Impactful Pastors Are Offline Influencers

impact-pastorHere is a preview of my latest article at You can find the whole thing here.

The social media landscape can make the average person wonder if he can make an impact in the world today. If you take a look at well-known pastors, you can’t help but notice they are prolific, not only in printed books, but in tweets, blog posts, and Facebook likes.

One might derive an invalid conclusion from this phenomenon, thinking, “If well-known pastors are making a big impact, and have a massive social media following, then if I’m going to have a big impact, I need a social media presence, too.”

Two premises are untrue in this line of thinking. First, it falsely assumes that what is true for well-known pastors must be true for not-so-well-known pastors. There are enough differences in between the two to steer us away from such one-to-one correlations. Second, it falsely assumes that their social media following is the cause of their influence, when it is actually is a result of their offline influence. Pastors who have an effective presence online have already impacted people offline.

The difference between attention and impact

The social media climate has caused some people to confuse attention with impact. Many, pastors included, assume that if you have people’s attention, you will necessarily make an impact on them. While, it’s certainly true that you can’t impact someone without their attention, having their attention doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have an impact on them. This is good news for pastors who are neither interested in social media nor have the time to learn how to use it effectively.

How do offline pastors make an impact in a world that is crazy about social media?

Furthermore, how should pastors who are active on social media measure their influence for the gospel?

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