I recently read the article"Who Is the Most Influential Christian Leader in the US?
It listed many famous men and preachers in our country . . . and of course, some names on the list I was surprised by. Some of the names on this list, some of the most influential people of our faith, don't preach the same gospel I've come to know, learn, and live. But then again, it doesn't say some of the most "faithful" it said, the most influential. That translates to people with the most popularity, the most celebrity, and the most media exposure. These men are considered "influential" because of their celebrity or their power.
What about all of those people who are influential, but go unnoticed?
One of the most famous pastors (and a personal favorite of mine), Chuck Swindoll, wasn't on the list. But I would still consider him influential. I heard him tell a story about his mother. He talked about how much he learned from his mother even when he was just a wild young boy. He can remember her locking herself in the bathroom and hanging a sign on the door something to the effect of "Do not disturb, having my quiet time with Jesus". He talked about how he remembers his mother loving one of their neighbors, bringing her meals, always helping her, and eventually leading her to Christ. He was influenced by His mother's love for Jesus, and love for others. He was influenced by her faithfulness to preach Christ in her actions and words to her family and neighbors. So one of the most influential pastors, was influenced by a woman who would've never made this list.
I think of all of my friends who are raising up the next generation of godly men and women. They may not be leading a church of 40,000, or preaching the gospel to 215 million people, or writing best sellers every year. Their pictures aren't on billboards, their names aren't found on covers of magazine.
Their day is filled with waking up early, changing diapers, making meals, wiping faces, cleaning up messes, disciplining for the hundredth time, snuggling, praying as they rock their child to sleep.
If that's you, you may feel unknown and unnoticed, but be encouraged. You are faithful and influential.
You just might be the momma influencing one of the next "most influential Christian leaders" of our time.