Jared Cullop is an amazing family man who is a catalytic influencer after God's own heart. He was the marketing intern for Steve Backlund in 2012-2013. Together with his diverse and gifted team, he is the president and founder of JCI Marketing, a very successful branding and marketing firm in Redding, California.
How to Become an Influencer
I recently flew to Poland to speak at a men’s conference. On the second day of speaking, I told them the most frequent questions I was asked. “What do you think of Poland?” I responded, “I love Poland. I do. But it is better said that I love the Polish people. They have joy.”
I travel a lot. How I feel about a place is not predominantly because of its architecture or food, nor its landscape or climate. It is the people! More specifically, it is their joy level. Close your eyes and think for a moment about the person in your life that has a ton of joy. How do you feel about them? You respect them, don’t you? Would you let them speak into your life? Do they feel safe? If it is true joy, they do indeed. They seem to be wise in that they have the main thing in life right. They have joy. You want them to speak into your life. You will give them access and authority. I would too.
You see, when I was worshipping in this beautifully restored barn-turned-church in Poland, a truth hit me:
Joy is social authority.
Social authority is surely another way to say, “Favor with man”, which is nearly all we know about the going’s on in Jesus’ early days. “And Jesus grew in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52).” Like me, you have likely thought about how on earth Jesus grew in favor with God, which infers that He was not maxed out the whole time. Let’s just say that I am glad I did not choose that part of the verse as my topic. But “He grew in favor with man.” I can chime in on that. I walk in a ton of favor, which I do not mind to say bluntly. It is what it is. It seems like my ‘huge favor level’ is mentioned in someone’s introduction of me as often as the fact that I am married and have 4 kids. So, I can talk about it because I walk in it. I think I can help you grow yours.
Favor with man, as I tried to illustrate earlier in this article, is greatly affected or caused by someone having joy. I hear a lot of people praying for joy. I am cool with that. Heck. Pray for anything. You are being real with God. But the Bible is pretty clear that favor is our choice and our doing. It is not a thing that we should sit around asking for. It is something we go after.
I am inserting my definition of ‘rejoice’ for the actual word along with what Paul said. “Decide to have joy in the Lord always. Again, I am telling you to choose to have joy (Philippians 4:4)."
It sounds like it is our decision, right? Joy is a choice for us to make daily, to walk it out each and every day.
Many of us might feel that this decision is more easily said than done. I understand that. Steve Backlund wisely suggests in his fantastic book, “Victorious Mindsets,” that we likely need a perspective shift on the “us/God relationship”. Many Christians lack joy because they have the mindset that they are working for God. This viewpoint means that if we fail or do not match up to His standards, then God is not pleased with us or withholds His love. But Steve suggests that we change the “work for God” mindset to one where we work WITH God. If we are working with God, then we have the ability to have more of a childlike perspective in finding the adventure of life. We get to see each day as a new mystery unfolding.
As I said, I have 4 kids. The oldest is Elias and he is 7. I imagine that if I were to walk into his room on a Saturday morning and wake him up, saying, “Buddy, I’ve got a great day planned for us today! Lots of fun! You’re going to love it and I am too. But I’m not telling you the details. We’re going to make each part a surprise. I love you!” Can you still imagine the joy that you would have in his position?
Sounds pretty much like the perspective on life that an old hymn had generations of churchgoers declare from the pews: “This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice (will decide to have joy or act it out until it is real) and be glad in it.” Let me reword it. “Dad just walked in, woke me up, kissed me, and told me that today was gonna rock. I am gonna believe him and be stoked.” Not only is this a hymn, it is true of King David in Psalm 118:24. This is complete with the epic echo we all probably have now in our heads!
“I will be glad and rejoice in your love. For you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul (Psalm 31:7).”
It sounds like even in affliction and anguish, David was telling someone, probably himself, that he was deciding to have joy. David tells himself to have joy throughout the Psalms. When life is hard (King Saul is trying to kill him with an army), when life is good (he feels God’s presence), and pretty much when he wakes up every day. He would not waste time telling himself to choose joy if it did not make any difference.
Having joy is not as hard as you might have thought a few paragraphs before reading. Try making the decision rather than giving reasons why you cannot have joy. Make the decision. Tell yourself you are going to have joy each day. Be childlike, as having joy is childlike. Come to Jesus like a child. Live life abundantly. You will live longer because you know that laughter is good medicine. It will lead to favor with man, aka: social authority. And you will use that authority to help people live in joy too. It is stewardship of LIFE, both the good and the bad. We steward something well, or even try, as is told in the Parable of the Talents and the Parable of the Mynahs. Thirteen servants are told to try something, eleven attempt the mission they have been given, and 2 servants do not try. The bold eleven enter into the JOY of their master’s presence while the others gnash their teeth.
I am trying to say, “Try”. Go for it. You can make a difference in your joy level, which changes everything. Not only does it feel good to have joy, it leads to favor with people. When we have joy, people note it about you. They ask about it and they want it. They come ready to hear about your God. It is how the church needs to be seen by the world.
When you choose to go after joy, you choose life and health. When you live it out, you get authority in all spheres of your life. When you do that, people will want to know you and ask about your joy. You get to then double up on your joy as you lead people you care about to Jesus.
Want to live a good life? Want to hear, “Well done, good and faithful one?”
I am convinced that choosing joy and living it out is stewarding life well. I think it is not just my opinion, but Jesus’. He chose to grow in joy. And God said (before he did any miracles), “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.” Pleased about what? Pleased that His son, Jesus, grabbed onto joy. More than likely, this was another big reason why people followed him in crowds.
About Jared and Erin Cullop:
Erin, Jared, and their four children live in Redding, CA. Jared and Erin attended the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry from 2012-2014. Though they don't feel called to stand behind a pulpit, they live to take love, light, and the goodness of God to those in their personal and professional lives. Jared emphasizes, "If you choose to work with JCI (Jared's marketing company), don't be afraid that I'll be slapping you over the head with a Bible. Don't get me wrong, I love the Bible, but my ministry is serving you in excellence, always having integrity, and being a happy guy who you enjoy doing business with. In addition to that, I am a family man who loves his wife and children."
Since Erin, Elias, and Jared moved to Redding only four years ago, they doubled the size of their family. They adopted a beautiful boy from Redding who they named Joseph Valor, who is now three years old. They had a little girl two years ago, Madeline Hope, and another this year, named Scarlet Sophia. "If I'm not at the office, home is where I am," Jared says.
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/company/jci-marketing