If you want to know anything about me, chances are you can find it on the online.
Just by doing an internet search you'll find that I'm single. I run a ministry. I speak. I travel. I blog. I have way to many social media profiles.
I'm either not interesting enough or popular enough to have paparazzi following me.
Even after searching the internet you wouldn't know the things going on in my heart unless I shared it online.
There are some things that come with this new era of “online ministry” that I really dislike. Maybe it's because I don't have a team of people helping me so I can focus on the things I'm good at. But that's the nature of starting a new ministry. I accept it as par for the course. Part of God developing me as a servant. I'm learning to rely on His strength and leading.
But we are in a season where ministries need to be online all the time because that's the expectation. Here is where I struggle.
Sometimes I feel exposed.
Ten years ago I didn't have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, a blog, an online magazine … or Periscope! (Lord have mercy, I just haven't been able to do the first live video broadcast.) I love being able to keep in touch with family and friends (and connecting with long lost ones) through social media. But honestly, can't anything about me be mysterious anymore? With everything about me out on the internet what drives someone to get to know ME? Because the “in person” me is very different. I want to be known not exposed.
Those that know me well would agree I'm an introvert that has learned to be an extrovert. I love time alone to be quiet and explore things with God. Without that I'm a hot mess. You don't want to put a demand on me when I'm in introvert mode. You'll get gifts without anointing. Put me in a social setting and you'll feel loved because I do love people. I can serve and minister to people all day without getting burned out as long as I have time to go recharge.
I'm still thinking about cutting out some social media – or not.
Sometimes I feel pulled on.
Three years ago I didn't feel the pressure to “build a platform” like Michael Hyatt, Amy Porterfield, Sandi Krakowski, James Wedmore, Jeff Walker and Jeff Goins. Although I'm inspired at how they share their gifts with the world and encourage people to do the same. I know its good. I know they do good in the world with the income they make from their “platform.” I know I have something to offer and yet I feel the pressure to learn social media marketing and develop an online course. Am I being unfaithful with my gifts and resources for not putting my gifts out there more?
Some of the best things come to me when I'm in a state of resting in God and offline. That fuels what I do in ministry. But as soon as I have to get online to share it I feel zapped out of passion again. So I go back to the Lord to find His priorities and work at being faithful. I sometimes strive to enter rest while in activity. For visualization purposes I'll say I want to be “pushed by God” and not “pulled by people.” Because when God pushes He's directing to the area of the pull because of a need. That is rewarding and energizing, not draining.
I'm still thinking of building a course – or not.
Sometimes I feel lonely.
I miss the days I came home from work and had time with friends over good food, games or a night out. I want to have a conversation without an interruption of a text or notification. I don't want to have a list of things broken on my website that need to be supernaturally fixed, a newsletter to write, social media quotes to review and video tutorials to watch. That part isn't ministry – it's what needs to be done to keep the ministry visibility online.
Most of the ministry I do now is behind the scenes on the computer. One word – Blah. (I know, it's not a sign of an introvert.) I know God is doing more good because of the internet and resources we can find online. I've been blessed by them. But I wonder how many people in ministry are weary like me … keeping up with the “online Joneses.” Am I the only one that feels like all the things we need to do is actually keeping us from fellowship? Which is what God intended ministry to be about; share faith, hope and love … that's the purpose. Is it as impactful without a touch, a kind tone and a act of service?
And I'm still thinking about chucking it all – or not.
But it's not all the time.
Most of the time I see the fruit of my labor in the comments on social media and in email. I get a kick out of it when I meet someone new and they tell me how they've been encouraged by something I posted online. It's like we've been friends forever because they don't have to figure out if I'm safe.
Even as I write this I realize the irony. I'm writing it online. I'll even share it online. I'd love you to share it online so we could all find out what we all think … online. I could've made a video but that would've required makeup application and maybe a shower. But its still not as good as talking to you in person because then I wouldn't feel exposed, pulled on or lonely. And I promise I would've at least showered.
And I'm still thinking about how to be more like Jesus. Because that's the purpose of ministry (online or in person).
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