Before that, I want to share an insight I've had recently regarding establishing a platform for ministry - specifically a book writing ministry.
Next week I leave for She Speaks. It truly is the highlight of my year. If you don't know about it, please read more here. It's for women who are called into some kind of writing, speaking or women's ministry. This can be leading a neighborhood Bible study to speaking in arenas with thousands of people. Or from writing a history of your life for grandchildren to writing a book. And I get to direct the writer's track. I still kind of pinch myself that God lets me do this. I have so much fun while helping to equip women to advance God's kingdom. Recently I read a passage that has application in this setting.
In my daily Bible reading I came across a passage I never remember reading. Maybe that's because I haven't spent a lot of time in 1 Kings. But tucked in the middle of chapter 20 read these words:
"The king of Israel answered, 'Tell him: 'One who puts on his armor should not boast like one who takes it off'.''" (1 Kings 20:11 NIV)Beside the fact that I've never had to write a sentence with two sets of single quotes inside it, this passage has an amazing truth relevant to a challenge many authors face today. And that's establishing a platform for selling books, and convincing a publisher it's enough to warrant a publishing contract.
Getting a book published is harder than ever. There's a bottom line for 95% of all authors (specifically non-fiction): You need to have avenues for selling your own book. It can't all fall to the publisher, because traditional book-selling avenues (Christian bookstores) are struggling. So, publishers need authors who have a platform. It's a partnership.
But establishing a platform is a challenge for an author. It takes years to establish a good network of connections. A blog following. Speaking and teaching opportunities. Newsletter subscribers. Or build a ministry from the ground up. Yet it only takes a few weeks or months to write a book proposal.
When I read this verse, it reminded me that it's easy to write about what you WILL DO in establishing a platform. It's easy to have big plans. It's fun to talk about your vision. It's much harder to actually do the work, week after week, month after month, to establish that platform.
I write from personal experience. I'm trained as a writer, so that's where I've always started. However, today's writing climate actually reflects a truth I've learned about being a Christian: Your insides have to match your outsides.
This verse calls me back to a place of truth. A place of digging in to the work God has called me to before I write about it. Words spoken by Ahab king of Israel thousands of years ago, speak to me today: "One who puts on his armor should not boast like one who takes it off."
Now, I have chosen a winner for the cute beehive apron. Normally, I just pick a number at random and that's the winner. But when I read that Melissa is a beekeeper with four hives, I knew she needed this apron. Melissa- I didn't see an email address or way to contact you. Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If I don't hear from Melissa by next week, I'll pick another winner.
May the Lord bless you today!
In His Love,