and talents and provide food on the table; rather, you will also have a set of relationships with people, among whom will be individuals that you can reach out to for Jesus Christ.
5. Take advantage of every opportunity
Develop and build relationships with non-believers. If you don’t go where non-believers are located, you’ll have no influence on their lives.
6. Show up!
Hence, whether it be sports meets, birthdays, ceremonies or events, go to them. Go to social events, be there. You’ll never know whom God might want you to connect with.
7. Keep in touch with people from your past
Our circle of influence also includes people from our past that we already know. People from our past may be people that we eventually get to share Christ with one day.
How should we live our lives?
Romans 12:1-2 reminds us of how we should live our lives:
‘Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.’
In summary, if we surrender our lives to God, commit to holiness, let our natural lives develop our relationships and look out for the right opportunities, we do not need to have anything more in our schedules. We can impact our world without adding to our duties.
The key is to focus on the people that we already know. Perhaps God might bring into your path someone new that you do not know and that happens all the time.
We just need to be alert and see ‘When is this a “God moment”?’ where He wants me to share Christ with this person? It may not be today. It may be 3 weeks from now, 3 years from now or 30 years from now. But it will be your moment.”