Be fit for your work, and you will never be out of it. Do not run about inviting yourselves to preach here and there; be more concerned about your ability than your opportunity, and more earnest about your walk with God than about either. (Quote from the book Lectures to my students by Charles Spurgeon)
Years before the age of Social Media and Flyers and Television broadcast Charles Spurgeon said these words to his students which are more relevant today than ever before.
Social media promotion of ones spiritual gifts and talent, flyers and huge sign board with images of men and women, preachers & worship leaders advertised like those of big corporate, telecom or automobile companies or actors and actresses of some newly releasing movies or leaders of political parties sometimes seems slightly odd to me. Now everything goes live on facebook, house fellowships and Bible study groups have become social media events.
We all love to be praised and celebrated. We want a name for ourselves. We crave a platform of respect. We desire to be important to other people. We want our work to be appreciated. In some shape or form, this is true for all of us — perhaps especially for pastors and Christian leaders.
I have been personally lured into this temptation of Self Promotion. “ Promote Yourself….let people know you….” rang the voice in my ears. Until the spirit of God whispered to me that” Promotions Come form the Lord. Don’t look for coverage but rather be calm and do the work with all diligence and humility, coverage would eventually come on its own, without my efforts.”
Its easy to Justify self promotion but that’s not Gods pattern. I quote Bill Johnson, “What ever you gain through self promotion you have to sustain it through self promotion. When promotion comes from God, He sustains it.”
This kind of self-promotion seemed out of place for servants of Jesus Christ who every time turned down opportunities of self-promotion. (Matt. 9:30 (see that no one sees it); 12:16(not to make him known); Mark 1:43-44( go your way and say nothing to anyone); Luke 4:35, 41 ( He did not allow the demons to testify of him)
Philippians 2:7-9 mentions the secret of Jesus become great- v.7 He emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in human likeness. v. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross. v.9 Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place, and gave Him the name above all names…
The key to Jesus’s greatness was his humbleness and obedience towards God. The greatness of Jesus was all about his simplicity.
Scripture points us, not to self-promote, but to be quiet, diligent, being faithful and the use our God-given skills for the good of others. In due time, as the fruit ripens, God may choose to inform others of your work and provide greater opportunity for leadership and influence. But until then, we are to labor patiently, not for eye-service, but for the sake of Christ and the good of others.
It can be easy to forget that we pastors are not salesmen. We’re not pushing a product called “the gospel.” We can’t develop an elevator pitch clever and concise enough to secure the sale. The oddity comes when we do create products that we then market and push — for worship pastors, our albums, and preaching pastors, our books. In that moment, we inch our way to becoming salespeople. And if we’re going to be good salespeople, then we need a marketing strategy and a platform, lots of followers, etc. (Joseph Tenny – Desiring God)
Do concern yourself with Promotion, Popularity or Public Acceptance
There was David in the wilderness carrying a mantle but tending his fathers sheep. His family did not recognize him, but God did. In the appointed time the Promotion came looking for him.
Saul went to look for a lost donkey ended by being anointed as the first king of Israel.
Joseph was in a prison when promotion came looking for him, Peter was fishing and Ruth, poor and lost trying to meet ends meet God came looking for them. Be faithful in small things and God will come looking for you. Focus on what you are doing with a spirit of excellence and God will bring you out in due time. (1Peter 5:6)
The scripture says, do not do anything out of selfish ambition..self promotions is designed to gain exposure and outcomes more quickly and most of the times gets blended with dishonesty (exaggeration).
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Lastly let us not forget we the servants of the Lord are merely Pointers or milestones by the road…showing people the direction to reach Christ.