I recently read a book titled, “teacher” The Henrietta Mears Story, by Marcus Brotherton. In the Introduction section, Brotherton is describing the influence Donald Miller’s highly successful book, Blue Like Jazz, had on his friend’s widow shortly after he had passed away. He talks about our simple and small influence in people’s lives being so alive it “thunders with reverberation even after a passage of time.”
In tracing the influence of ministry he uses Miller’s book as an example. Miller’s first book, Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance, sold so few copies that Miller considered giving up writing as a career. What many people do not know is that his second book, mega hit Blue Like Jazz, also floundered desperately when it first came out—until Campus Crusade for Christ (now known as CRU) got a hold of it. A staffer at CRUread the book and they soon ordered a total of 125,000 copies to put in their college Freshman Survival Kits. This was a staggering launch forward for any young writer and solidified Miller’s writing career from then on. The founder of CRU was Dr. Bill Bright. CRU has reportedly touched the lives of over 3.4 billion people. Bright also championed another young author, Ted Dekker, who went on to be the bestselling author of many novels.
So who influenced Bill Bright? One of the major influences in his life was an elderly Sunday school teacher that no one has ever heard of (Henrietta Mears). She had a major influence on the lives of many men such as Bill Bright and Billy Graham. Because of her influence those men went on to influence billions of lives.
You never know who or how God is going to use your influence to make a difference in the world. If you are a struggling writer, do not despair. It only takes one person to change the fate of your book and the lives of all who come in contact with it. Not only that but you are influencing unknown numbers people you will meet. The question to ask yourself is, “Who are you being influenced by?”