I had the chance to go to a U2 concert in Amsterdam a few weeks back. (I have been going to U2 shows since the early 90's). The concert was great and I thoroughly enjoyed the show. But it got me thinking about influence.
During the concert, while 45,000 sang every song and danced to every tune, Bono, as he always does, took time to "influence" the crowd to think about larger issues, such as racism, global health, women's rights, etc.... He didn't preach, he didn't scold, he didn't manipulate... he influenced. And he did all this without ever diminishing the performance of his craft.
U2 and Bono have been "influencing" their fans for 30 years for the issues they are passionate about. Bono, started (Red) in 2012 and since that time the company has generated more than $465 million for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, to support HIV/AIDS grants in Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia. 100 percent of that money goes to work on the ground – no overhead is taken.
It inspired me and made me think that "influence" is possible for all of us. Without needing to be a rock star, as we live our lives, and perform our jobs, we can always carry with us our deepest convictions - about God, about justice, about truth, about compassion - and we can weave these things into the way we live our lives and perform our craft.
Here is a blurb from a class I teach on Mission and Calling that tries to sum this up
"The new world that God intends is not going to come about in some ethereal way or just drop out of heaven. God intends, as he always has, to slowly implement his rule and his reign through human people who choose to join him in his mission. Jesus mission included the preparation of a people who would implement the victory that he had achieved. It is Jesus’ disciples who carry and share in Jesus mission of reconciliation. Jesus calls women and men to follow him, working in ways big & small, visible & invisible, local & global, to embody and implement the life and goodness of God. These disciples understand they are called to literally cooperate with God to help bring his kingdom into reality.”
Grace & Peace,