Three Simple Ways to Increase Your Influence
by Steve Backlund
I am currently reading through the book of Acts, and I was struck again by the Apostle Paul's journey into influence when he was a prisoner on a ship. In the beginning of this voyage, Paul's opinion was not valued (as expected, since he was a prisoner), but by the end of Acts 27, amazingly, he rose to become the greatest influencer in his environment. What can we learn from Paul's journey into influence, particularly as someone in circumstances that made his ability to influence others highly unlikely?
Here are three simple, yet profound things we can gain from Paul's journey to help us increase our influence:
- Stay Connected in Relationships – Even though Paul's initial warning about impending disaster was not heard, he still "stayed on the ship" both physically and in his attitude. He did not become bitter and withdraw. We need to do the same. As we love people, and as we seek to be a strength in relationships (even with those who are not listening to us), we will build trust which increases the likelihood of greater influence in the days ahead.
- Stay Connected to God – In verses 23 and 24 of Acts 27, Paul shared, "Last night an angel of the God to who I belong . . . stood beside me and said, 'Do not be afraid.'" He continued pressing into God and receiving fresh encounters and revelation, even in the midst of adverse circumstances. His "God connection" was the anchor of hope everyone eventually attached themselves to. As we experience situations where our influence seems to be little or non-existent, our ongoing choice to press into God through prayer, the Word, and fellowship will infuse us with divine favor and solutions for those in our lives.
- Stay Connected to Hope – Our hopelessness about a problem is a bigger problem than the problem. If something is going to change, someone must have hope. Someone must become unreasonably optimistic in challenging times, locations, or relationships. Paul's hope was rooted in a word he knew he received from the Lord: "Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar" (Acts 27:24). As you and I focus more on what God has said, and less on what does not appear to be happening, then we will stay in hope and attract supernatural solutions to us and around us.
I suggest you read Acts 27 and let this incredible story speak to you. It is one of my favorites in the Bible.
ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND
Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.