What does it mean to be a leader? How do we effectively influence culture? This semester as an Impact 360 Fellow, I (Ryan) have been learning just this.

Leadership is the influence you have on those around you, and influence is the change you can cause in someone’s life through the development of their character. Leadership comes in all shapes and sizes but should always be rooted in Christ. What makes a leader good or bad depends on the purpose behind the leadership. We must learn from Jesus what leadership looks like because he displayed it perfectly. Jesus influenced others to be grounded in their relationship with God and others. He influenced his followers to embody the fruit of the Spirit and to live a life worthy of the calling they have received.

As a Fellow, I am constantly being put in new situations and roles with my peers, pushing me to lean on God and others as I grow as a leader. The Principles of Leadership class equips me and my peers to lead more like Jesus. Through hands-on team-building activities, we are discovering our leadership gifts and putting them into practice. I have found that this class pushes me out of my comfort zone to lead others and step up for the next opportunity.

Through intramurals, I am learning how to apply my leadership to maximize the influence God has given me. I love encouraging others and showing them love out on the intramural field. I grew up in competitive environments where winning was a priority, so it has been a paradigm shift to play in intramurals where winning is not the primary goal. Because of this reframing and refocusing, I can see intramurals differently. I can encourage and uplift others because good leaders focus on influencing those around them.

I am becoming a person of influence by learning from the staff, Residents, and other Fellows here at Impact 360. I see God growing me to live a Spirit-empowered life by loving those around me and treating everyone with gentleness and respect. Influence is a gift from the Lord, and because it’s a gift, it also honors the Lord.

Ryan Crosley
Round Rock, Texas