PLATFORM: To Build Or Not To Build? (hint: it’s not about you)

Platform – it’s a word you hear a lot these days, especially, if like me, you’ve ever dreamed of publishing a book, (or releasing an album, starting a speaking ministry, etc.) Maybe, like me, you’ve struggled with the whole concept of promoting your work.

In this day and age, I guess it’s a little naive to think that if we simply “build it” (write the book, record the song, compose a speech) “they” will come. There’s too much noise in the world today to think anyone will ever notice little old me. And besides, it’s not about me, anyway, right?

No, it’s not about me, and it’s not about you; that message you carry in your heart, the words that echo in your mind, the music you can’t stop singing – where did you first hear it? Probably in the wilderness, where your ears became fine-tuned to listen for a word, a whisper, a grace note of music sung over you. Personal and precise, precious and powerful, they are meant to be shared with those who are undergoing their own dusty desert experience.

But how? Everybody’s busy. Nobody’s listening. It’s too noisy!

And that’s why you (and I) need a platform. Trust me, it’s Scriptural. Listen to this:

* “Give praise to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations the things he has done.” GULP! The nations?

* “What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.” The HOUSETOPS? But I’m afraid of heights!

I’m so grateful that someone dared to use their platform to proclaim the Good News to me; I remember it like it was yesterday, even though it was 40 years ago. I was watching the Phil Donahue show on TV; his guest that day was Graham Kerr, the Galloping Gourmet. I listened in amazement as this successful man talked about how his life had become a shambles of alcoholism, bankruptcy, marriage troubles and addiction. And then he started talking about how Jesus had transformed his life. I was hooked.

I knelt down in front of that old black and white TV set that day and gave my life to Jesus, too. But here’s the remarkable part of that story: a couple years ago I decided to look online to find a video of that TV episode. I didn’t find a video, but I did find transcripts and discovered that on that eventful day when he testified “to the nations’ on TV, he had only been saved a few days. His willingness to risk his reputation and use his platform to share the Good News changed my life forever. 

Platform? It’s not “all that” – it’s more of a “so that”  tool to exult the Living God!

Friends, we live in a remarkable age. We can make God known among the nations without ever walking out the front door; we can shout and proclaim on the highest housetops with the click of a button! Facebook! Blogs! Podcasts! Periscope! Has Christ proven himself faithful to you? Has he provided? Healed? If he’s given you a story it’s because he wants you to share it. I need to hear your story and I know some people need to hear mine, because there is hope in our stories.

Is there fear involved in telling our stories? In daring to ‘build a platform?” Absolutely! What if nobody wants to listen? Nobody shows up? The publisher says no or the record producers tell you to come up with better songs?

Sometimes the biggest obstacle is the voice in your own head –the ‘not good enough, who do you think you are, slow down sister!’ monologue that plays on repeat, especially on the days when you’re staring at a blank computer screen.

I like how Jim Cymbala puts it in You Were Made For More: “We need to realize that what God does in our lives is not just about “me, myself, and I.” He is doing things that will overflow into the lives of others through our testimony of his faithfulness. God is always into making his children channels of blessing. Remember this every time you face a difficult challenge.”

To that I would add; remember this every time you hesitate before sharing your story, every time you shudder at the thought of figuring out how to drive blog traffic, every time you feel defeated because you don’t have a big enough platform. Remember this: It’s about Him! Do the work, share your story, build that platform, and then climb up on it, even if your knees are trembling.

Be willing. Be available. And while you’re at it, help someone else climb up! Don’t stand up there alone. Join arms and make it a place to shout, “Our God Reigns!”

It’s About Him!

* Psalm 105:1
* Matthew 10:27

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7 Responses to “PLATFORM: To Build Or Not To Build? (hint: it’s not about you)”

  1. Andy Lee says:

    Yes!!! So many good points my friend! I love how you’re getting braver and braver and more self assured of what God is doing in your life.

  2. Lisa Morrow says:

    Well said Susan. What an important reminder for us all. To God be the glory!

  3. Betty Winslow says:

    Sue, good word! So many people are too scared to let their gifts and calling have free reign in God’s plan. Keep up the good work! <3

  4. Dee dee Parker says:

    Thank you for your helpful post on platform. I’ve been at conferences with Jim Cymbala and appreciate his insight as well. It is about Him!

  5. admin says:

    Thanks, Lisa! You do a great job of navigating all this social media stuff – and in such a way that God does indeed get all the glory!

  6. admin says:

    Thanks, Betty – some of us are slow learners.

  7. admin says:

    Appreciate your reply and glad you found it helpful, Dee dee! Praying for boldness in these trying times!

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