Are you familiar with the platform controversy? For many, it’s not a controversy at all. For those, platform is important, even essential. Platform is whatever you stand on to get noticed and heard. It’s the foundation of your stance. It’s your influence. And many would argue it’s just a part of life. I agree. We each have influence. We each have a voice. We each follow others, and others follow us. Our influence is unique, because none of us duplicate anyone else’s relationships and voice.
However, the focus on platform in the past several years hasn’t been as much about what God has given us as what we can do to create our own platform. Many might argue it’s less about “creating” our own platform and more about “stewarding” what God has given us, but when I look at the suggested action steps, I rarely see much about trusting and obeying God. I see steps to duplicate for establishing, maintaining, and growing a platform. Things such as increasing social media following, attracting people to blogs through free giveaways, and maximizing networking through bigger and well-followed personalities.
I understand the common argument that it’s important to attract people to hear your voice; otherwise, what kind of influence will you have? Um…whatever influence God wants you to have. It might be shocking for you to consider, but…
God can circulate something faster than any social media campaign.
God can deliver the right words or challenge to the right person at the right time.
God can orchestrate relationships that bless us with help, accountability, and encouragement.
We think we have so much control over our platforms, but we’re not in control at all. Yes, we should steward our influence well, but stewardship and control are not the same thing.
Admission time: I often encourage people to “do ministry God’s way” regardless of what the current trend of advice suggests. However, choosing God’s way is easier said than done! I occasionally check my follows, likes, and retweets. It never ends well. If I see an “improvement,” I get excited, yet find myself more susceptible to the pressure to maintain the trend. If I see a “decline,” I get discouraged and devalue my efforts. It’s a trap…a trap God has no intention of me falling into. So, I try to stay as far away as I can.
My platform isn’t my platform. It’s God’s. My influence isn’t my influence. It’s God’s. He’s the one I want to honor, not myself. I want people to know His name, not mine.
Then I will continually sing of Your name, fulfilling my vows day by day. (Psalm 61:8)