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Eight years ago I was working at the First Baptist Church of Edmond, Oklahoma.  I was the media director, which meant that my primary responsibilities involved editing the television broadcast, and managing the audio/video elements of services.  I also filled the role of assistant worship pastor, and was significantly involved with the music program.  Video and music were my main passions, and I imagined I would continue on indefinitely doing that sort of work.

One day, I was approached by the head of the men’s ministry.  He asked if I would speak to the small group of men that gathered for Tuesday morning prayer breakfast.  I agreed, having never spoken in front of a group of people before.  It didn’t seem like that big of a deal.  It was sort of like giving a devotion to a small group, and I kept that in mind when I studied and prepared for my brief talk.

I became especially nervous when I got up to speak, though, because our pastor was there.  Dr. Day was a very polished speaker and a consummate Bible scholar.  My mind drifted to the image of his office wall, bedecked with diplomas corresponding to his hard earned degrees.  Here I was, a guy with no Bible degree… strike that… no degree at all, stumbling through my notes, trying to put sentences together.

What must he be thinking?  I thought.

After I finished speaking, I made a rapid exit to my office.  My heart was beating fast and I was sweating profusely.  I consoled myself with the fact that I had communicated the message I felt God had given me to share, no matter how clumsily.  It was over, and now, I could get back to the things I actually knew how to do… video and music.

Then I heard Dr. Day’s laughter as he came down the hall talking to another staff member.  Oh, no.  I thought.  Was it that bad?  Was it so pathetic that it was funny?  I kept my head down and didn’t say anything.  Then Dr. Day showed up at my desk looked me straight in the eye and said…

“You’ve missed your calling, son.”

I tried hard to process what he was saying, but I didn’t immediately make sense of it.

“Pardon?”  I stammered.

“You’ve missed your calling.  You’re a preacher.  That’s all there is to it.”

I was still trying to follow what he was saying when he added:

“I’m going to be out of town next Wednesday night.  I think you should preach for me.  Okay?”

Even as I write this eight years later, my eyes still tear up.  In many ways, that conversation changed the course of my life.  I did speak that next Wednesday night.  I was more nervous that night speaking to 150 people than I am now speaking to 6000 across the course of a weekend.  But I felt in my spirit that God was confirming for me what Alan had said.  This was my true calling.

Not long after, my father would hear a tape of that Wednesday night sermon and shortly thereafter invite me for the first time to speak at NewSpring.  Over the course of the next three years, I was invited to speak from time to time here as a guest speaker.  Then in 2010, I was invited to join the staff as Associate Pastor, and since then preaching has been central to my ministry.

[bctt tweet=”Leverage your influence to open doors for someone else.”]

I’ve received amazing gifts in my life time.  Some were very expensive, others, not so much.  But what Alan Day gave me was priceless… and it didn’t cost him anything.  He did something for me that I will never forget.  He leveraged his influence to open doors for me that might otherwise have remained closed.

So many of us hoard our influence.  It’s almost like we’re afraid that if we promote others, we won’t get promoted.  Or, we tend to think that if we share our “platform” in life, we won’t be heard ourselves.  It just goes to show how easy it can be to get our thinking backwards.  Alan understood that one of the greatest ways to experience blessing in life is to share the platform that God has given us.

[bctt tweet=”No one gets ahead in life by hoarding their influence.”]

Imagine how much help you could give someone today by sharing your influence with them.  You can teach, encourage, provide opportunities to, cast vision for, and plan with the next generation.  And your influence is worth more than you think.  Give it a try.  What do you have to lose?  Dr. Alan Day is with the Lord now, but his influence lives on—through my ministry and the ministries of countless others he invested in.  He taught me something—if you want to leave a legacy… if you want your hard work to pay off long after you leave this planet, leverage your influence to help others.

What’s your story of how someone leveraged their influence to help you achieve your purpose?

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