The Ripple Effect of Leadership

On our yearly vacation to Maine, we rent a small cottage that overlooks a gorgeous pond.

I often sit for hours in silence, inhaling the fresh, crisp air and enjoying the majestic view. One day, I sat in my oversized brown lounge chair and watched in delight as my son threw rocks into the pond. I marveled at how one small stone could cause such a disturbance to the otherwise peaceful water.

As soon as the rock hit the water, it made such a splash that it not only made one ripple but three others after it. I found it amazing that a tiny piece of God’s creation could significantly impact the world around it.

This “ripple effect” is a natural part of any relationship. As leaders, we have the opportunity to produce an effect on everyone’s life.

Just like that rock, we change lives merely by our presence. We impact lives positively and negatively. As Christians, we choose to impact lives through our calling to make disciples.

Matthew 28:18-21 says,

“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.  When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

I find it interesting that even after all the miracles Jesus performed, all of the people he healed, and all of the needs he met, people still doubted. They doubted in Jesus’ time, and they doubt today. That is why choosing people you think will allow transformation to occur and then volunteering to transform others is crucial to the people you choose to lead.

Not everyone who you impact in your church wants transformation.

Spiritual growth is hard work. Many people say they want to grow, but not many want to count the costs associated with such growth.

You have to be a strong leader to impact your church. Change is not easy. People value comfort and security over risk and danger. Your apprentices will fight you every time change occurs if they are not good soil.

Your job is not to transform them but to merely point them to the one who transforms. Your job is to make a splash, like the rocks my son threw in the lake.

 Jesus’ ministry consisted of being a viable presence in his town. When he began to add value to people’s lives through healing the sick and raising people from the dead, people’s heads began to turn. He simply made a “splash” and pointed them to His Father, who transformed their minds, hearts, and lives.

If you can make a splash in your church and allow people to see Jesus through you, you’ll pique enough interest to create a community that touches people in a deep, intimate way.

Michelle S. Lazurek is an award-winning author, speaker, acquisitions editor, as well as a Leadership Development contributor to Leading Hearts magazine. Find her at

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