Making Yourself Known?

by | Oct 1, 2012 | 50 comments

It’s a rainy Monday morning in Nashville, but I’m not complaining because my red and green leaf lettuce transplants need the water and I need an excuse for a hot cup of PG Tips. Also, it’s Bible Study night for me at The Village Chapel and it’s easier for me to stay in and study on cozy mornings like these. At any rate, I’ve been wrestling with something that’s pretty prevalent in our culture – even in our Christian culture, maybe especially in our Christian culture – and I wonder if I’m alone. Now that we live in this strange new world of social media, there is an extra pressure to make ourselves known. The idea of self promotion is not new, but today it feels not only familiar but “essential”. Social media for promotion is being touted not only as an extra resource but as our responsibility. Books are being written and conferences given on how to make ourselves known, heard, read, downloaded; how to promote our work; how to increase Twitter followers and Facebook friends; How to ramp up blogger comments, and on and on…No doubt these are some well thought-through resources with wise insights about how to leverage a brand new medium that has the potential to reach people in once impossible to touch corners of the world. Surely these books are especially useful when a message is worthy of being heard, read or watched. BUT, (and I’m just throwing this out there)…

If something has felt “funny” to you in your spirit about trying to get yourself “out there”, if you’ve ever felt like you’re striving, competing with others, feeling left out, comparing yourself, feeling “less-than” or, maybe worse, “better than”, than here’s something remarkably freeing I read this morning… I was in Luke 14 reading about Jesus’ 40 day temptation in the desert, where Satan tempted Christ to depend on earthly bread, turn His worship away from the Father, and even test the Father. After this grueling journey through the desert, hungry, this is what we read happened next in Luke 4:14, “Then Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread…

In light of this platform-building-thing with which I’ve been struggling, I was grabbed by the italicized phrase. “News about Him spread”. WHY? Because He marketed, promoted, Tweeted, got tapped for a huge conference, blogged, found a great manager? Not exactly. Because He emerged out of a crushing walk through the desert in the power of the spirit. Huh, not the way I would have thought news would spread. Interesting that the combination of suffering in obedience coupled with the power of the Holy Spirit were the wings that carried the news like a trending topic on Twitter or a New York Times Best Seller.

Again, not that any of these aforementioned resources are inherently bad by the way – they can be good disciplines and resources when used in the right spirit; It’s just that in the Christian realm I believe good news can spread independent of what we spend so much time thinking we must have. A good song, an insightful blog, a clever Tweet will come and go, but a person who walks in the power of the Spirit, well now, that’s rare – and news about what God’s doing in their lives tends to spread in ways mysterious. And more importantly, the news we need to worry about spreading is not the news about ourselves but about Jesus. Ah, double freedom.

So this morning I am dwelling on what obedience looks like in the face of temptation; I’m dwelling on what it takes to walk in the power of the Spirit. And I’m so moved by the counter-cultural truths of Luke 4:14 that I’ve decided to use social media to blog about it… go figure.

Happy Monday to all of you… Walk humbly today. Walk in the Spirit. Make Jesus known…
Kelly

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50 Comments

  1. Debbie

    Such a God moment….I just put as my status "sometimes one must be still and not "toot one's horn" in order to do God's work. While we are happy that we are doing something good, sometimes it is good to do it quietly so it doesn't sound like boasting. Set by example and not words…."

    While it is clear to me that we are coming from two different directions and I absolutely understand why it is God wants you to get His word out, I, in the situation I am currently dealing with am hoping someone will realize that she might be doing more harm than good. I just thought it was interesting that we were thinking about the same thing.

  2. Shelly

    A good word this morning, Kelly. I appreciated your insights. I’ve often felt, at times, like I’m not doing enough – tweeting or FB’ing enough Bible verses or encouraging thoughts. I just want to wear Jesus well. Thank you for the encouragement. You are someone who wears the love of Jesus very well.

    Blessings!

  3. Jim Gray

    Kelly,
    Great post on a topic I struggle with daily as a connector. I would much rather spend my day on the phone and in meetings than deal with the "I have to update or else" mentality. It really does pull away from the creative, organic, relational side of life.

  4. Debbie@Any Given Day

    Love this. Thanks so much for redirecting our thinking and reminding us of what matters most.

  5. philoangelo

    Great word Miss Minter ~

    I've wrestled w/ this very thing myself, w/ the numbers game & how to get myself out there, increase followers, comments, etc; everything you touched on… & for me, it always comes back to the simplicity that Paul had:

    1) Know Christ & Him crucified (I Cor 2:2)
    2) Know Christ & the power of His resurrection (Phil 3:10)

    In Phil 2:7 Paul states that Christ Himself made Himself of no reputation, that's a great example for all of us…

    My blog stats & Twitter followers will always fluctuate, but it's not about me, it's about Christ; as I know Him, I make Him known in any realm of influence, online or offline.

