Influence2 min read

What does it mean to have influence? Perhaps more important is the question of whether you have influence.

Most definitions suggest that influence is having the capacity to cause an effect on someone or something. Influence can be used to bring about change in the way another person thinks or behaves. The word can be either a noun or a verb, depending on its usage.

Do you consider yourself a person of influence? Do you, or have you, encouraged someone to follow a certain path or course in their life? Have you been willing to put your good name behind the endorsement of something with the hope of influencing the decision of another?

Many people seem to underestimate the amount of influence that God has given them. God puts us in relationships where we are able to positively influence others. When our influence is used in a God-pleasing way, wonderful and amazing things happen that can change lives for eternity.

As I have the opportunity to talk with our students, I cannot tell you how often I hear about someone who influenced them to consider Concordia University. Many times I have heard about pastors who love Christian education and know the value that it brings during the formative college years. These pastors use their influence to help encourage young people to consider whether God is calling them into a churchwork vocation or other service to Christ in the world.

But it’s not just pastors who influence our future students. Parents have tremendous influence—even though teenagers may at times seem like they aren’t listening. Studies show that parents are a vitally important influence in the lives and future of their children. Teachers, youth leaders, and other Christian friends also serve as an important voice in influencing the path that a young person will follow.

Never before has there been a greater need in our country for well-educated young men and women who have a solid grounding in the Word of God and understand Christian vocation. At Concordia University Ann Arbor, our students receive the education they need to prepare them for lives of service to Christ. Most of them become our students because someone used their influence to encourage them to consider how God might develop them through Concordia. What better way is there to use one’s influence?

Who could you encourage and influence to consider attending Concordia University? Enrollment is still open for this fall and many opportunities exist for campus visits. For more information, to schedule a visit, or to learn more, please visit

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About the Author

Rev. Dr. Roy Peterson is the Vice President of Advancement for Concordia University Ann Arbor, Mich.

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