In any organization, membership or group there are leaders and there are followers. If your intent is to become an influencer then you cannot wait at the back of the line. There are several ways to establish yourself as an influential member in any group, if you have the courage to jump out in front.
Seek out leadership roles.
Observe and learn the authority placements in your group. Are there official positions like President, Vice-president and treasurer? If so, run for one of those spots at the first opportunity. You don’t need to win the spot in order to have your opinions regarded with respect. Simply running for the position displays to all of the members that you care a great deal about the happenings of the organization and you want to be an active participant in its operation. This will also put you in a position to have a voice in agreeing or disagreeing with the elected leadership, and will allow others in the group to come to you to discuss their opinions.
Lead by example
In any organization, if you want to be a person of influence you must take an active role. Very often that means taking a physically active role in any group activity. If your group is doing a fund raiser, be the first one there and the last one to leave. Work harder than anyone else while you are there. If there is a chance to meet the people that the fundraiser is helping, get involved. Get out front and do everything you can to be the face of the organization on that day, at that event.
Whatever you do to advance yourself, do it publicly.
Make sure that everyone knows what you are doing, what you have done, and what you are willing to do. That sort of thing can establish you as a leader, gain you respect from the congregation, and help put you in a position to influence matters greatly.
Following these guidelines will help you gain a foothold in your group, grow your influence within the membership and eventually make you a major force in any decision making process.