Leadership expert, John Maxwell teaches “leadership is influence—nothing more, nothing less.” The truth is you are a leader because you have spheres in your life that you can influence. Jesus’ life reveals that your personal ministry impacts these three spheres of influence:
1. Your Family.
In my twenty years of ministry, I’ve seen leaders and personal ministries thrive when they see their family as their first ministry. I’ve witnessed the opposite as well. If I do not minister to my family first before I minister to others, I should not be in full-time ministry. Jesus’ first miracle in His personal ministry was for his mom: “On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, ‘They have no wine.’…This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.” (John 2:1-3, 11 NASB). Bible scholars are astounded because Jesus first foreshadowed His blood shedding for humankind at a party! But, I think it’s even more astounding from a Christian’s perspective in America, where we tend to try to “do more” rather than love our family well, that Jesus did His first miracle for his mom! If you want to live out an impacting personal ministry, start with your family.
2. Your Friends.
Friendship is a dying art form. Culture has changed the true meaning of the word “friend.” I love everyone, but I cannot be a true friend to what Facebook has labeled my 2,129 “friends.” After Jesus commands us to love, He defines what love is with the concept of friendship: “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:12-15 NASB). Jesus called His disciples “friends.” Knowing what He would do for them on the cross, He defines friendship as laying down His life for His friends. Then Jesus let the disciples know they’re His friends. Then, He affirmed their friendship by confirming that He had shared everything with them. Who are truly your friends in your sphere of influence? How have you showed them they’re your friends? How have you shared your life with this sphere of your influence?
3. Your Co-workers.
Interestingly, Jesus revealed His presence, Himself, to the disciples as they were working catching fish: “But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. So Jesus said to them, ‘Children, you do not have any fish, do you?’ They answered Him, ‘No.’ And He said to them, ‘Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch.’ So they cast, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish.” Then, “Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and the fish likewise. This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to the disciples, after He was raised from the dead.” (John 21:4-6, 13-14 NASB). Jesus saw a place of work as a sphere of His influence to reveal Himself. How are you befriending your co-workers, revealing to them the presence and love of Jesus?
How have you been doing this? What ideas do you have now to enact in your everyday influence to mobilize your personal ministry? Comment below. Let’s continue the conversation. Also, be looking forward to the release of our ministry film, Spheres of Influence, to visualize how impacting your personal ministry can be.
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