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To start off this series and this article, I have a question:
Not, who introduced you to the person of Jesus or Christianity as a whole but who lived in a way that made you think, “Wow, I want what they have? What makes this person so different? Who influences the way they talk, carry themselves, are present in conversations? How do they embody joy and think about the future with excitement and not stress? Who is this Jesus guy they keep talking about?”
Who was that person for you? Don’t go on until you have that person in mind.
For me, it was a camp counselor at a family camp in Montana when I was in third or fourth grade. As a lifelong “Christian,” this wasn’t my first time at a camp like this but I wasn’t totally sold yet that this whole Jesus thing was for me. Then I met a camp counselor whose voice changed my life.
You might be thinking that it was because she shared some amazing message with me or had an incredible one-on-one conversation but that wasn’t the reason.
Do you want to know what it was? It was when I heard her sing and watched her worship.
When I observed and listened to her, I knew there was something different about her that hit deep in my soul. AND, it wasn’t because her singing voice was good. Friends… it was awful!
But, there was something about her tone-deaf, painful to listen to singing that made Jesus absolutely radiate through her abandonment as she truly WORSHIPPED the Father! During worship she would have her arms fully stretched out, singing at the top of her lungs, not caring a single ounce about what anyone around her thought. She didn’t care about what she sounded like- she was singing for an audience of one.
I wanted what she had!
Somewhere in my young, pre-teen heart, I saw her living in complete surrender and freedom and I wanted it for myself! I wanted to live free from worrying and obsessing over people’s thoughts, or my perception of other people’s opinions of me. I wanted to know the Jesus that doesn’t care if I’m the worst singer in the room as long as I’m surrendering everything I have to Him fully.
I wanted the freedom to give Jesus everything, without giving any of it over to the opinions of people.
You know what I think is so fascinating about this life-changing moment?
She had no idea she had this impact on me, and she never will know because I don’t even remember her name. It truly was a short, random observation that forever changed my life.
So, let me ask you a second question:
There could be countless moments in your life when someone briefly encountered you, heard you singing off-key and left completely marked and touched by Jesus and you will never know it this side of heaven. Yet, the enemy can make us question and doubt the impact of our influence and convince us our voice holds no weight or isn’t good enough. Who knows the lies that could have been going through that camp counselor’s head, or the things she had been told in the past by the enemy that tried to silence her or make her hold back in worship.
Yet, her willingness to be fully herself and not hide due to shame or comparison changed my life.
In the world we live in with followers, likes, comments and other metrics all around us, with countless people to compare ourselves to, the lie that our voice isn’t impactful is so easy to believe. It’s easy to see the digital measure of someone else’s platform, follower count or leadership resumé, and equate that with real-life influence. This can quickly turn internal and make you doubt yourself, and discount who YOU are and the voice that God has given YOU that someone else needs to hear.
Let me encourage you, what God wants to say through you cannot be drowned out! Can I just take a moment to remind you that before the beginning of time, before you were even conceived, the Lord called you by name and was obsessed with you.
He has dreams for your life. He has desires for you. He has created you with a unique set of abilities, talents, likes, dislikes, pain points and pleasures that all play into who you are and what He has created you to be passionate about. AND He has placed you in a sphere of influence to release all of those things to the people who need to hear them from you.
For some, that sphere can be bigger. For others, that sphere can be more intimate. And remember, that sphere will change over time – but that is all God’s doing, not yours. God has placed you in the time, space and place you are in, and He has entrusted you to steward that “land” and the people around you well. You are called to tend to your roots and He will be in charge of your shadow of influence.
“Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you – guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in you” – 2 Timothy 1:14 NIV
“Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” – Psalm 16:5-6 NIV
Some of you reading this desire to have more influence, and I LOVE that you desire that. My prayer would be that there is no selfish ambition or vain conceit in that desire and that truly it is a growing hunger for more responsibility that the Lord has deposited in you (Philippians 2:3-4). I believe SO deeply, that the women in this community are the hungry ones and are the ones God is calling to be bold and step up for His Kingdom but I also want to remind you that it is in His timing, not ours, when that influence will come and what it will look like.
So for the time being, steward well what God has given you. Grow in your intimacy with Jesus and the Lord will entrust you with more in His perfect timing.
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” – Luke 16:10 NIV
Those are all the people that God has called you to and, in the most non-creepy way, they are the people who are watching you.
My third and final question for you today is:
Would they look at you and think, “Wow, I want what they have? What makes this person so different? Who influences the way they talk, carry themselves, are present in conversations? How do they embody joy and think about the future with excitement and not stress? Who is this Jesus guy they keep talking about?”
You see, it goes full circle. Just as there was a moment in your life when someone carried the name of Jesus in a way that made you curious to learn, know and experience more for yourself, YOU can have that same impact on someone else and you likely already have unknowingly.
Our Charged series is all about equipping today’s small group leaders, but it starts from understanding the reality that your life and voice matters and that God has called you to lead. That doesn’t mean He has called you to lead the masses, or start a business, or be a manager, or speak in front of hundreds of people.
I have experienced a good amount of things in my life so far, but there isn’t anything that brings me more joy than talking about Jesus with people. Whether it’s sharing what we are learning in our quiet times, talking about Jesus to someone for the first time, sharing a testimony that He has just done in my life or hearing someone else’s story, these are the moments in my life that I am consciously aware of the eternal impact. These are the conversations that matter and hold weight that is not just earthly.
These are the moments that I pray we all ask God to give us and continue to live for.
You have the Spirit living inside of you to which Jesus said He would do greater things through us than He himself ever did (John 14:12). I pray you read this today and feel encouraged to live for the Lord in a more conscious and active way.
Your voice matters more than you can ever imagine – no matter how angelic, or out of key you may consider it!
I am sending you out from this article commissioned and CHARGED to carry His name well to whatever sphere of influence you have been called to. I pray we hear many testimonies that come from being reminded and encouraged of who you truly are!
Krista Hengesh is the founder and executive director of Live Salted. She started it back in 2016 and has been chasing after the Lord with this calling on her life since then. She is currently living in Seattle, Washington and loves to be outside and active whenever possible. She is deeply passionate about bringing people together and helping them recognize the potential and influence inside of them!
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