  6. donnaltw

    Thanks for these words and insight, Kelly. This is something I struggle with to get the word out about an e-book that I wrote. I don't market half as much as others, because I get that “funny to you in your spirit" thing. I just want to wear the love of Jesus and walk in His Spirit too. 🙂

  7. Karen

    A great word! It can be very hard not to compare ourselves to others, but it can be so damaging and easy to obssess over. This is great encouragement about inspecting our true motives and remembering to just be who God created us to be – without all of that striving. Thanks!

  8. Gloria Hall

    Kelly,

    What a wonderful word this morning! Great scripture reference as well. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Punky Tolson

    Oh, Kelly, thank you so much for this heart-felt post. I have had this same struggle & question with social media over the past months. My husband and I are in vocational ministry and have been highly encouraged to utilize social media for all the ways you described. Honestly- it wears me out thinking about it. I do have a blog that I contribute to now and then, and I do tweet (or should I say mostly Re-Tweet) to just a handful of people/women in my Bible study. But I find that when I do start reading tweets I can get into comparing myself, thinking, "Wow… I must really be missing the boat spiritually". So, thank you, again for this is the most beautifully worded commentary…straight from the Truth. It was exactly what I needed to hear today.
    xoxo – Punky
    PS: I met you a few months ago at a church in Dallas when you taught on Ruth. You were on your way to New Smyrna Beach, FL and I told you that I grew up going to that beach. I was the tall woman… the one who got married at 43. Much love to you and God bless you, dear one!

  10. Dedra

    WORD… exactly what God and I have been thrashing out. Thank you so much for this today Kelly!

  11. Holly Smith

    I think about this often, Kelly. And you have such a gift of framing truth and blowing it forth like dandelion seeds. Love your heart and pray for you often. Thank you for being a blessing in my life. Ruth is one of my fave Cd’s…your heart shines forth.

  12. Tresta

    This is wonderful. By His spirit, He gets the glory and gets the most important news out -the Good News.

  13. Craig borlase

    Amen to that, Kelly. We need more of this, less of the other and a whole lot of rewiring to fix this messed uo mindset.

  14. janahn

    I was just thinking about this this morning! Very interesting… <3

  15. Brandy

    I got an email this morning from someone promising me that they could increase my blog traffic and comments 500%…at first I laughed and felt like replying “okay…but only if you are a Nigerian prince”. After I laughed, I started feeling a little insecure because yeah, I’d love more traffic and comments. I thought about how I probably should be doing more to promote myself, and then I thought about how I have three kids and I’m lucky if I brush my hair everyday, much less promote my blog or worry about Twitter followers! Thank you for this- it speaks to me and it comforts me. I am not my stats.

  16. Marie

    I've been thinking about this quite a lot lately. Twitter, Facebook, blogging, etc. aren't bad – but why am I involved in them? Do I want to be famous or do I want to make the name of my Lord famous

    Thank you for sharing

  17. Melissa Danisi

    Loved this. Powerful gut check for us all. Using social media to life His name high, and not our own.

  18. SusanHLawrence

    I agree! It is certainly a struggle, but it doesn't have to be! My ministry page on Facebook doesn't have my name on it unless you dig. I have been told many times that I'm making a mistake and need to change it to my name instead of my ministry name, since people often don't know who is attached to the words, ideas, etc. It's okay with me! I often receive comments saying "Thanks" for a comment or post with someone else's name attached…likely because someone has shared the page at some point, so her friends think it's her posting again instead of someone else. It's okay! Don't get me wrong. I don't look down on anyone who has her name on her FB page. Some people can do it without any struggle. Not me. I struggle enough to constantly let God guide. I don't need the extra temptation! 🙂

    • LauraLee

      Hi Susan, it's LauraLee. 😉 I lost over half of my reading audience when I switched from lauraleeshaw.com to faithcoloredglasses.com. I get what you're saying. But the cool thing is that now I feel like the people who are there REALLY want to be there, instead of it just being people I'm trading blog favors with, you know? And my fav hits on my site are the ones that come from google searches that result in God leading them to the word they needed to read or hear. I appreciate your mentioning that!

  19. Lisa

    If there were human words that could express my gratitude at this perfectly-timed and very, very God-ordained post, I would use them. Thank you.

  20. Jenica

    I think this is something everyone has to be on top of- God promotion not self- thanks for the reminder!

  21. godgirlgail

    Timely post for all of us who write and are being bombarded with staying current through social media.

  22. linda

    Such a good word, Kelly…. and needful. Thanks!!!

  23. rachturner

    Needed to read these words today. Thank you!

  24. Gayla McKinney

    Oh Kelly! Honestly I'll say this is one of the things I most respect about you! We notice your humility and honest desire to please only Him. Thanks for modeling that for your peers and your readers!

