“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16)
This set of simple verses is a reminder that we’re all meant to shine. Every single one of us is named and called to be an influence for God.
So, I want to give you five ways to be a Christian influencer.
1. COMPLETE NOT COMPETE
The first one is to complete, not compete.
This speaks of unity — to leverage on the combined influence of the Church.
When we compete instead of complete, we waste resources and opportunities.
There’s also a watching world that doesn’t receive the best content the combined Church has to offer.
In Genesis 11:6, the Lord said: “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.”
One common language we can speak together as a body of Christ is the language of stories.
The Lord has blessed this nation with Thir.st. But not only that, the Lord started a storytelling movement over the last three to five years.
There are so many good stories across multiple platforms like YMI, inone.story and inhisimage.sg.
What I see here are strategic ways in which the body of Christ can complete and complement each other’s efforts.
So where Thir.st puts out stories in a longer form, inone.story and inhisimage.sg tell stories in a shorter form.
There are different ways to tell stories. We don’t have to repeat. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
And when there are good stories on other platforms, you know what you can do? Share them.
Don’t be shy to collaborate. Don’t be shy to give credit and honour where it’s due.
2. SHOW THEM THE FATHER
The second way we can fulfil the call of God as a Christian influencer, is to show people the Father.
How? Through where the Lord has pointed us.
In 1975, Campus Crusade (now called Cru) and Youth With A Mission came up with a world-changing revelation: Seven — I’ll put in one more so that it’s eight — spheres of influence in society where we can take the gospel to.
It’s easily remembered by the alphabets A to H.
Every category involves a currency of influence we are meant to release.
In the arts and entertainment world, that’s creativity. In business, it’s provision. In the religious world, it’s sonship and so on.
If we don’t release the influence of heaven, the enemy’s influence will pervade these currencies instead.
How is this related to showing the world the Father? You see, each sphere of influence also reveals a side of the Father.
As you release the creativity of heaven in the arts and entertainment world, you reveal our Father as the Creator Elohim. In the business world, as you generously provide, you reveal God as Jehovah Jireh the Provider.
As you turn people’s hearts in sonship to the Father, you reveal Jesus as the Son of the living God.
There are people who’ll be called to full-time ministry in each of these specific areas.
The Lord is calling them to release the influence of heaven; to be unapologetic about praying for others, about giving and about sharing who God is to them.
3. ENTER THE AREOPAGUS
The third way is to enter the areopagus. The areopagus was a public place for discussion and debate. It comes from Acts 17:19-21.
The areopagus of today is called social media, where we see young Christians engaging with the latest ideas.
If we don’t address it, we don’t get a say in the positions they take.
When we look at the surveys conducted by Focus on the Family, we see that people want to know about LGBTQIA issues. They want to talk about divorce, premarital sex and abstinence.
It’s important for us to be reaching them because they’re already talking about it. If we don’t address it, we don’t get a say in the positions they take.
2 Timothy 4:5 says: “…do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”
The work of an evangelist involves addressing doctrine, addressing positions people have.
This is part of discharging our duties as an evangelist, that we not only disciple our people but also equip them to be able to speak and give an answer for the hope that they have.
4. SOW INTO THE COMMUNITY
The fourth way is a powerful way to evangelise within a digital setting, which is to sow into the community.
When it comes to social media platforms, the industry standard is to gain as many followers as possible while following as little people as possible.
As I was ideating together with one of the speakers for the #READY series, we felt it was time to break that rule.
Here we have a platform that allows us to reach thousands — why are we not leveraging that for the sake of an industry standard?
So we started to follow and strike up a relationship with as many as who were willing to have a conversation with us.
This is a principle of sowing and reaping. As we sow, some will come back.
So, when you scroll through your social media feed, like some comments and comment on other people’s comments.
Every point of engagement counts. A like equals agreement, a share equals endorsement, a save represents that people find real value in what you’re talking about.
Your reach represents sowing seeds in other people’s thought life.
Every comment is a personal touchpoint you have with someone, where you build social and spiritual capital to share the gospel.
I also just want to give you some quick handles. How can you sow into the community? Ask:
- What’s the personality of the platform?
- What’s your tone?
- What’s your desired response?
- What’s the kind of content you’re producing?
- How are you reaching out and connecting to the online community?
This is thinking at the forefront of the digital world. I want to encourage you to sow into the community — I believe that’s what Jesus would do.
5. LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR
Number five — perhaps the one I’m most passionate about — is to love your neighbour.
I want to share with you a word that has been rocking my soul, Isaiah 1:14-17.
“Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals I hate with all my being. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening.”
How did Isaiah know this would still be ongoing in the 21st century? Our worship nights, Easter musicals, cantatas… would the Lord hate these with all His being?
Would He perhaps not be listening to us?
If so, there would be reasons why.
God said in Isaiah 1:15-17: “Your hands are full of blood! Wash and make yourself clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”
What Isaiah’s referencing here is true worship. When we think of worship, we think of Sunday service. But a lot of worship is actually what happens outside.
If we find ourselves in the house of God enjoying His presence, but never take His presence outside to those who need Him the most, then perhaps He’s not listening. Perhaps our worship has become a burden to Him.
I believe the bar is so low right now; there’s so much we can do.
Let me give you one example. We held Zoom boxing classes for the special needs community to help them train and improve their psychomotor skills.
More than that, we did it to help them feel loved and know that they have a community among the Singapore churches. We held this several times, and then we held a Boxing Day party.
At the end of that, a child with autism and his mother started to visit our children’s service. As a result, he received Jesus two days ago!
There’s so much that can be done. I really want to challenge you to love your neighbour. Do it online, do it onsite!
I’ll end with Numbers 13:30-33.
Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”
But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.”
Doesn’t its narrative sound familiar? We look at the digital world and there are people who say we can’t “attack” that. The social media giants — “they are stronger than we are”.
But I want you to know God is raising a generation who would follow Him wholeheartedly and say: “I’m taking down this giant!”
God is raising a generation who would follow Him wholeheartedly and say: “I’m taking down this giant!”
I declare that you would face the giants of your generation, that the Lord would give you inspiration for heaven in your sphere of influence, to be able to tackle them and release the gospel to reach everyone around you.
This excerpt is adapted from a message Pastor Norman Ng gave during the first session of Cru Singapore’s #READY webinar series.
The next speaker to take the stage on February 8 (Tuesday) will be Isaac Ong, founder of Colours Global, who will be sharing how to be yourself and an evangelist on social. You can register for this free webinar here.
- What is your life story? How does it show the world Jesus?
- What are some platforms you can make use of?
- Which of these eight spheres of influence might God be calling you to?