Game Changers

Encouragement, Support, and Introductions to Opportunity at Critical Times can make the difference in whether someone takes action on a calling.


As a guest of my brother-in-law Steve Bryant, I attended a special Wednesday evening service at Church of the Highlands. Pastor Chris Hodges reflected on a milestone anniversary and how even he was amazed that they had become one of the fastest-growing churches in the United States (thousands of members, multiple campuses…).

He reminded us, sometimes to make something great happen we need help from a person with influence and support at the right time. He said, the church may not have even started without the support from a fellow pastor in an established church, who encouraged his work as well as guaranteed the new church’s budget for the first year.

The pastor who offered the support also spoke of his calling to start 2000 churches in his lifetime. He admitted, though, he had tried several times to plant churches and failed every time but once. Enter another game changer with new approaches, leadership, and support getting things done in the person of the father-in-law of Pastor Chris. Now, with two game changers added to the calling, vision, and talent of Pastor Chris, they have planted over 100 churches, including several among the fastest growing in the country.

Action Ideas for Game Changers

  1. If someone has supported you or your calling at a critical time, communicate your appreciation so they know their influence made a difference. They might do it again for you or someone else if they know their energy or resources mattered.
  2. Pay it back. Seek to serve your supporters. They might need you this time, want you to help someone else, or want you to reinvest in expanding your capacities to serve society.
  3. Pay it forward. Help someone who might need help before they ask. Keep your eyes open for people doing good works or with potential to support them with encouragement, advice, or assistance. If you serve with a foundation, lead by looking for groups aligned with your mission. If you serve in human resources look for inspired talent to recruit, not just wait for applications. We have enough gate keepers–show initiative. For Life Leaders, Dr. Jack Hawkins, Chancellor of Troy University, was a pay it forward game changer when he said, “I like your work and think you should seek a grant from The Daniel Foundation–I am on the board and will introduce you.” The board read our plans, invited us to meet and discuss ideas, and made suggestions we implemented. We have expanded their impact in alignment with ours because of a game changer.
  4. If you need positive influence from an individual, consider asking him or her to serve as a mentor or sounding board or whatever you need. In addition to thinking how they can help you, offer ideas for how you might help them and make their investment in you worthy. Win-win works better.
  5. As you interact with people, be mindful that a word of encouragement for their callings and capacities might support their courage and commitment at a critical time. An hour of action to advise or advance the cause could help create critical mass, at least more momentum. You may be able to introduce this person to a group looking for him or the team.
  6. Give support if you can because that might make a difference in his or her ability to serve many others for years to come—perhaps influencing if they get to the next level or even start, changing the game for a life and the lives they serve. You might help a church, community project, or company get a start.
  7. Pray and Plan for what you need to fulfill your calling or to Master your Goliath holding you back.

May you PLAN and LEAD your LIFE–and be a game changer for someone. David


About Dr. David Dyson

Dr. David Dyson serves as author, coach, and teacher helping students and true professionals to PLAN and LEAD in LIFE. He is founder-trustee of Life Leaders America since 1988 and he is on appointment at Troy University lecturing and doing projects.
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