The Struggle of Self-Promotion

Self-promotion was the biggest emotional struggle within the minds of Christian writer friends in 2007. Publishers required (and still do) writers to promote their work online. At that time, blogging was more about being real and creating community. Having to self-promote felt cold and against our worldview. When I attended writers groups, I encountered a lot of self-promotion. I recalled this when I read this week’s chapter of Called to Create by Jordan Raynor:

As we saw in the previous chapter, following God’s call to create replaces our motivation to make a name for ourselves with motivation to create in order to reveal God’s character and love others.

We wrote to glorify God. Our heart was to connect, to pray for each other, and cross-network through guest blogging. Most of us made peace with self-promotion because we made it about Jesus. Our blogs bloomed into mini-ministries. It was about the books we read and how what we read impacted our daily lives. We weren’t shy about sharing our emotions. But, as the glory days of blogging faded, and marketing took over with content written to get noticed on Google, some writers lost their way.

There’s a danger of becoming too focused on creating a work around making a name for ourselves.  I loved how Called to Create spoke about famous people who built their careers to make monuments around their name. They worked to glorify themselves. In this culture of negativity, can we find ways to #RedeemSocialMedia and use the web strategically and authentically, making sharing the Gospel a priority?

“Generally speaking, entrepreneurs attempt to figure out where the world is going, and leverage those trends to considerable financial gain,” Blanchard said. “Could our aim [as Christian entrepreneurs] be for more? Disrupting negative cultural trends and encouraging positive emerging trends with innovative, transformative, gospel-minded ventures?”

What is a Flexible Sabbath?

One of my challenges in this transitional part of my life is to practice a “flexible Sabbath.” Most people work five days a week. They have two days off with their spouse or family. I work 36-hours a week, Monday through Thursday. This leaves Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to raise financial partners and work the ministry under my stewardship. My husband and I share only one day off together because of his schedule. With all this going on, two people challenged me to take my Sabbath seriously.

Afterall, God took one day off.

In a sermon by Pastor Dave Droste, I realized I was giving 80% instead of a 100% due to so much happening in my life. I am far from burned out and far from exhausted. Energy and creativity course through me like lava from a tube; impatient, eager, and wanting to live, bursting from the dead earth in color and heat. I can’t live at that speed and so I decided to practice this spiritual discipline for longevity.

By practicing a flexible Sabbath, I take, for instance a Sunday off around appointments that are unavoidable. This weekend, I plan on taking part of Sunday off and a few hours on Saturday morning off from missionary work and financial partnership work. I know this is healthy. Slowing down a little will challenge me to be more creative in how I get everything done. Instead of taking some evenings during the week off, I use that time to get some blogging finished.