You Can Make A Difference
One person can make a difference. That is true both positively and negatively. The Bible is filled with examples of both. While it is great that there is a congregation of people who want to do what is right, there is usually one person that makes the difference. True, it does not have to be just one. If that one person is out of the picture, it changes the whole complexion of things.
Where there is a person that is respected by all and that person is no longer present, it changes the whole dynamic of the group. That person speaks and everyone listens. But when the voice is silenced and no longer leads, the influence is lost. It is not unusual to find in any group of people a person who can be cantankerous. The person of influence keeps his stubbornness in check. But when the person of influence moves or dies and the cantankerous one has the upper hand, he destroys everything and everyone.
That one person does not have to be a person in the formal role of a leader, i.e., a preacher, elder, or deacon. That person who has influence can be anyone, man or woman. I have known of small churches where the women were predominate in number. There may have been only one man or two. I have known of a man standing before the church to lead singing who does not know how to start the song and a woman helped him get it started. There are women who have greater Bible knowledge in a congregation, and she uses the scripture to teach those she has the opportunity to teach. She can answer questions when asked. So, that informal person who makes a difference may be a woman who is an example of quietness and submission. It may be a man who is so shy he cannot stand before an audience, but is wise in life and God’s word.
That one person is the one everyone looks to, even formal leaders. That person’s voice is respected and heard by all, even the stubborn. How does that happen? It happens because of a Christ-like spirit. It happens because of a deep love for God and His word. It happens because of a demonstrated deep love of people. It does not have to be ostentatious. It is just going about living the life of God’s child quietly, but effectively. No shouting. No “Look at me; I am somebody.” Simply years of stability, consistency, and selflessness. Just years of living out God’s word.
That one person is courageous to withstand the one who seeks control, power, and domination, but not loudly, and not contentiously. He uses God’s word as the sword to defeat the one who would destroy. That person does not want the limelight. That person does not need the accolades. That person does not have to be out front. That person simply loves the Lord and wants to help others do the same.
Yes, many times that one person is a formal leader. He stands before others and leads because he is an example of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, purity, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23).
Regardless of whether one person is an informal leader or a formal leader, one person can and does make all the difference in the world. Why not grow to be that person? We will not become that one person because we want it, but because we live it.