Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | November 20, 2008

Make an Impact

The word “impact” is defined as “the strong effect exerted by one person or thing on another.” We use this word to describe the effect people, organizations, circumstances, or events have on our lives. For example, Paul and Silas made a measurable impact on the city of Thessalonica. Their presence and work there prompted those opposed to the gospel to say, “These men who have upset the world have come here also” (Acts 17:6). Does our presence and influence have any measurable impact on our family, community, and world? What contribution are we making to the growth of God’s kingdom? Here are six things to keep in mind if you want to make an impact.

I = Be intentional. Do the right things and the hard things on purpose. We will never advance the interests of God’s kingdom by doing only what is easy, comfortable, or convenient. A.W. Tozer said that “every advance that we make for God and for His cause must be made at our inconvenience.” We must not leave doing the right things to chance or hope that somehow the hard things will get done. We must roll up our sleeves, act deliberately, and do the right things on purpose.

M = Evaluate your methods and change them if necessary. A method is a vehicle for carrying the message of the gospel. While the message remains the same, the methods used for delivering that message are subject to change. Jesus had one message, but He used a variety of methods to deliver that message. Employ the most effective methods to impact the lives of your family and the world with the gospel of Christ.

P = Set proper priorities. Priorities help us determine where to invest our time, energy, and resources. When Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem, he went out at night to inspect the condition of the city walls (Nehemiah 2:11-16). During that inspection, Nehemiah established the priorities that would guide the work of rebuilding the walls. His priorities were reflected in a practical plan of action that helped the people to accomplish the enormous task in a record-setting fifty-two days (Nehemiah 6:15).

A = Build accountability into your life. Be willing to answer to others for how you live and labor. Accountability keeps us on task and on track. After committing adultery with Bathsheba, David remained silent about his sin (Psalm 32:3-4) — until Nathan the prophet confronted him. As a result, David confessed his sin to God (Psalm 32:5; Psalm 51). Nathan made a positive impact on David’s life by holding him accountable. Invite others to hold you accountable. Proverbs 27:6 states, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.” Give others permission to wound you, if necessary, in order to keep you moving in the right direction.

C = Demonstrate courage. We cannot make an impact if we are afraid to risk or fail. We must not be afraid to try things we’ve never tried before in order to advance God’s purposes. Someone observed, “If we always do what we’ve always done, we’ll always get what we’ve always gotten.” The greatest enemy to progress is contentment with where we are and what we’ve done. If we aspire to make an impact for the cause of Christ, we must maintain Paul’s attitude, “Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but, I press on…” (Phil. 3:12). That takes courage!

T = Teamwork is essential. Some things are too big or too hard to do alone. Learn to collaborate with others. The word collaboration is made up of the words co and labor. So, labor or work together with others who are seeking to accomplish similar goals. Collaboration includes coordination and cooperation with others. The thirty-five “one another” passages in the New Testament remind us that we need others and others need us (see my post entitled “Hold the Ropes”).

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