At the memorial service recently for Pastor Jack Hayford, I was reminded that you don’t have to be associated with a big organization, movement or company to have influence. At the service, Jack’s brother Jim related that after high school, Jack had been offered a full scholarship to the University of California at Berkeley and at the same time had an offer to play professional baseball.
He turned down both offers, just to attend a tiny little Bible college, and eventually go into pastoral ministry. Worse, he chose a little denomination called “Foursquare” which at the time most people had never heard of.
He continued that cycle by taking the job as pastor for a small church in Van Nuys, California called “The First Foursquare Church of Van Nuys.”
But as as it turned out, attending a small college, joining a small denomination, and leading a small church did nothing to hold back Jack’s influence.
It wasn’t long before that small church grew to become “The Church on the Way,” Jack’s books and teaching transformed massive numbers of people, he was invited to speak around the world, and he’s still remembered as one of the greatest pastors of his generation.
The lesson? No matter where you come from, what organization you belong to, the length of your experience, or the number of your friends or social media followers, that’s not where your influence lies.
Influence is about the quality of your ideas, and that comes from inside you. Jack’s influence came from his extraordinary relationship with God, and his unique approach to teaching others how to pursue that same relationship.
That’s why you should spend less time worrying about having more influence, and more time getting closer to God, and creatively expressing that relationship with the world.
This article originally appeared here and is used by permission.