Marketing our messages is one of those areas that most women in ministry hate. I sure have in the past, and my guess is that you’ve struggled too.
There are lines between what’s acceptable both as a professional and as a Christian, but it’s hard to know exactly where they are. That’s what’s so angst-producing for most of us!
When is it ok to get the word out, and when have we crossed over into self-promotion?
When is it ok to “knock on doors” of opportunity, and when have we converted to knocking doors down?
When should we promote our messages, and when should we be silent to receive a new message?
These are hard questions, and I actually think that the answers are not the same for all of us all the time. There are some clear scriptural imperatives, but God didn’t say anything about how often I should post on social networks. How do we know when we’ve crossed a line then?
Our heart condition reveals when we have mixed marketing motives.
Just this week, I realized that I was off kilter when I took my heart’s “temperature”. Instead of peace, it was filled with anxiety. Instead of trust, it was filled with doubt. Instead of confidence, it was filled with fear.
Anxiety, doubt, and fear are never the results when God is in control. They are almost always an indicator that I’ve crossed the border into God’s territory.
Lysa TerKeurst has said something that always helps me stay in my boundaries. She says, “I feel responsible to do all that I can do and to trust God to do what only He can do.” This week I realized all my negative emotions came into play when I started feeling responsible for what only God can do.
We can write a message, but only God can open the door for it to be delivered.
We can build a website, but only God can draw subscribers.
We can write a book, but only God can move people to buy them.
Are there tasks of obedience we can do to work alongside God? Of course! But that’s different than taking responsibility for the results.
When I wrote Breaking Up with Perfect last year, I promised myself that in the marketing realm I’d do just what God spoke to me and not a bit more. Work done in our own strength is simply disobedience after all and not productive! Unfortunately, my heart’s anxiety, doubt, and fear told me that I had broken that promise.
Starting Feb. 1st, I’m going to fast for 30 days to recalibrate my heart’s motives and methods. I’m not sure exactly what it’s going to look like yet, but I’m sure that I’ll fast from new marketing tasks for a month. I’m also going to implement a spiritual discipline or two to make sure that freed-up time is spent with God. I might also fast from social networks.
Why all of this? I need to move my heart back to a place of rest and trust. A place that knows God is in control of results no matter whether they’re the ones I hoped for or expected. A place of knowing my job and respecting God’s.