Opinion Leadership in the Church
This past year I noticed something fascinating about my personal influence with others. I have a reputation among my friends & colleagues for being very efficient and productive. When I stumbled across a new tool for managing tasks, projects & people I naturally shared my find with those around me. I sent a few emails, wrote a couple of posts and engaged in some personal conversations about it.
None of that is fascinating.
What is interesting to me has been people’s response. A lot of people have already incorporated this tool into their own lives, and have also become evangelists for it.
Today I was doing some research and stumbled across a term called “Opinion Leadership“. An opinion leader has a much stronger chance to influence those around him than others, because people hold his opinion in high regard for some reason, in this case because of my expertise in productivity.
It begs the question, “Who are the opinion leaders at your church?”
Understand, an opinion leader is not the same thing as a leader. It’s possible they have influence because of a competence, but it’s just as possible their influence is related to their outstanding character, history in the church, position in the community and more. In fact, it may be that a positional leader in the church has little true influence with the congregation compared to an opinion leader.
The opinion leader is most certainly someone to invest time getting to know. He or she will play a big role in encouraging or discouraging whatever new initiative you are attempting to roll out to the congregation. One of the most strategic activities you can do is to identify your opinion leaders and include them in your new initiative, in some way, early on. The more likely that they grab hold of your vision, the more likely others will adopt it as well.
What are you doing to strengthen your relationship with the opinion leaders at your church?