Who Should We Influence, and How?

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You say you want a revolution…

Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru) has a good model for how to change the world. Their mission is that everyone in the world would hear the gospel and have a chance to accept it.

We need to think similarly about our own ideological mission. We should aim to give every Christian in the world a fair chance at accepting our main philosophical ideas (that reason is an absolute, that self-interest is proper, and that societies should protect individual rights).

Since people have volition, what they do with this information is out of our hands. But we can work toward the goal of making our ideas known. We can show Christians our case for why these ideas are biblically compatible, philosophically necessary, and practically important for living.

Sound strategy requires us to focus our efforts on a specific group: young Christian leaders.

People in this group have much time left in the world; they have greater openness to ideas; they are going to have influence on others. This is the group we need to be talking to. The group includes current or future workers in ministry of all kinds (Sunday school teachers, Pastors, Elders, Worship Leaders, Youth and College Ministers, Professors, etc.)

How do we influence them?

Here are three important ways: friendship, books, and blogs.

People respond well to the ideas of individual people with whom they have friendships. There is credibility. Similarly, a book has a built-in sense of legitimacy. Blogs are less influential than books or personal relationships, but they can open the door to these.

Blogs do offer some great benefits:

  • They are fairly easy to create, and they scale for free.
  • They make it easier to talk to publishers and to sell books.
  • They help you locate those with similar ideas.
  • They may persuade a reader, or they may at least expose him to a new philosophical approach.

Despite these benefits of a blog (and the even more obvious benefits of a book), the key mode of influence is individual friendship. By our simple presence we give reality to ideas that would otherwise only be abstract. We don’t always need to demonstrate the proof behind our beliefs. The mere fact of our belief has the effect of bringing the idea to the realm of possibility and consideration.

Who do you talk to? Who do you convince or simply influence? We need to become strategic about our relationships.


In this series:
Who Should We Influence, and How?
Understanding Your Influence: The Progressor Model
Using Your Influence: The Interview Method

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  1. Pingback: Friday Feature: Who Should We Influence, and How? | Reason In View

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