Steward the influence God has given you.

This article originally appeared in the March/April 2017 issue of Outreach Magazine.

If you are reading Outreach magazine, then you likely have a leadership position of some kind, either as a senior leader or as a lay leader. And those under you likely have leadership responsibilities; and if they don’t yet, they may in the future.

Over the years, I have found that it is both a tremendous opportunity and responsibility to be a leader of leaders. It is a gift to be given the chance to influence a generation of leaders who will come up behind us and do great things for the kingdom.

But one of the responsibilities associated with this calling is to manage our own influence. To say it clearly, wisdom is needed to both manage and extend influence. Whether you are a bishop, a district superintendent, or a pastor, when you lead other leaders, it is only wise to consider how you are stewarding your own gift of leadership.

I think of this in terms of capacity. When we are talking about stewarding influence, leaders have a credibility tank. We can spend that credibility on a lot of different things, and we must choose wisely how we expend our credibility tank. Here are some ways you can be a better steward of the influence God has given you.

Pick Your Own Fights

You don’t have to show up for every fight to which you are invited. Let me be honest: People want you in a fight. Even as I go to speak at various events, people will come up to me and say, “I’ve got a guy who has this problem. What do you think I should do?” And of course they tell me just enough that I would agree with them so that they can then go back and say, “I talked to Ed Stetzer and he said you’re wrong.” I then get an email …

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