One of my favorite quotes is by Harper Lee, author of To Kill A Mockingbird. She states, “Writing is something you’ll never learn in any university or at any school. It’s something that is within you, and if it isn’t there, nothing can put it there.”
I love this specifically in regards to writing, but also in regards to speaking or anything else in life. While you can sharpen the skills you have, only God administers gifts. And the quality and effectiveness of your gifts is not based on the number beside your profile picture.
Platform does not equate to influence.
With everything in our life – what we say, what we do, how we carry ourselves, how we make plans for the future, we should always look at the life of Christ. In a Christian culture where everyone is trying to be someone and success is determined by how many shares you have on social media or seats filled at an event, we must be more intentional than ever at seeking, observing, and reflecting what Christ embodied during His time on earth doing ministry.
Hebrews 5:5 says, “So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, ‘You are my Son…‘”.
Jesus wasn’t clawing his way to the top. He was appointed. His focus wasn’t on reaching goals, it was on loving people. It’s similar to what Harper Lee said – it’s either for you or it’s not, but you can’t force it to be. It is what it is. God has either appointed you to speak to the masses, write published pieces, and gain a social media following, or he hasn’t. No matter how hard you try, if you’re trying without being appointed, it’s in vain. And if you are appointed, it’s going to happen despite your own self as long as you’re walking in faithful, humble obedience.
In all of this, even and especially for those who are appointed to such tasks, God does not care about what we bring to the table. He doesn’t appoint you because you’re qualified. He appoints those who are willing to choose Him above everything and everyone else. Those who are willing to say and do the hard things. Those who don’t care about who sees them, but are instead deeply devoted to seeing people changed by the power of the gospel.
I just can’t envision Jesus sitting around the table developing a strategy on how to get more followers. A strategy to have a more effective ministry? Now that I can see. Naturally, having more followers could allow you to touch more people. I’m not saying strategy is a bad thing. I’m just saying when we get so caught up in our own plans and strategies and visions of what success looks like, it becomes a lot easier to miss what God is actually calling us to. It’s easy to pursue things he’s not actually calling us to because it’s what we deem as successful. And I could be wrong, but when we meet him face to face, I don’t think he’ll be asking how our marketing and strategy developed our platform. I mostly think he’ll be saying, “You used what I entrusted you with to set people free. Now they’re here because of how you let me move through you. Well done.” At least that’s what I hope for and what I want to focus my time, energy, and resources on.