Having a real impact is far greater a goal than to just simply have a large reach. In other words, you may have a lot of people listening to you but how many people respect you because of your integrity? Furthermore, how many people will still be talking about the work that you have done after you have gone? Many people nowadays are striving to reach more people but I think that the real goal would be in striving to make an impact on those you already reach! This is the difference in leadership that are known during one dispensation of time and those leaders that leave a legacy that is timeless and reaches far beyond the current generation.
Let's face it, what difference does it make how many people know your name? What really matters is the number of people who know exactly what you stand for, who you're fighting for, and what you believe in.
Even on social media, the experts will tell you that it's not as important the number of people who like your page or follow you...instead it's more important the "rate of engagement" and the "number of people talking about your brand". If you have a Facebook Page, you know what I mean. You can check out the analytics and know what impact you are really making and who is spreading your message instead of following a "famous name".
I made an interesting observation today and looked it up to make sure I was right. I noticed that all of the trees that bear some type of fruit are always the small trees. Think of it...
The largest fruit-bearing trees are certain apple trees, and they only grow to a height of about 45 feet. That may seem tall to you...but consider that some of the tallest trees in the world will be a minimum of around 350 feet tall.
That tells me a lot. Those who really make the impact on the lives of others are humble, approachable, tangible, and aren’t afraid of pruning. Fruit Trees may not be the tallest trees, but the provide the most nutrients. Other taller trees may produce nuts…the smaller trees produce fruit that hydrates and nourishes those who partake of its harvest.
What am I saying? There will be many leaders that rise and fall, but it's those that stand the test of time that we should put our trust in. Just because a tree is big doesn't mean it's bearing fruit! Just because you’re famous doesn’t mean your making an impact on anybody or bringing any refreshing nourishment.
I encourage all you leaders out there to stop focusing on the number of people you are reaching, most of those people are saying what the crowd wants to hear anyways. Instead, focus on the integrity of your message and the transformation of those that hear it. Focus more on the engagement and discipleship of those who you are privileged to influence than just about reaching another person.
The real keys to impact is humility, honesty, integrity, being approachable, investing real time in those you care about, and be more concerned about building disciples of the message you believe in instead of just another follower.
Remember this, what you believe is not reflecting in your speech alone but in the way that you live your life.
I want to leave you with this disclaimer... you can have a big reach and a big impact at the same time…but honestly, you can count those people on one hand. And those who have a big reach now may not always have a lasting influence on that big number of people. I don’t know about you, but I would rather have impact now and influence later that is sustainable, than to just reach a bunch of people now that don’t remain!
John 15:8 (NKJV)
“By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”