Andy Stanley & Stuart Hall on “Being an Influence without Being Influenced’

(1) The Standards Principle – Gaining the High Ground:

  • Principle: You must develop, be able to personal articulate, and live by personal standards.
  • Critical Question: Are you developing and living by standards that you can clearly articulate to others?
  • Key Passage: Beloved, I urge you as aliens and exiles to abstain from the desires of the flesh that wage war against the soul. Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that, though they malign you as evildoers, they may see your honorable deeds and glorify God when he comes to judge (1 Peter 2:11-12).

(2) The Priorities Principle – Putting Your Own Spiritual Health First:

  • Principle: You must establish your own spiritual health as a priority over the spiritual health of the friends you are attempting to influence.
  • Critical Question: Are you prioritizing your relationship with Christ over your relationships with friends?
  • Key Passage: But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33).

(3) The Accountability Principle – Making Sure Someone Has Your Back:

  • Principle: You must maintain effective accountability relationships with other Christian students.
  • Critical Question: Are you accountable to other Christians.
  • Key Passage: My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:1-2).

(4) The Unconditional-Acceptance Principle – Out-Loving the World:

  • Principle: You must love and accept your unbelieving peers unconditionally.
  • Critical Question: Do you unconditionally accept your lost friends?
  • Key Passage: Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God (Romans 15:7).

(5) The Sustained-Influence Principle – Sustaining the Influence You’ve Gained:

  • Principle: You must sustain the influence you gain with your unbelieving peers.
  • Critical Question: Are you sustaining your influence with your lost friends?
  • Key Passage: You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16).

(6) The Leverage Principle – Using Your Influence Wisely:

  • Principle: You must properly put into practice the leverage you gain.
  • Critical Question: Are you using your wisdom to leverage your influence for the sake of the gospel?
  • Key Passage: Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ-whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died (1 Corinthians 15:12-20).


  • Andy Stanley and Stuart Hall, MAX Q: Developing Students of Influence, (West Monroe, LA: Howard Books, 2004).
  • Andy Stanley and Stuart Hall, MAX Q Student Journal: How to Be an Influence without Being Influenced, (New York: Howard Books, 2004).