Platforms & Influence

This is a guest post by one of my favourite bloggers Jon Acuff that really articulates well the tension of self-promotion on the one hand, and Christ-like humility on the other, in our modern Christian culture.

How do you grow a personal platform while at the same time honoring John 3:30 that says, “He (Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease?”

I don’t have a solution, just a question, and it’s one I’ve been struggling with.

I love that right now it’s possible for ordinary people like me to build platforms and maybe have influence. Without social media, I wouldn’t have been able to ever publish the Stuff Christians Like book. I love platforms!

But, as a Christian, I also wrestle with the ego aspects that often go along with them.

For me, the great temptation is to say, “If I get a bigger platform, then more people will know about me, and I’ll then be able to tell those people about God.” And I think that starts in a good place, but eventually in my own life and countless other leaders I’ve seen, that idea gets corrupted into: “If I get a bigger platform, then more people will know about me. The end.”

So with the thousands of tools we have to build our “personal brands,” and the very real good that can come from platforms (we built two kindergartens!) where does John 3:30 fit in? What’s the balance?

And if you know Hebrew and can say, “The heart of that verse has nothing to do with personal branding, proceed getting drunk on your own ego,” that would really help me out.

Question:
In what ways can a Christian go about building a platform while keeping God front and center?

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18 Comments on “Platforms & Influence

  1. Here’s one way to help you prevent ‘getting drunk on your own ego’ : ask your family how they think you’re doing. If you’re a married man, ask your wife! If you’re a parent, ask your kids! They know who you are when the public isn’t looking.

  2. great tip mom! 🙂 how about regularly scheduled checkpoints… are you able to gauge into your audience to see if they are becoming more like Christ with your influence? or more like you?

    i’m also reminded of my QT verses today, i think if we practice this daily, we’ll do alright 🙂 Eph 5:20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

  3. I think the best thing to do would to not post frequently. I know that I am on wordpress more often than my Facebook, which is saying something, and that the more time I spend on this website, the more I worry if people like me. Not if I’ve done my daily scripture study, not if I’ve prayed today, but if I’ve gotten more views than the day before.

    Another solution, one that I’ve actually taken up myself, is to study more often. I’m not exactly sure why, but the more I study in the scriptures, the more humbled I feel, and the less worried I become about whether I’ve gotten any views today. Who knows, it might even work for you!

  4. When you are building a ministry it is not the person’s ministry but God’s. IMO if your calling is to call others to Christ then you are really building a platform for Christ. All decisions should be taken to God in prayer and meditation in silence and on the scriptures. If all decisions are led by God then he will be front and center.

    http://kgspongelife.wordpress.com/

  5. By obeying the Holy Spirit. If you’re in Christ then the Holy Spirit lives within you and will convict you and when he says STOP do not barge ahead just stop and reflect on his word and minister to him for our God is a jealous God and will have no idols before him whether platform, spouse, children or other things.

    You may look at http://www.rogertharpe.wordpress.com if you like

    🙂

  6. What I’ve done with my blog is tell readers that I’m Christian. I make sure to discuss what Jesus is doing in my life. I hope that a seed will be planted when non-believers see Jesus working in my life.

  7. Wow, what a great blog Jon and a topic that I think most are afraid to tackle. I agree that there is a fine line between promoting yourself and God….where is it drawn? I don’t think there’s a definite answer, but I will say that I think God knows when our hearts are pure. I agree with Kody in that ultimately, if your ministry is genuine, you are building a platform for Christ. But Christ also wants us to succeed. So I believe if we follow His plan, we’ll get the desires of our hearts…as long as we keep Him first.

  8. Wow, good question! I wish I had a fabulous answer to fire back, but…I don’t. This is a struggle of mine as well. But I do thank you for sharing and helping other believers refocus.

  9. I think anyone ‘upfront’ so to speak whether it be online or in person will struggle with this in some way. Really important to know what drives our need for recognition and where we are weak e.g. pride, insecurity, comaprison and to guard our hearts where we are personally vulnerable. Bringing our struggles before God keeps us humble and dependent on His strength.

    As a Pastor one thing I have learnt and am learning is the importance of guarding a servant heart – not to see any particular tasks as beneath me or as of less value than the ‘seen.’ It’s good for us all to do some acts of service that may go unnoticed. Also important to remain a team player – staying connected to my Church family and the wider body helps me remember that I am part of something so much bigger than myself. Also keeps us accountable – that’s the beauty of family 🙂

  10. Tough question. I am not a religious christian, but I really want to bring God into my life more. Unfortunately there are some negative influences around me like a few of my friends a atheists – I’m okay with that, but they try to get me to stop believing in God and one repeatedly tells me that it’s all a bunch of bullshit!

    I’m digressing. The fact is, the Bible was written a long time ago. Before internet and social media etc. was created. You can still keep God at center but also build a platform… always talk about the matter on which you were inspired to start this platform, and gently nudge yourself back to it when you start to get a bit self-centered. Sometimes we need to adapt our beliefs into the world we live in now. I hope this answer helps, by the way! Good luck! 🙂

  11. I see that you answered your question just above it by actually writing your thoughts the way they are. In there, I see more of what “you wanted to say” than more of “you”. You think you are centered, but it’s through you that God is centered.

  12. I also liked the way you’ve put “The end” in the corrupted Idea. For me, I think I started with the corrupted Idea in the first place. I am slowly realizing and transforming.

  13. This is a wonderful post. I think one of the main things we can do is to maintain our humility during the process. Not letting the page views or comments get to our heads.

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