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 Thomas F. Jones Jr., executive director of Stadia, Irvine, California.
Wess Stafford, president emeritus of Compassion International: Wess is an extraordinary leader who grew Compassion International, a child advocacy organization that works only through the local church, to one of the world’s leading nonprofits. Most important, he has helped shape the world’s thinking about the importance of giving hope to children and the 4/14 window. Whether a person is 2 or 80, Wess has the unique ability to make every person feel valued.
Tim Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City: In the past decade, Keller has arguably
impacted, more than anyone else, the church planting culture of the United States and beyond. His impact has been via his prolific writing and speaking, and the model his own church provides. His teaching is deeply challenging, theological, and impactful. The leading church planting experts in the United States all listen to him.
Pope Francis: The leader of the Roman Catholic Church is a breath of fresh air. He has brought to the world a strong Christian voice for compassion and concern for the poor and others in the margins of life. He has challenged the Catholic Church and all of Christianity to think about tough subjects in terms of grace and mercy instead of legalism and judgment. His servant leadership gives Christianity a much needed dose of credibility to the non-Christian world.