Topping the news lately has been the tremendous ash cloud covering Europe. Brewing underneath the icy cold climate of Iceland is a hot volcano. This volcano has spewed it’s contents into the atmosphere impacting millions of people.
I am fascinated with volcanoes. They stir up in me all kinds of emotions. Adventure, awe, fear and curiosity all come to mind when thinking about the amazing power of volcanoes.
When a volcano erupts it influences a huge area around it. The more people there are nearby, the more news it makes. I remember hearing that if this volcano erupted over 100 years ago the news would’ve been very small only affecting the people living in Iceland. Today, however it affects millions. Why? Because of airplanes. Amazing.
Let’s think about the word “influence.” People, like volcanoes, are influencers. They can influence positively or negatively. For those who want to influence the world for Christ take a moment to consider the following principles. (Since my passion is to influence kids and families, I like to view these principles in light of preparing a lesson that I’m going to teach. However, all good influencers can keep these principles in mind. You may be a parent, teacher, labourer, scientist, neighbour, friend, doctor. Whoever you are you have influence. Let’s maximize it).
PRAY. Surround each opportunity you have to influence someone or a group with a heartfelt conversation with our powerful God who made volcanoes.
PLAN. What influence are you really trying to make? What’s your goal? What’s your dream? What’s the deep down vital truth being communicated? Make your blueprint. In volcano terms, this is the centre or belly of the Earth.
PREPARE. What resources are available to you that can improve the quality of your influencing ability? Flesh out your content. Begin firing up your emotions. This is like the heat from the molten rock and magma.
PRACTICE. Rehearse in your mind the conversation you’ll have or the lesson you’ll teach. Get ready to nail it home! Imagine and envision the results. Consider how with volcanoes the pressure begins to build and intensify.
PRESENT. This is it. This is your moment. This is your positive eruption. This is the influence God wants you to have spreading all over the place!
Notice how only the principle of “present” is visible to those you are influencing. Developing your influence takes time and is mostly unnoticed by others just like volcanoes. Much of what happens with a volcano is beneath the surface. We see it’s effect when it erupts.
Keep in mind, as Christians, our influence is not to burn or choke. Rather, it is to refresh with the good news of Jesus Christ. Our eruptions are outbursts of love and grace (Hebrews 11:24), not anger or poisonous words.
So, whether you have influence over 1, 10 or 100 consider these five principles and apply them faithfully. Who knows, maybe one day God will influence many through you.
Pictures from Yahoo News slideshow.
For an interesting article on volcanoes including some positive influence they have click here.