“This is the command—the statutes and ordinances—the Lord your God has commanded me to teach you, so that you may follow them in the land you are about to enter and possess.”
No Substitute for Discipleship
Have you ever thought of yourself as being the teacher type? Maybe you’ve actually pictured yourself with the gradebook, lanyard, and poster paper at the ready, or maybe the thought never entered your mind. But even if this is true, have you ever considered how you can effectively invest in the younger generation? What if I told you there was no teaching degree required? This is truly what it means to influence with intent.
Because whether you see yourself inside the classroom or strictly outside of those four cinderblock walls in all their dry-erase board glory, followers of Christ have the unique opportunity to intentionally invest in the lives of those around them. And that definitely includes you.
God calls us to follow His commandments, but we simply can’t do that if we don’t know what they are. The apostle Paul declared in Romans 10:14, “How, then, can they call on him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about him? And how can they hear without a preacher?”
What it means is this: those of us who have the answers must be the ones who help lead others to the same conclusion of Christ’s supremacy, sufficiency, and salvation. Or maybe you don’t have all the answers, but you do still know the One who does. And there are others to guide you as you continue to seek Him and help others do the same.
This means that we all have the opportunity to take part in the life of the church, whether by leading or participating in groups, serving in worship, or simply through investing in the lives of those around us. There are a million ways to immerse ourselves in the kingdom work of discipleship; all it takes is the next right step.
An Intentional Investment
To influence with intent means understanding your purpose as an image bearer of the one true God: to love Him, enjoy Him forever, and lead others to do the same. Your unique talents, abilities, and skills were created on purpose by a God who seeks to use those same desires to fulfill His incredible plans. You’re able to teach others about His goodness as you trust Him with all that you are.
But this can’t be done in isolation, with apathy, or without the resources found within the local church body. So, get ready. How can you use your life to make that difference for God’s eternal good?
Take a moment to consider the extent of your influence, and don’t be tempted to believe the lie that you’re too inconsequential for the work of God’s kingdom. How can you allow Him and His church to use your talents, skills, and desires to influence others in their walks with Christ?