Larry Johnson

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MAY

Next month our Pastor’s Leadership Training group will be discussing The Leader’s Influence: How Leaders Lead from Henry and Richard Blackaby’s book on Spiritual Leadership. I have also read a business book called Influencer: The Power to Change Anything by Patterson, Grenny, Maxfield, McMillian and Switzler. 

Influencing can be both good and bad depending on how it is used. We will look at how influence can be used to bring about change. Influential leaders pray, work hard, communicate effectively, serve, maintain positive attitudes, encourage others and focus.

One statement in the Blackaby’s book stood out to me. “Ordinary leaders lead followers. Great leaders lead leaders. Extraordinary leaders lead movements.” May God call us to lead movements and not just followers? 

An example of a movement is a Church Planting Movement [CPM]. A CPM is defined as a rapid multiplication of indigenous church planting that sweeps through a people group or population segment. The Hispanic and lower socio-economic people in Ellis County need for a church planting movement to occur among them. Please pray for this.

There are six sources of influence according to the book Influencer. 

Personal Motivation (make the undesirable desirable) work on connecting vital behaviors to intrinsic motives.
Personal Ability (Surpass your limits) coach the specifics of each behavior through deliberate practice.
Social Motivation (Harness peer pressure) draw on the enormous power of social influence to both motivate and enable the target behavior.
Social Ability (Find strength in numbers) people in a community will have to assist each other if they hope to succeed.
Structural Motivation (Design rewards and demand accountability) attach appropriate reward structures to motivate people to pick up the vital behaviors.
Structural Ability (Change the environment) ensures that systems, processes, reporting structures, visual cues and so forth support the vital behavior.

These sources of influence sound very scientific. There has been much research into being an influencer. We can learn how to use these sources to bring about positive change for the kingdom.

April 2014

On Palm Sunday, Yvette and I were preparing to leave for Sunday school, when our doorbell rang. A neighbor asked us if we knew there was an obscene message painted on our fence. We went to look and found a message that defamed the name of our Lord. I will not share with you what it said. My neighbor across the street had two messages painted on their fence. One of the messages was “satan rules.” 

It was obvious the messages were of a demonic nature. We don’t know if it was someone dabbling in the occult or if they are ensnared by it. As I power washed and painted over their message, I prayed for the people who are headed for a dreadful eternity apart from God. I prayed they would accept Jesus as their savior.

However, this event is a reminder that there is darkness all around us. It is not always made so evident. 

In Ephesians 4:18 it says, “Their minds are full of darkness, they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him.”

I am afraid there are many people in our county that have closed their minds and hardened their hearts to the ways of God. Please join me in praying for an opportunity to share God’s love with those who curse God.