How You Can Propel Your Influence

Vine, Flickr, VK, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook. Those represent the current leaders in social networking options. How many of these had you even heard of a decade ago? Likely, none of them. Which sites will be in the top ten five years from now? Who knows? Many who are reading this recall the time when you had never heard of the internet, had no cell phone and limited calls from your home or business to avoid long distance charges. Times have changed indeed.

I overheard some leaders this past week boasting of the fact that they do not participate in any social media interactions. While they take pride in their disconnection, they are ignoring a fact that is severely limiting their leadership or to think of it another way, limiting their influence. Let me acknowledge that I am not the most tech savvy person. However, I do desire to be relevant. Do not think my desire is born of any seed of narcissism. The root of my motive is the fact that I believe in the gospel and do not want any unnecessary impediments to my ability to communicate the message. Here is the problem with a leader who socially disconnects, even when done electronically. Many younger adults and teens interpret that disconnection as incompetence and/or irrelevance. Social media is now sown into the fabric of our current culture and ignoring that fact does not expand your influence. On the contrary, your influence is limited and therefore so is your witness for the gospel.

I will admit that I struggle with the degree to which I should engage with social media and about a year ago stepped back and got much more strategic. I do not utilize every source but have personally determined to tap into the more common sources to have a presence in the electronic world. The result? I am ministering to people who are several states away including someone in Michigan last week. I had opportunity to share my faith a few days ago with someone via social media. Perhaps you are wrestling with how or whether to engage, if like me, you grew up in simpler times. My advice: keep wrestling and engage with social media on some level. Like most things in life, social media can be used for evil or for good. I choose to use it for good. I believe that is relevant to the life of anyone who desires to maximize their influence.