  25. Kristin

    Oh, I love it! TRUE. By His Spirit — Whatever comes from Him is not a passing fancy. Who wants to be a fancy passing? LOL

  26. Bianca

    Wow. So poignant and real. I couldn’t agree more, Kelly!

  27. Mandy

    Kelly, thank you SO much for speaking out on this subject. It’s so needed right now.

  28. Jan Morton

    Kelly – I just wanted to check in and thank you for this good strong timely word. I love people & love connecting with them in all sorts of ways, but small group Bible study and a stroll through a garden with a friend are still my favorite ways. My heart goes out to those who place their personal value in their “followers” and cyber fiends. Thank you for this young woman! I love that your lettuce got some rain! My cabbages and collards did too!

  29. Marie

    Oh my. Thank you. I REALLY needed to read that.

  30. Corky

    Thank you for talking about this. I am not on FB because I fear the temptation of self-promotion (as well as other things). Your dad's sermon this week was about how our stories spread the Gospel. I think social media can be a way to do this, but words on a screen mean nothing if our lives don't back it up. It is our face-to-face encounters that allow us to truly reflect Jesus. Thank you for being His hands and feet and not just tweeting about it.

  31. Trica Angelone

    WORD was used already…. Thank you for articulating so well. I am a big fan of yours. I met you in Grass Valley, CA.. Specifically at the Crossroads, Calvary Chapel about alittle over two years ago. This special study was on RUTH. Mom and I went together and briefly said "Hello" … I now go to Gold Country Calvary Chapel, same area. I have picked up a guitar and started playing christian music. You are my inspiration ….thank you.
    Tricia Angelone

  32. @pambhm

    Good words – thought-provoking for me. I like the way you closed – Make Jesus Known. That's the key – promoting Him, not me.

  33. Joanne Kraft

    LOVE this, Kelly. I'm an author (first time) and recently let go of some "platform building" avenues. So grateful you wrote about this today. I'm a TN transplant from CA. This is definitely a desert time for me.

    Heading off to pass this along to other writers who need to hear this.

    In His Love! Joanne

  34. @ejleemd

    Hi, Kel. First time on your website. Love the blog!

  35. Andrea

    What great words of wisdom Kelly. I have a presence on social media with the purpose of sharing what God has done/is doing for us through some suffering we have endured and I have felt pressured (yet terribly unmotivated) to "market". While I've been thinking what you've said here all along, your posting was confirmation that I don't have to feel lazy or rebellious for simply putting my words out there and doing pretty much nothing to draw attention. Whoever needs to read what I write, whoever God wants to speak to through our journey will find their way to it. Thank you!

  36. Tammy

    This was exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you for sharing.

  37. Lori Prehar

    Kelly,

    I'm new to the christian writing/blogging community. I have a relatively small following through my church's website. I write about my faith walk and it is my passion. I am the mother of 5. 5 kids gets expensive. When my baby boy (now 10 months old) heads off to preschool, my husband may need to turn to me and encourage me to re-enter the work force. I can imagine as I do an audit of minutes spent, writing for the blog may have to be cut. I thought, "Could I earn a little money writing about my faith?" So I rolled up my sleeves to see "how to" grow my audience or get noticed. Your blog SO spoke to me. Getting myself "out there" feels so disingenuous. My spirit felt cheap seeking reimbursement for what I already feel so blessed to be able to do. I thank you for your words. They are absolutely something to pray on!
    I love your writing, Kelly!
    Yours In Him,
    Lori Prehar

  38. Alisa Beets

    Well, I must admit when I began reading your post, I was wearing a frown in the worst kind of way. Until I got to the end. Whew, you really know how to scare me – I was beginning to think I should take my lil blog down. Happy that the LORD somehow saw my heart's desire to make HIM known thru something that I love doing. LOVE this post. THANK you for sharing and living the life. Alisa

  39. Rebecca Downey

    Hi Kelly. Your blog on tweeting etc. is pertinent right now for me, as I am having my first novel published next spring. Self promotion is something I will struggle with. Also, I wanted to let you know that our Bible Study is in the third week of Ruth. As the leader, I have been amazed at the conversations that have ensued and the tears shed. Thanks and God Bless. Becky

  40. Linda Sharpton

    Just found your blog and loved it! Thanks for sharing!! God Bless you!

  41. SuzAnne Keith

    In response to how news of Christ spread- he did have a great book deal (the bible) and a great manager ( God the Father):) Thank you for sharing yourself with us!

