Fame and Influence

By Published on January 15, 2023

Influence and fame — is it the mark of God on a leader? It could be. Fame and influence do have their place and it is a huge part of spreading the Gospel. Luke 4:37 says, “And the fame of [Jesus] went out into every place of the country round about” (KIV). We see Jesus’ ministry gain great influence, and that was a mark of God on Him. We see Paul’s influence grow through his letters, and as a result thousands were added to the church.

The Bible is and continues to be the most-sold book of all time. Every year, it has outranked any other sale. Think about Billy Graham. He is a household name, even in homes that do not believe in Christ. I could go on. In all of these circumstances, fame and influence were utilized to advance the Gospel of Christ. The world would not be the same without it.

Have We Prized Fame Over Faithfulness?

So fame and influence have their place in the Kingdom of God, but it becomes a golden calf when it becomes the goal. In this modern day and age, influence has been lusted over in countless areas of life. To be an “influencer” is even a job title these days. People want to be heard and seen, and as a good-hearted believer, I know many want to be heard and seen so that people can hear the Gospel. They are on a mission to spread the fame of Jesus. But here are the questions we must ask ourselves: Have we prioritized fame over faithfulness and influence over fruitfulness? Has our striving for celebrity status outweighed our striving for cultivating the fruits of the Spirit?

Is my heart and identity settled whether anyone knew my name or not? Do I cultivate a life of abiding, whether I’m hidden or not? Fame and influence may come, but it’s not promised and it definitely is not the mark of God on my life. His presence is His mark on my life. And if I have thought it to be any other thing, whether it’s followers, influence, opportunities, or fame, then I have settled for a counterfeit. Influence is a tool that, when given by God, should be stewarded in humility.

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When it’s not stewarded in humility, pride can creep in and bring great deception and destruction. We have seen far too many men and women of God start out with purity of heart, reach a place of influence in ministry, and yet lose their family and integrity. Fame has this way, when it takes the wrong place in our heart, of lessening the importance of character and righteousness. It grieves my heart deeply when I hear of Christian leaders who are found in sin, especially when the lives of other people are involved. Nobody is perfect, and there is grace and forgiveness, but how did they get there in the first place?

How We Can Guard Our Hearts

I’m not here to judge any one; I am saying these things out of a desire to protect the ministry and integrity God has placed in my hands to steward. So instead of writing what someone did wrong, I am going to approach this from a place of how we can guard our own hearts.

  1. It’s about Jesus and not me. It’s always about Jesus.
  2. Cultivate a life of character, even when nobody is watching.
  3. Prioritize fruitfulness over fame.
  4. Don’t allow fame to change how you treat every individual.
  5. Keep your heart in humility and servanthood. You’re merely a vessel and a servant of God.
  6. Your relationship with God should be far more private than it is public. A strong, enduring tree is one that has deep and unseen roots.
  7. Fame and influence may come, but it should not change my relationship with God.
  8. Fame and influence may come, but it should not change how I think God sees me.


Jenny Papapostolou joins Randy and Tammy this Monday on LIFE TODAY. Excerpted from Sacred Smallness by Jenny Papapostolou. Copyright ©2022 Jenny Papapostolou. Published by Harrison House Publishers. Used by permission.

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