I worked for a publishing company for several years and traveled extensively around the country, attending conferences and presenting workshops and trainings. I almost always wore a logo-ed shirt of some kind, because name recognition is important in marketing. What I said needed to be connected to who I was representing.
I built a lot of relationships during the season I worked with the publishing company. Many people got to know me personally through my association with the publishing company. I personally ministered to many people as I worked on behalf of the publishing company. I fit in well with the company. I respected the leaders of the company. But I ran into an unforeseen issue when I no longer worked for the company. When people saw me, they saw the company I had represented. My identity was intricately tied with the company.
It was almost as if I went through an identity crisis.
However, it wasn’t a personal identity crisis. I knew who I was and whose I was. All along, I tried to represent God in the most accurate, authentic ways I could as I ministered. I sought to honor God first and foremost. The identity crisis wasn’t mine to personally resolve. It was more of an identity crisis for others, trying to figure out who I was in the context of how they had met me and for whom I had worked. It’s as if they were asking, “Was the person we met who you really are, or was the person we met an employee of a company, and you’re actually different from that person?” Someone even asked me, “We’d love to have you come speak at our event, but we’re a little confused about whether you’ll come and share about the ministry you used to talk about or the ministry you’re involved in now.”
I am me. I’m the only one God has created. He has a purpose for me. I intend to do my best to seek him and live his purpose and will out loud.
As I walked through a large conference hall recently, I noticed all the logo-ed shirts people were wearing. I could easily identify (or at least assume) who works for or serves with which company. It made me consider how we brand ourselves and ask myself,
Whose am I?
How do I let others know whose I am?
Am I as willing and ready to wear the name of Jesus as any other name or brand?
Perhaps you’ll find asking yourself the same questions helpful…and maybe even challenging as you live your faith out loud.
The one who joins with the Lord is one spirit with the Lord. (1 Corinthians 6:17)