Platform. Mission field. The ground between our feet. However you choose to see your sphere of influence, the truth is you do have one. There is always someone who is watching what you do or listening to what you have to say.
Yes, it would be easier if we could just say not me. I’m just a shy, humble person with no influence what so ever. But unless you have found a way to completely avoid all contact with others—and if you’re reading this you haven’t because at the very least you had to find a computer and pay an internet bill—it’s never true.
Your influence can be good or bad, but it is still influence.
In my first post in this series I talked about the fig leaf of false humility that keeps us from stepping out and embracing our true purpose. Our platform is really our mission field. If we want to make a difference without losing our sanity to social media, there are three keys to remember when serving our platforms.
I discussed the need for focus in order to make the greatest impact. We can’t have a significant impact on something if we spread ourselves too thin—trying to be everywhere all the time. Focus.
Once we have our focus—we have determined where our personality and skills or talents best fit in order to make the maximum impact—then we should invest in those places.
To invest means to commit to, get involved in emotionally, to add value, to seek to know others rather than seeking to make ourselves known. Comment on what others are saying and engage in conversations. Be an encouragement. Learn their names and the things they celebrate as well as the things they struggle with. Scripture tell us to ‘rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep’ (see Romans 12:15).
We’ve probably all heard the adage “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
I can have the most erudite blog series or accessible platform, but if it’s all about me and for me, no one is going to care. Would you? Even I know I’m not that interesting.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal (1 Corinthians 13:1).
We invest our love in others. Not counterfeit affection. We can’t invest Monopoly money in the stock market and expect to receive a financial return. A nasty letter perhaps. But fake money won't generate anything of value there.
We can’t invest false feelings into our platforms or mission fields and expect to receive a sincere return there either.
And I don't want to be come a clanging symbol no one wants to be around.
Step one in an effective platform is to focus our attention on the places where we are most equipped to make a difference…step two, invest in the people there with love and sincerity.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others (Philippians 2:2-4).
And just like that, platform starts to sound like more of a blessing than a burden.
What's your favorite way to engage with or invest in the people in your tribe?