As we speak to leaders from around the world, whether at a gathering of leaders or one-on-one while interviewing for our cable television show, Kingdom Buzz, one theme consistently recurs – their lives could have gone in myriad unpleasant directions, but for the influence of someone they encountered who listened, advised, mentored, gave of their material resources where necessary, and celebrated the victories as they came along.
To be a person of influence is to be a person with concern for the wellbeing of the people we encounter, beginning with our immediate families and all the way to the stranger in some remote part of the globe from whom we expect to receive nothing and whose face we may never again see. To influence is to impact people’s lives in such a way that change occurs in degrees potent enough to propel them into their destinies.
There are hordes of people with great influence in the world, but we are careful to showcase only those whose influence is not based on who they are, but whose they are. We are people of God and our brand of influence is defined by His love and grace to the extent that He gets all the praise for what we do, because we are only ambassadors of His grace. This brand of influence is steadfast and not based on whim, which vacillates with the condition of one’s emotions.
If your mind is even mildly inclined towards curiosity, then you’ve wondered about our spelling of the word influence with the letter “i” appearing twice. The first “i” represents God, who calls Himself “I Am”. He is the Creator and Chief Influencer of all things. The second “i” represents you and me as people of influence whose stature, power and authority derive directly from the Creator of the world.
As you enjoy the stories in this issue, you will encounter people from diverse backgrounds who at one time did not consider themselves to be influential, but who, after making the decision to really trust God with their lives, found their sphere of influence increasing.
Take Joel Osteen for example; it is hard to imagine that this man who shares hope with millions around the world daily, only a few years ago believed he couldn’t preach. When we interviewed him, we simply wanted to know why he and his wife, Victoria, do what they do. He responded from the heart. You will be encouraged and inspired by Pastor Osteen’s wonderful story of victory and hope.
You too are a person of great influence, and are more powerful than you think. Exert that influence in ways that bless and encourage the people around you. Perhaps you will be on the cover next.
Let your family, friends and colleagues know that iiNFLUENCE Magazine has arrived and will be available to over 250,000 Canadians each issue at Christian events both large and small, churches, bookstores, online and other places where influential publications are found.
With love and grace,
Sam & Naomi Tita