I remember the first time someone told me I was a leader. My brother-in-law sat me down, looked me in the eyes, and said three words that ultimately changed the course of my life: “You’re a leader.”
I looked at him in disbelief and possibly laughed in his face. I could think of at least a dozen reasons why he was wrong. The most obvious: I wasn’t leading anything.
But leading an organization or a ministry or a family isn’t what makes you a leader. What makes you a leader is the calling Jesus placed on your life, when He commissioned you to go and make disciples.
You are a leader. If no one has told you before, let me have the honor of being the first. I wish I could sit you down on a couch, the same way my brother-in-law did with me, look you straight in the eyes, and tell you:
You are a leader.
You have a sphere of influence. You have people in your life, in your neighborhood, in your apartment, in your workplace, in your family, who need you to tell them about Jesus.
We can easily discount our spheres of influence for a dozen different reasons. I have my reasons, and you have yours. But Jesus has equipped and called you to make disciples of all nations. You are called by Jesus, and the same power that the Father used to raise Jesus from the dead is at work in you. With the leading and power of the Holy Spirit, you have what you need to lead.
It doesn’t matter if you know one person or one thousand. It doesn’t matter if you have a platform on Instagram. It doesn’t matter if you’re single or married, extroverted or introverted. It doesn’t matter if you’re a woman. You are called to lead people to Jesus. The people in your life are in your life on purpose. It’s not a mistake that you live where you live, or work where you work, or brush shoulders with the people you brush shoulders with.
What if you began to realize that you have an influence on the people you know? What if you began to live your calling… to lead people to Jesus, and to make disciples?
What I love most about evangelism is that it’s not up to us to save people – but instead, it’s us partnering with what the Holy Spirit is already doing in people’s lives. Jesus said the fields are ready for harvest, but the workers are few. People are ready to hear about Him; Jesus is calling you to tell them.
I still don’t feel like a leader. Even now that I’ve begun leading in a more vocational capacity, I often don’t think of myself as a leader. (Ask anyone who’s ever emailed me and they can tell you I’m not the most administratively gifted.) We can excuse ourselves from leading because we don’t “feel” like we think leaders should be. But you are a leader.
A grade twelve girl texted me yesterday. She’s getting baptized at our church on Sunday and she asked me to baptize her. I was floored. Tears sprang to my eyes when I read her text. She sent me another message that said, “It’s just that I really look up to you and I thought that would be cool.”
I had no idea she looked up to me. What a gift to be able to help lead someone closer to Jesus.
You are a leader. Don’t discount your sphere of influence. You know and spend time with people who need to hear about Jesus. People who are longing for greater meaning, freedom, and truth in their lives. The answer to their longing is Jesus.
The fields are ripe and ready for harvest. Jesus said so Himself. They just need some workers.
Live a life worthy of the calling Jesus has given you: to go and make disciples, to partner with what the Holy Spirit is already doing, and to help lead people right back to Jesus.