Our influence as leaders is not so much about how we lead but from what source we choose to lead. The source of our leadership is the key to deep influence and at its core is our desire to embrace the spiritual transformation Christ wants to bring to our lives as we live in relationship with him.
Spiritual transformation leads to changes in our character, lifestyle, habits and practices. All too, often, however we have reversed the order thinking that if we live or act a certain way that we will be pleasing God. Just watch new believers as they are coached by other believers in what lifestyle choices they should embrace and what they should avoid. Quickly they are enculturated into a lifestyle that looks like those around them. What looks a certain way on the outside often has nothing to do with true spiritual transformation. Furthermore, real transformation is a work of the Holy Spirit, not other people as He convicts us of sin and brings us to repentance and new practices that are consistent with the character of God.
Transformation is not about the adoption of a new set of rules and regulations (now that I am a Christ follower) rather than the old set of rules and regulations that I lived by previously. Such an understanding of transformation is as skewed and twisted as that of the Pharisees in the New Testament who substituted outward regulations for inner transformation.
Spiritual transformation is the process by which God, through his Holy Spirit and with our active cooperation, on an ongoing basis brings change to our lives as we allow Him to realign our lives with His. It is a deeply personal process that impacts our hearts, our minds, priorities, relationships and experiences. There is no part of our lives that God does not want to infuse his life into and to bring transformation to.
This transformation is at the core of Influence because the deepest influence we will ever have does not come out of our wisdom or leadership but from a wisdom, character, heart, and mind that have been so transformed by the Holy Spirit that they more and more reflect the wisdom, character, heart and mind of God! This is not primarily about knowing about God (although that is important) but knowing God and choosing a life that is always open to His reformation and actively cooperating with His transformation.