Excerpt from my book Pray Hear Write: 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting for Breakthrough in Your Writing
Disarm the fear of pride and shine for Christ with confident humility
If you rolled your eyes at the title of this post, this may not be for you. LOL! For those who may have said, “But I’m a Christian,” aloud when given the charge to “build your platform, then come talk to me,” or may have felt a sinking feeling in their heart that said, “This will never work. I’m suppose to be hidden. People will think I think it’s all about me,” while attending yet another workshop about building an author platform, then keep reading. You are not the only one who has felt this way, but there is too good a reason why you shouldn’t.
It’s a common thing I’ve noticed about new or aspiring Christian authors, especially women: this fear of being seen or making themselves known. I am not calling you out inappropriately, sisters. I’ve been doing this editing and acquisitions thing for almost two decades now, and women—Christian or not—are the most reluctant and “shy” about letting people know what they are doing and allowing their genuine excitement about how it benefits their potential audience to direct them into greater things.
For believing authors, there is this fear of seeming self-centered, attention-seeking, and prideful as they increase their exposure and make their message of hope, love, peace, healing, deliverance, and abundance—i.e., salvation—available to more people. Yeah, that’s basically what platform is.
Platform Is a Tool
In the old days, a platform was a box or some form of stage that a play actor or orator would stand on to be heard. They had something to say, some message to convey, but if they could not be seen, the message would not be heard. They would get lost in the hustle and bustle of the town. The platform was merely a means to amplify the voice of the speaker so they could be heard much like a microphone.
Essentially platform can be used to make anything louder—an idea, a message, a person. So platform is really a tool. It, in itself, is not self-serving or self-seeking, unless that's is the user's goal.
We’ve sort of done with platform what we’ve done with money. Some of us have responded to wealth and abundance as if the verse says money is the root to all evil. (See 1 Timothy 6:10.) When it is clearly misplaced, inordinate affection toward money that produces all sorts of evil. The Bible says, money is the answer to everything (Eccl. 10:19) and it is a defense (Eccl. 7:12). While there’s much to be revealed and unpacked concerning money, ultimately, money is a tool.
Platform is quite the same way. It is a tool to be used to amplify God’s words spoken, written, sung, or demonstrated through us so that the world can see it, hear it, read it, and be blessed.
Platform Is Your City on a Hill
For believers, a few principles stand out to me and they are encompassed in Matthew 5:13-16 in the Message version (it’s one of my life verses):
Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
It is so exciting to me to live my life at home, at church, locally, nationally, and globally with the opportunity to show God's glory. I don't necessarily preach, but others do. I do what I do and answer yes to God at each level, hoping for the opportunity to lift His name higher.
Some write, some heal, some speak, some counsel, some teach, some motivate, some deliver. Each of us has some gift or talent that is placed in us to amplify the glory of God in the earth. Why would we want to cover that up? And this is a serious question, because now we are talking about some issues of pride vs. humility—and maybe even false humility. You know what I mean?
Where are our hearts? Why would we not answer yes to God? Why would we not inquire at His temple about how He has placed us in the world to be ambassadors and ministers of reconciliation? Why would we not stay at His throne and in His presence to remain both humble and confident that our gifts are making room for us and bringing us before great men? Why would we not want to find ways to draw people in and share our testimony, the best methods we’ve experienced that cause heaven to come down to earth, how to cultivate the best and most miraculous atmospheres that bring healing and deliverance? Like, seriously draw as many people as possible, yet through how we’ve been called and gifted.
Your Platform Lifts Up the Name of Jesus
When considering our platform, we must also be careful that it be set up as an amplifier of the glory of God. All glory goes to Him. We are the rescued and humbled ones. We are the submitted ones. And then everyone's platform will not look the same. But we all have one. Some are big and broad. Others are targeted and specific.
Another principle is found in John 12:32: “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He empowers us by His Spirit to be His hands and feet in the earth. Filled with Christlike compassion at the multitude who is without a shepherd, we should be moved in our hearts to offer what we have in service to God's plan and purpose for our lives. That includes rising and shining in the way He has designed us to. Again, it's hard to compare our shine to someone else's but we each have one, and once we know what it is we must steward it so that Jesus is always bigger and always praised.
For your light has come!
And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.
For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
And deep darkness the people;
But the Lord will arise over you,
And His glory will be seen upon you.
The Gentiles shall come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.
Lift up your eyes all around, and see:
They all gather together, they come to you...
This is from Isaiah 60. You should read and pray over the whole chapter. Let the Holy Spirit make this alive for you concerning platform building. It is so good.
Your Platform Propels Your Purpose
Platform is what comes with being human. We sort of just watch each other anyway. How we steward “the looking” is a whole other thing. Then as we are given our new life in God, He has a whole plan in mind for how He will love and bless us and return us to our original mandate, which is to be fruitful and to multiply, to fill the earth and to subdue it. To have dominion and authority. (See Genesis 1:28.) We do this as kingdom citizens now, pushing back the kingdom of darkness. His kingdom is in us and as we increase, His kingdom increases. This seems like platform to me.
And I’m in no place to discuss how people misuse platform, and, because of whatever weaknesses, take on too much of the glory for themselves and turn into other people and fall and bring shame to the name of God. That's a whole other thing. I mean, we are all so frail but for the grace and mercy of God. Those negative results and missteps should not cloud our excitement for being ones who are charged with making the name of the Lord great. I mean, He is counting on us, right?
Your Platform Carries the Glory of God
A few of my authors call us believers glory carriers. So while platform and spreading the glory of God to the ends of the earth isn’t about you, it sort of is. You’re an author who writes their salvation story in various forms, telling people about the Savior who rescued you. How will you get this message out? How will YOU carry the glory of God—boldly?
Don’t be half-way with it because you’ll miss out on reaching the larger audience God wants His message through you to reach. You will keep doing half the assignment—writing the book. And not the other part—building the audience who’ll read it. It’s kind of like doing the go part of the Great Commission without making disciples. Kind of not working well that way, you know?
So, some resources for you:
I wrote a blog about how building platform is really about cultivating a community. You can read it here.
Chris Tomlinson wrote “7 Ways to Build Your Online Platform from Scratch” over at Michael Hyatt’s blog.
You can also buy Hyatt’s bestselling book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World to resource yourself even more.
I’m also sharing Writer’s Digest’s “50 Simple Ways to Build Your Platform in 5 Minutes a Day.”
And finally from the Christian Editor’s Network: “Every Author Needs a Platform—Here’s How You Can Build Yours.”
Listen, there’s not one thing wrong with being great at something. So educate yourself. Get knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. Build your platform, so Jesus can be heard through you.
OK? Yea, go!