In the last article, we engaged leadership as earning the right to be followed- being a living testament who models words and live out the essence of your conviction in praxis. In this article, we will engage leadership from the paradigm of leadership as a platform for influence. A story was told of a lady (first child of her family) who after graduation from a tertiary institution got employment at a lucrative organization. Two years into her employment, she took responsibility for the four widows in her extended family by providing them with quarterly foodstuff and paid the school fees of her two siblings. If I may ask, in your own opinion, is this lady a leader of influence or not? Your guess is as concrete as mine. Thus, leadership by influence is adding values to someone else’s life, helping and aiding people to fulfil their God-given potential, creating content that can potentially change and transform people’s lives.
Pst. O.J. Dickson
The term “influence” connotes having an indelible impact on someone, something or an institution. Leadership by influence thus entails being a leader of a small or large group of people who registers impactful memories, stories and experiences for those under their tutelage/leadership. Leadership by influence invites the leader to use their statutory position(s) of leadership or followership to make life more meaningful to their followers. John Maxwell submits and I infer, the true measure of leadership is influence- nothing more, nothing less.
In the viewpoint of my friend, Enoch Joseph Aboi, while some have statutory leadership position accorded them by a group of people in the Church, political and economic space, or on any of their social media spaces, others occupy statutory leadership and having less influence or no constructive influence in leadership. For youth in the Church, one among their many influences, entails helping their siblings to fulfil their purpose, helping their aged parents with financial substance, disseminating biblical truths within their space of influence, and living out those biblical truths to the admiration of God. This space could be their younger siblings at home, teenagers or adults in the Church, and even the boundless space of social media. Among these spaces of influence, as a communication medium, the social media platform offers youth the opportunity to share their Christian life and convictions with a much larger audience that extends beyond local, national and international boundaries, and cuts across ethnic, cultural and religious affiliations.
For example, in October 2020, I boosted a quote on my Facebook page (OJ Dickson Ministry), and I was able to reach out to twenty-six thousand, eight hundred persons (26,800) through that medium. It was a waw experience for me. With this in view, youth should equip themselves with biblical and theological understanding of God’s mission to the world so that the latter can evangelize and influence this generation via social media and spread the life-saving gospel message, and thereby, make the vision, goals, and ministry of the Christ known as they influence their generation with God’s truth and life. This praxis, in turn, will publicize the biblical and theological truth, and bear witness to, the mandate of the Church, so that they will not wink their Christlikeness in the dark.
The point I wish to make here is that, in addition to assuming the statutory helm of leadership in the church and society, the youth are also influencers in-and-through their social media platforms and physical space of influence (like the story in the first paragraph). As leaders, they live a life that earns them the right to be followed and, as influencers, they have the role of propagating the gospel and influencing all within their tradition and social media space of influence.
For on-going discussion,
Pst. O.J DICKSON