13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. -Acts 4:13-14
In 2009, I got the privilege to go to the Catalyst West Coast Conference. Erwin McManus spoke at several of the sessions I attended and he spoke about a concept he called the 3 spaces of influence.He was talking about how so often, we as Christians want to evangelize to the world, but we only stay in the 1st Space of Influence.
If we’re really going to make an impact for the Kingdom we need to be earning the right to influence people in the second and third spaces of influence as well as raising people up who earn that influence as well. Here are the 3 spaces defined:
1st Space – Minimal Influence. We earn the right to speak to Christians that come to our churches or our immediate circle of influence. Usually we end up influencing only Christians, and not very many of them. We all start in this space with everyone, but if we’ll live our lives for God and do what He puts in our hearts, we’ll be able to move onto the other two spaces of influence.
2nd Space – Earned Influence – You get to influence people in this space because of what you’ve done in the world. Maybe you’ve built a large church, wrote an interesting book, started a business that was a big success, etc. Because of what you’ve done, people respect you and are willing to listen to you.
3rd Space – World Influence – These are people that because of who they are and what they’ve done, they have a platform to influence the world. An example would be Michael Jordan. If Michael Jordan was speaking at a convention in your city, you would go just to hear him. You wouldn’t care what he was speaking on, he’s Michael Jordan, because of what he’s done, he’s earned influence & the right to speak into your life. Christian examples: Billy Graham, Rick Warren, John Maxwell, Mother Theresa, John Wooden.
The questions I’ve been asking myself, and that I’ll ask you is:
What are you doing with your life that is earning or will earn you influence in the 2nd and 3rd space?
Do people outside of the Christian bubble take note of what God has and is doing in your life?
Everyday, we should ask ourselves, what am I doing with my life that will enable me to expand the Kingdom of God? That will help me spread the Word? That will gain me influence with the world?
Ask God those questions, and He’ll put something in your heart, that if you’ll do it, He’ll open up doors for you to influence people in the 2nd and 3rd spaces!