7/20/13

Platform versus Daily Grind

A statement by Ray Ortlund about pastors made me think about my blogging posts and ministry.

"I am not impressed by young pastors who seem too eager to publish books and speak at big events and get noticed," Ortlund said. "They are doing the work of the Lord, and that's good. But what impresses me is my dad's daily slogging, year after year, in the power of the Spirit, with no big-deal-ness as the payoff. This is the pastoral ministry that brings Jesus into the world today."

Every Christ-follower who blogs and tweets needs to take that to heart. Every believer who has a dream of "big-time ministry" needs to consider those words. God has not called Christians to "get noticed" or find personal fulfillment or even be a "success" (as the world deems success). He has called us to complete our mission. 

That mission - the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) - takes on many forms, reaching the world through the various gifts and callings of the ministry. Most are called to slog away in the trenches, serving others. Some are called to higher platforms.

That word "platform" can be a good thing or bad. It is good if it launches us into greater creative opportunities to love others with the love of Christ and draw them to consider the Gospel message. It can be bad if it's all about self-fulfillment, climbing social ladders, or becoming a look-at-me celebrity.

The enemy delights in confusing us about our motives. We are called to transformation, not conformity (Romans 12:2), so we need to test how and why we minister to be sure we are following the "good and acceptable and perfect" will of God.

When our platform (which encases not only our identity and voice, but also our goals and launching pad for outreach) becomes corrupted by "self" thinking rather than centered in Christ, we get distracted from the mission. The adversary loves to distract us with good things in order to "devour" us (1 Peter 5:8). 

Life isn't about how many followers we get on Twitter and Facebook. It's about seeking followers for the Lord of Lords and His kingdom. Life isn't about book deals and speaking opportunities. These are merely vehicles to spread the power of the Word of God. 
We have to keep our perspective and priorities straight, especially concerning our platform.

I need to remember that when the enemy tempts me to think I'm failing with social media, unappreciated because no book deals come, or unwanted when my speaking calendar is empty.

Certainly, there are always things I can learn to upgrade my outreach - technical know-how and marketing strategies. But the problem is just that. There are always more things to learn, and if I'm not careful I will focus more on the voices calling me to "learn, learn, learn" than listening to my marching orders from God.

I will continue to learn and take action on what I take in, and if God brings a greater platform for ministry, I'll praise Him for it.

But I must never despise the daily grind of obedience - the daily "yeses" of obedience to the Spirit of God. Whether it means writing a simple post or cleaning a toilet, it must ever be my joy to follow Christ, wherever and however He leads.

Are you struggling with the "platform" thing? Are you distracted from the mission?

7 comments:

Western New York Homes Blog said...
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Western New York Homes Blog said...

Well said! Thanks so much for sharing this!

Dawn Wilson said...

Thank you, WNYH ... I'm glad you thought about what I said and were encouraged.

Michelle Gewin said...

Well said, Dawn. I love the Ortlund's and their wisdom!!! God has His ways of reigning us in. Perhaps that is why He lovingly gives us "Thorns in the Flesh" Sometime, the greater His glory, the greater the loss. He faithfully keeps us "wheat-grains that have to die and be buried so that His life can be produced and only HIS fruit produced if seen at all. He is more concerned with purifiying my crumby twisted motives and perhaps that is the beauty of abiding in the daily unseen grind. Abiding like John 15; heart beat by heart beat keeps me. , "a quick look in,(check my heart) and a long look out (at JESUS." My mom would always say. What wisdom, for not getting introspective...a self focused down fall that can "look spiritual" ..My tendency!I keep looking at Jesus and trust Him to check and convict, otherwise I would never step out in faith! I am experiencing much of this presently in a time of pain isolation and solitude, and God does not really feel close at all. But I must need this desperately and I just have to lay "my Goals ministry, dreams for Him on the alter ...again....My "platform" right now is the cross...Do not know if this communicates but He does know how to make us REAL if we let Him. It can hurt! Thank you for your REAL posts and inspirational words! Thanks for letting me be real with you. He must know how to keep me from self pride for sure! One of my favorite Ortlund books, by Anne Ortlund (wife of the late Ray Ortlund) "Fix Your Eyes On Jesus", is my great "Go to" for encouragement, and I would highly recommend it! It has helped me wipe many a tear and re-tune the song in my heart to sing many a time!

Dawn Wilson said...

Thank you, Michelle, for your honesty. I just love your heart, Sister-Girlfriend. This was a hard post to write, and I almost didn't publish it. I know I'm putting myself out there for criticism from some who won't understand what I'm saying, especially since there are so many voices (some in my head) crying out, "Build your platform!"

I love it that you said your platform right now is "the cross." I "get" the hurt there. I'm moving ahead with some new writing, but I keep laying it all on the altar and saying, "You can have it ... you can take it away ... if it's not what you want."

Blessings to you today ... I pray Jesus will encourage your heart.

Gail @ http://biblelovenotes.com said...

It's so easy to start looking at numbers or page views or book sales and forget the whole purpose of our writing. Great insights, Dawn.

Dawn Wilson said...

Thank you, Gail. I know you understand the pull of peer pressure there.