Reflection from UCU Vice Chancellor, The Rev. Dr. John Senyonyi

The Christian Influence

Matthew 5: 13-20

Rev. Canon Dr. John Senyonyi

Vice Chancellor, Uganda Christian University

John Stott authored an exposition of The Sermon on the Mount titled, “Christian Counter-Culture”. He argued that a Christian life often runs counter to the cultural tide around us.

He said, “We should not ask, ‘What is wrong with the world?’ … Rather …, “What has happened to salt and light?” If the world is crumbling do not ask, “Why?” Instead ask, “Where are the Christians?”

“You are the salt of the earth, … You are the light of the world …”. This is not an opinion or a suggestion; it is a Christian fact. The label ‘Christian’ creates an identity and expectations of your life. The world watches for your light emissions!


Like the Chorus we sang years ago,

“They are watching you, marking all you do,

Hearing the things that you say,

Let them see the Saviour as He shines in you,

Let His power control you everyday.”


The Christian life is a book that people read and out of which they make conclusions about Jesus. That is being ‘salt’ and ‘light’. 

This Christian identity influences by its distinctness and separateness. We become irrelevant and cannot influence the world trying to be like it. We influence by being Christianly different.

Secondly, the Christian’s Example is a Powerful Influence. Our social poverty today is the absence of role models for young people. Families are breaking up. Schools offer them freedom prematurely. Governments are riddled with self-interest. They go to church and find only opinions!

The visibility of our faith makes us effective and influential in the world. The Church is God’s showroom where His glory is demonstrated, His salvation heard and where the world responds to His Grace.

Thirdly, the Church is positioned to change the world. It is not God’s joke. It is how He has chosen to work in His world. Jesus left the Gospel to the world in the hands of His timid twelve disciples! So the Christian is God’s antiseptic influence and moral disinfectant in the world. The presence of the Church must be palpable and indispensable.

Lastly, a Christian’s principal function is to persuade the world to believe and worship the Father. Our good works must not call attention to ourselves, but to our Father. Our light emissions are from His Light, for the world to see and believe the Father.

What is the world seeing through you?