Have you ever considered that perhaps the business model for success that we’re so used to from our own culture might not be the way to influence others for Christ? In Authentic Influencer, Jonathan Murphy turns the yardstick we’re used to using to measure success upside down, by examining early church influencer Barnabas. FrontGate Media provided this book for me to read, and it has been both an astounding and encouraging read, filled with solid Biblical teaching. I’m truly delighted to share about this book with you, plus my own experiences with it. And, you can enter to win your own copy!
About Authentic Influencer, from the publisher
“You may feel like an ordinary believer, but God has a knack of using ordinary people to accomplish His extraordinary purposes. Authentic Influencer encourages you to walk with Barnabas, learn from God, and shape the world for Jesus Christ— one life at a time.
God’s approach to influencing the world is through His people. People shape people. And yet, many of God’s people spectate from the sidelines unsure of what to do. Authentic Influencer is rooted in principles emerging from the life of God’s choice example in the Scriptures—a man called Barnabas—rather than recycled quotes from corporate leadership works.
Every follower of Jesus can be inspired, instructed, and mobilized to influence the world from right where they are. In fact, it is everyday believers—not just “professional” Christians such as pastors, church leaders, authors, and others—who are specifically tasked by Jesus Himself to bring godly influence to the world. We are all His agents of change, be it shaping one person or a thousand.
Authentic Influencer is a Christian leadership book that:
- Highlights 15 key principles that emerge from Barnabas that are relevant, practical, and customizable to every believer;
- Inspires you to shape those around you for Christ;
- Urges you to practice investing in others through discipleship; and
- Challenges you with inspiring stories and practical wisdom emerging from biblical truths
By studying the life of Barnabas, we see how he influenced the world for Jesus Christ in practical and doable ways. Become encouraged to shape our world for Jesus— beginning with whoever happens to be close by.”
My thoughts about Authentic Influencer
Conviction. Inspiration. Encouragement. And lastly, appreciation for the perspective and solid Bible teaching author Jonathan Murphy provides in this book.
I honestly had not realized how much popular culture had influenced my own definitions of what a “successful” Christ-follower or church should look like. The term “successful” is certainly a clue! That is such a Western or American idea. Mark 10:45 says about Jesus, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Here, author Jonathan Murphy digs deep into the life of Barnabas, and the remarkable example of servanthood, encouragement, and vision he lived out for us. Really, it is an example not only for us individually, in our own service or ministries, but just as importantly for those in church leadership.
In Authentic Influencer, Murphy uses his own personal experiences, the example set by his father, and stories of men and women of history and of Christendom, and sets those alongside Scripture to show us the kind of lives we can lead that are God-directed, rather than culture-directed. (Although don’t be mistaken, these leadership principles are just as usable in the professional world as they are in our own personal lives or in the church.) I was particularly touched and impacted by his reminders of these crucial principles:
- To remember that of all those who influence us, our families influence us the most (40% by statistics, a greater number than coaches, bosses, church leaders, or others)
- That “an inflated sense of one’s self-importance is a dangerous problem for every Christian. It leads to all sorts of sins, including selfish ambition.” (p. 18, Authentic Influencer)
- That prayer is so much more important that we sometimes think, and Murphy’s amazing examples include not only notable missionaries but his own father
What I loved the most about this book was its truthful and honest, yet deeply encouraging, model. I never felt like Murphy was telling me to do something impossible. Instead, I could seek to follow God’s Word, live out the gifting and opportunities He’s placed before me, and simply BE. Be encouraging and loving. Be tender and kind. Allow others’ gifts to shine.
This is a book I so recommend to all of you (even as I’m continuing to make notes from it and learn myself). What a privilege to read and encounter–and what an example!
Some of my favorite parts
I had so many! (You can probably discern that by seeing my highlighter’s markings and all my Post-It flags on my copy.)
- Murphy’s remarkable exposition on what salt and light (Jesus’s direction to us in the Sermon on the Mount; Matthew 5:13-16) really are and do
- “Barnabas knew God doesn’t waste wounds. God recycles our failures…Barnabas knew past mistakes could be a tool (like Michaelangelo’s chisel) to chip away at that which blocked future potential.” (p. 147)
- “Godly influencers who finish well leave a trail of blessed people behind them. They fixate their lives on pouring themselves into others, not on getting more and more stuff. The results speak for themselves.” (p. 160)
- “When kingdom living occurs by authentic followers of Jesus, the beauty of life under the rule of God is put on display.” (p. 9)
There are so many beautiful moments in this book that really can shape us differently than our culture will, and can help us to become what God wants to make us and use us for. That’s a remarkable and magnificent calling!
The ancient model for the formation of a person–what we call discipleship–was imitatio. It is essentially this: copy the right role model. That’s it! Aspire to be like him or her. Be around the right people. Imitate them. In due time, they rub off on you.Jonathan Murphy, Authentic Influencer
Where you can purchase Authentic Influencer
Authentic Influencer is available at many booksellers. Just click on the purchase link below. That will take you to the Thomas Nelson Publishers book page; you can link to the bookseller of your choice but also receive some free downloads and a 5-day devotional.
Purchase Authentic Influencer here
We were created to reflect glory, not absorb it. But we have a history of addiction to ourselves.Jonathan Murphy, Authentic Influencer
And–you can enter to win your own copy!
Blessed Freebies is giving away a copy of Authentic Influencer to one entrant! To enter to win, just click on the highlighted Blessed Freebies giveaway link below. That will take you to their website, where you’ll be able to enter the book giveaway. One winner will be selected on April 7, 2023, so be sure to enter before then!
Enter Blessed Freebies book giveaway here
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions shared here are my own honest ones.
4 thoughts on “A book that will change your mind about spiritual leadership: “Authentic Influencer” by Jonathan Murphy (plus GA, ends 4/6/23)”
Fabulous review, Wren!! It sounds like an amazing book. Honestly, I had NO idea we could learn so much about Barnabas!
Cindy, it really was eyes opening to me, too! In some really neat ways I felt it released me from maybe my own sometimes-harsh expectations of myself into just the peace & grace of walking gently and kindly with God & humans. 😊😍 And thank you for your always-sweet encouraging words!
I have added it to my TBR 🙂