Pastor’s ponderings

I will readily admit that sometimes I am a bit slow to catch on to things.  Being a part of Generation X, I have grown up with a lot of changes happening in the world, almost too fast to stay on top of.  Unlike my younger counterparts (the Millennials, whose generation starts only five years behind my own birth – so we’re really not that far apart), I have always been a few years behind in keeping up with the latest trends.  I got a computer and access to the internet later than most.  I got a cell phone later than most.  I got a Facebook account later than most (and I’m still not on Twitter, Snap Chat, TikTok, or the myriad of others that are out there).  So, I guess it’s no wonder that I also just recently realized that there is another trend going on for the past several years of which I was totally oblivious – influencers, social media influencers to be exact.

            Sure, we can easily recognize that celebrities have a lot of influence on social media platforms.  That’s how people get to “know” them, through what they post, tweet, etc.  Yet, do you realize that some people, who are not as well-known, are very productive in these formats?  People follow their every move to learn the latest developments in this and that.  People listen to their every word, hanging on what might be said next.  These influencers “go viral” all the time as thousands upon thousands hear/see and share their thoughts.  It really got me to thinking about the impact this has on the world.  What are these influencers sharing that is spreading so quickly? Why do people so desperately hang on to what might come in their next blog or pic?  How did this come into being?

            The Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church as an Influencing Ministries Office.  As one component of our vision for the Conference, “Disciples of Jesus Christ are those who influence others to serve,” the Influencing Office seeks to help all of us recognize that we can have the same impact on the world around us as those who I mentioned above.  The headline of their webpage notes, “You have a sphere of influence!  No matter where you live or what your current occupation is, you have a sphere of influence.”  Then they ask, what may be the penultimate question – “How are you using your influence to make disciples of Jesus Christ?”  Ponder that for a moment – you, too, are an influencer.  In fact, as a disciple, we are called to be influencers.  So, perhaps we need to be seriously thinking, how are you influencing others in your life?  How are you using that influence to make disciples?  The reality we all need to face is, without our influence, some may never come to know Jesus, let alone attend church.  So how can you influence the world today?           

                                                            Always pondering, Pastor Steve

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