Musings on Spiritual Matters

by Matthew Morine

A Person of Influence

A leader is influential.  John Maxwell states “If you do not have influence, you will never be able to lead others.”[1]  In a congregational setting, the use of influence is essential.  Perhaps, in a secular organization in which there are various motivators to secure cooperation from people, such as promotion, raises, company perks, and the treat of firing, people are more likely to follow a positional leader, but in a voluntary organization, mostly influence is all that the leader can exercise.

Stephen R. Covey, in his excellent book on leadership provides three basic categories of influence: 1. Model by example. 2. Build caring relationships. 3. Mentor by instruction.  He continues in the chapter by giving more specific actions in each of these areas.  Some of the best advice is refraining from saying the unkind or negative thing.  To not say the critical thing, even in a moments of fatigue is a form of supreme self-mastery.  Also, distinguish between the person and the behavior or performance.  A leader first needs to communicate and help build a sense of intrinsic worth and self-esteem totally apart from comparisons and judgments.  Under the section on building caring relationships, Covey notes some excellent behaviors such as reward open, honest expressions or questions, admit your mistakes, apologize, ask for forgiveness, and are influenced by them first.  In the last section on mentoring through instruction, he notes avoid fight or flight, rather talk through differences, agree on the limits, rules, expectations, and consequences, and let natural consequences teach responsible behavior.[2]

The management of one’s influence will make or break his or her leadership in the congregation.

[1] John C. Maxwell, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1998), 11.

[2] Stephen R. Covey, Principle-Centered Leadership (New York: Franklin Covey, 1991), 121-128.

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About The Author

Matthew is originally from Nova Scotia, Canada. He has a beautiful wife named Charity and a precious baby named Gabrielle. He has graduated from the Brown Trail School of Preaching, Heritage Christian University with his Bachelors of Arts in Biblical Studies, Lipscomb University with his Master’s of Arts in Biblical Studies and his Master’s of Divinity at Freed-Hardeman University. He is presently working towards his Doctorate of Ministry at Harding Graduate School of Religion. His articles have appeared in the World Evangelist, the Highway to Holiness, The West Virginia Christian, The Christian Echo, The Firm Foundation, Church Growth, and the Gospel Advocate. He enjoys hockey, golf, boxing, and chess. In his spare time he enjoys reading numerous genres of books. Also, he is working on climbing all of the 14ers in Colorado. Matthew is the Pulpit Minister for the Castle Rock church of Christ.


One Response to “A Person of Influence”

  1. Eddy says:

    Had to laugh–I’d never pictured Foy while reading Maxwell and Covey. To be sure, Foy Wallace Jr. was indeed a peson of influence.

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