The Business of You

me-myself-and-i-021Social media is full of the white noise of people promoting themselves. Writers promoting books, ministry leaders promoting tools for church growth, singers promoting new releases, churches promoting their church, and on and on it goes. Tweets for how to lead your church, how to get more followers, how to make money off your blog. The list is endless. Social media has become a clogged highway of everyone promoting themselves and their newest content that will help you _____________ (fill in the blank). The problem is, I have been pulled into this white noise that seems to get lost on the people who are seeing constant media feeds in Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, and the other social media sites.

What is a Christian to do when it comes to self-promotion in a me-driven world? As writers and artists, we produce content we believe others would benefit from consuming and implementing into their lives, ministries, or business organizations. Is it wrong or sinful for us as Christians to promote ourselves as writers, artists, pastors, and ministry leaders? The fine line we have to walk keeps some people from promoting themselves and their work. On the flip side, other believers promote themeselves without shame and almost to the point of being obnoxious.

1. It’s Not About You

Rick Warren popularized the statement “It’s not about you” in his best selling book The Purpose Drive Life. Even though we verbalize this thought and half-heartedly believe it, do we live it out when it comes to self-promotion? The way you live this out without putting yourself front and center is to focus on other people. When you tweet, FB, or use other social media, always make it about other people, not yourself. Put the focus on God, your spouse and family, other leaders, and people who have made an impact in your life.

2. Self-Promotion Is Not A Sin, But Can Become Sinful

Self-promotion in and of itself is not a sin, but when all the focus all the time is about you, it becomes sinful. While everyone wants to think they are agents of humility, that rarely is the case. Humility and pride are opposing forces in our lives. We believe that we are not prideful and have humble motives. But motive plays a part in this equation. Why are you promoting yourself? Are you looking to make a living? Wanting to become well- known?

God created the creativity that flows from your writing, your voice, and your speaking, and it can be used to provide financially for you and your family. Never should we promote the creative gift we have as ours and claim it as our own. God gave us the gifts we have to be shared with others, so they can enjoy and benefit from the content that flows from what we create.

Strive to be humble, because God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

3. Your Identity Is Not In Success

Our culture values success in everything that we attempt to accomplish and there is nothing wrong with being successful. The problem comes when we worship success and when our identity is grounded in whether or not we achieve that success. Our identity, as followers of Jesus, is in Jesus. We should teach our children and others to be successful, but only in order to bring glory to Jesus. Athletes are often criticized for glorifying God when they are successful. What the critics do not understand is that those athletes know their success is not for themselves but for someone else.

If you look at my website, you see that I promote my writing and other endeavors I undertake. I struggle with self-promotion. It probably has to do with one’s personality and experiences in life, but I find it distasteful sometimes that I toot my own horn. What about you?

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This entry was posted in Marketing and Promotion, Social Media, Writer's Life, Writing, Writing Craft and tagged , , , , by Jeff Calloway. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jeff Calloway

Currently, Jeff serves as the Cleveland City Misionary for Send North American with the North American Mission Board in Cleveland and has established church planter training centers that focuses on the church planting in the Cleveland Metro area. Jeff labels himself as a Missionary Writer.Here is Jeff’s definition of what he means by being a Missionary Writer – “A Christian missionary’s job is to spread the good news and love of Jesus Christ. They are willing to do so at a great cost. Some at the cost of their own life. They believe have a message worth dying for and will do whatever it takes to spread that message.That is the the kind of writer I want to become. I believe I have a message that people need to hear and I believe so strongly in that message, that I am willing to sacrifice for it to be heard.” Jeff is married to his wonderful wife Julie, and they have two awesome daughters, Sarah and Emily, a wonderful son-in-law Matt, an awesome grandson, Caleb and beautiful granddaughter, Ellie.

10 thoughts on “The Business of You

  1. Thank you for writing this! My book launches in one week, and I’m right in the middle of this. I wrote Refuge to give hope to broken people, to show the truth of God’s love in story. But this marketing is a bear. This week I feel as if only Jesus sees me, truly sees me. I must decrease. He must increase. I’m going to be reading and re-reading your post this week. Blessings!

  2. I’m struggling with this right now. Trying to learn about building a platform and feeling a bit out of my element. I appreciate your wise words.

  3. Reblogged this on WAWL Women's Ministry and commented:
    I love to share other author’s writings when I find articles of such quality! I am sharing this with you because I love the thoughts and heart of this. I hope that you enjoy her words as well as I did, and that this will link back to her blog. I have never “re-blogged” an article before so I have no idea where it will go. If it does not credit the author for some reason, please let me know and I will send you her link.

  4. Yes, I continue to struggle with the concept of platform building! I agree, as a writer (who is a Christian), my work is NOT about ME or how much money I can make. [I’ve joked that I could be making so much more working as a short-order cook at a fast food joint.] And I’ve also resolved to not let my worries about what others may think of me (or what I’m doing) keep me from following God’s guidance toward publication. Whew! I said it! 😉

    • Karen, You are not alone! You have a goal, a dream , and it’s your vision, so don’t let vision robbers steal those aspirations from you. Glad the post help you get it iff your chest 😉

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