We asked 35 Christian leaders, “Who is the influencer with the biggest impact on your life and ministry?” Most of these leaders listed several influential thinkers, writers, innovators, and leaders more of us should get to know. This response is from Mark Moore, teaching pastor, Christ’s Church of the Valley, Peoria, Arizona.
Don Wilson: Don founded Christ’s Church of the Valley 30 years ago. It has grown to more than 23,000 in weekly attendance, and there’s a very good reason. Don is one of the most driven and shrewd leaders I’ve ever met. His single life focus is to build the church of Jesus Christ. My first year on staff was like cramming a PhD in church growth into a single year. The greatest lesson he taught me was to crave critique. After every sermon, event, and meeting, Don demands his associates offer suggestions for how he can improve. He is simply insatiable for critique that will make him better.
Ken Idleman: Ken was president of Ozark Christian College when I was a freshman in 1981. I was so enamored with him that I took an 8-by-10-inch photograph of Ken out of one of the college publications, taped it to the window, and forged a note from Ken to me with his signature. It was, of course, a joke with a very serious longing. That longing came to fruition when I was hired on staff in 1990 and forged a friendship with my mentor. More than anything else, Ken taught me how to pray for people with a pastor’s heart.
Kenny Boles: When I was a freshman, Kenny taught me Greek and Acts. When I was a sophomore, he invited me into his home and began three decades of mentoring. He showed me true scholars care most about truth and care little about initials that trail behind one’s name. He taught me the art of pure, honest, and simple reasoning not just in biblical matters, but in life, leadership, and relationships.