Each one of us can probably tell a story about someone who stuck it out in a thankless job, unnoticed and uncelebrated, in order to make a difference our lives and others’… year after year after year. I’m talking about world-changers, the folks who shaped generations from a quiet place. An elementary school teacher. A coach, or a college professor. How about a blogger, or someone on Instagram? Wait. What?
A blogger writes a piece for a hundred readers, after the sermon which inspired it stopped in a room of fifty. A divorced woman encourages newlyweds during a monthly webchat, creating a space for vulnerable and honest conversation. A girl with an eye for design coaches other women through their creative endeavors on Instagram, paving the market for handmade shops and business ideas. A mother of three reaches out to new moms on Twitter, using a few characters to speak life into a tired day. A small-business photographer writes an e-book that inspires women to take better photos of their families and everyday life.
In the story I heard over the weekend, the person with the quiet job was asked why he didn’t want to start his own church or break out into a more noticed, famous career. His reply? I can do far more damage for the Kingdom right here, right where I am.
He understood the power of replication. This idea is an
underlying right-out-in-the-open theme of the Influence Network, and it’s become a battle cry of my own heart. Both successes and failures equip us to share wisdom. If you’re not a Christian, this is simply healthy advice for society. Look around your community, invest in others, and build up the next generation. But if you’re a follower of Jesus, if you believe you carry the Good News, then it’s a mandate. This is Christ in us, folks. He is what we pour out, and He is why we pour it so often.
So maybe our blogs only get a few hits per week, and maybe we can’t figure out why our Instagram followers aren’t multiplying faster. We can’t wait to be bigger and badder. Time is too precious. The spotlight only reaches so far, friends. I’ve heard it can be sweaty and uncomfortable. The grass is only so green. I’ve heard it can be expensive and time-consuming. Some of the women atop these vast platforms, the women with the readership and the recognition to which we aspire? Most of them wave their arms at us, trying their best to get our attention. They want us to stop looking at them and look around instead. Replicate. Pour out your cup today, right where you’re at. Let’s be willing to shape a generation from the quiet places.