  42. Debbie

    Kelly, I just read this today and am encouraged. I have been strongly encouraged to begin blogging and given the fact that I had a vision for this kind of thing loooong before there were blogs as we know them I'm thinking, just maybe, its something God has planted in my heart (see, I was listening in the Nehemiah Study that I did with the Siestas this summer and AM STILL working through and journalling on — 6 weeks turns into 6 months but its a God thing. I digress)…Anywho…this is an area that I am sensitive to, even before beginning. While I need to be wise and be equipped as God provides and enables I feel very uncomfortable with "trying to make it happen"…i.e. "get more traffic" in what feels to me contrived or manipulated. I think I want to see what God does (although certainly I will "invite people" to come and join me — but the heart of that seems different.

    I'm thinking though, this may be one of those things where I need to go as God tells me and trust that there are others who think differently about it because of how God chooses to lead them. (You know, the whole Galatians thing).

    But Thank you Kelly. This was an encouragement to me!
    Bless you. Debbie

  43. Debbie

    Kelly, I just read this today and am encouraged. I have been strongly encouraged to begin blogging and given the fact that I had a vision for this kind of thing loooong before there were blogs as we know them I'm thinking, just maybe, its something God has planted in my heart (see, I was listening in the Nehemiah Study that I did with the Siestas this summer and AM STILL working through and journalling on — 6 weeks turns into 6 months but its a God thing. I digress)…Anywho…this is an area that I am sensitive to, even before beginning. While I need to be wise and be equipped as God provides and enables I feel very uncomfortable with "trying to make it happen"…i.e. "get more traffic" in what feels to me contrived or manipulated. I think I want to see what God does (although certainly I will "invite people" to come and join me — but the heart of that seems different.

  44. LauraLee Shaw

    What a timely post. About 3 years ago, I began to really pray about this very thing, though I love the way you have communicated it. As a result, I stopped looking at my blog "hit" numbers & I turned the notifications off when a person "subscribed" or "unsubscribed" to my blog. I asked The Lord to help me get away from the numbers trap. Oddly enough, y'day I wrote this on my FB page, "I always tell my kids that math is important, & it's useful. But the same thing can't always be said a/b numbers. For instance, am I more successful in God's kingdom if I write for 5 or 50 or 500? I think He just wants me to be faithful, & He will bring the increase, and hopefully that increase is spiritual growth more than any other kind. I only say this to encourage you, no matter where you minister or teach or use your spiritual gifts, use them for Him & Him alone…trusting He's going to be faithful w/ what He gave you in the first place.//1 Corinthians 3:7-9 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building."

    My teenager noticed that after that page status I lost a number of "followers." I reminded them of how popular Jesus was and how many followers He had when He was doing miracles & wonders, but then as His teaching got more narrow, ie. talking a/b eating His flesh & drinking His blood, many followers turned away. And at the point of His death, hardly enough was left.

    Long comment, I know, but I found your blog today since we are studying your "Living Room series" at church and was so moved to hear the Truth God had given you to communicate on the subject. Preach on, sister.

  45. Christine Craig

    I'm so glad to have read this. I love it. Just this past week, the Lord barred me from evaluating to be part of my church's worship ministry. It seems like singing in the choir is good enough for God right now. That and writing songs on the piano whenever I can get to the Christ For the Nations piano room. These are some crazy days of faith for me. And, instead of keeping an eye on any platform, God is calling me to keep my eyes on Jesus Christ. I hope you'll check out my blog. I put up a couple songs on there just about this. "For Only You" is one of the songs. In any case, I'm totally with you here. I'm glad you wrote this. Makes me like you even more, and I just ran into your stuff yesterday! Blessings! 🙂

  46. ambassador2world

    Yes, my dear sister you spoke right on point! Exactly what I have been feeling/sensing myself. It seems like even within the church there are so many "self promoters" out there. When we know that God is the one that brings true advancement and exposure. And the temptation is there and it's altogether to easy to promote yourself when we know as we wait God is working in us strength, contentment, comfort,patience or whatever else He needs to . Thanks for the timely word. Wait on God, Work with God and He will give you the "spotlight" under His guidance and timing whatever sphere of influence you're (we're in). Blessings, Rebecca

  47. Angela McMichael

    Thank you so much for this. Just … thank you. I've struggled so much with this – the notion that WE have to promote US – and it's just so not who God is or how he works. And yet, just like you said, it's so loud in our culture and especially in our Christian culture. I just …. yeah. Thank you. You can't know the timing of this "stumbling" of mine onto this post. Good on ya. <3

  48. Rose Noland

    Kelly, I just “stumbled” upon this blog today. I resonate with your self-promotion struggle. I have written 2 books in the last several years and well-meaning people are saying I should promote myself more. I do want people to read my books for they carry a Christian message. They do point people to Christ. But I feel funny about it–i.e. I’m afraid of spiritual pride sneaking in. I do have a website and blog. I have been increasing the frequency of those blogs to about once/week. But your blog has reconfirmed what I have sensed the Lord telling me: go slow and don’t run ahead of Him. Marketing of His books will be done HIS way not man’s way. Thanks!

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