Platform: Gaining One Worth Having, and Keeping One Worth Preserving

An email came from a literary agent. A book proposal hurriedly composed. Edited. Reexamined. Sent out. A writing sample was requested. A meeting was held, a team deliberating over taking up the project.

The factor that did or didn’t seal the deal?

Platform.

Its the buzzword of this blogging, tweeting, social media dependent culture. Your songs can’t be heard, your blog won’t be advertised upon, your articles won’t be distributed, and books won’t be published….without it.

Platform.

It means you’ve got to be popular, and noticed, and esteemed in order to be heard. It means you have to have a following of people, because people have money, and money buys books.

And its interesting that the very One I type away into the wee hours of the night for, and the One I’ve been on my face in front of asking for guidance, and the One I have begged to give me wisdom and words, the One whom I pray is glorify in and subsequently hoped in due to this book,

Well, He seemed bent on destroying his

Platform.

After healing a leper (revolutionary medical progress!!) he said, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” (Matthew 8:4)

The demon-filled man, whom Jesus set free, begged to go with him and join the rank of followers, but “Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” Mark 5:19

When faced with the possibility of a very wealthy, very powerful young ruler becoming one of his followers, he had such a heart-probing conversation with him that, instead of gaining an important and rich follower, he lost one, for At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Mark 10:22

After feeding the five thousand, and teaching the people that HE was the Bread from heaven, he was met with grumbling, complaining, arguments, and On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”…From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. John 6:60,61

When tested to see if he would “break the Sabbath rules”, Jesus proceeded to heal the man with a shriveled hand and defy cultural  and religious values and destroy his popularity so badly that, Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus. Mark 3:6

No, He did not weigh in on His popularity. He did not unite the masses to follow him and give him a platform to be heard by the Jewish rulers who were getting it all wrong nor to the Romans who were oppressing his people. He lived for one platform alone. The one established by complete surrender, yieldedness, and obedience to the will of the Father.

Part of my New Years Resolution was to write a book, of which the rough draft is done, due to wee hour writings and a husband who believes in the project. This past fall, my missionary friend in Swaziland, and I have been plugging away at the work, asking for God’s guidance in the project, for neither of us had a clue as to “how to write a book”. We felt the specific call to write, not knowing where that might lead. We just figured that we would self publish it upon its completion this spring. Then, two weeks ago an email introduction by a mutual friend to a literary agent in a prestigious publishing agency led to the request for a book proposal, and then to the asking for more and more writing pieces and information. It was all barreling along quite unexpectedly and thrillingly well.

And then the blog stats were asked for. And those meager numbers didn’t impress, at least not enough to have enough clout with a Publishing House. Every email leading up to this had sounded so promising and so hopeful but then, that email was received, actually at the end of a day spent taking my sweet four year old daughter and our international exchange student around the Disney theme parks. My girl and I, we had found our place to watch the evening Disney parade and fireworks, and while we waited for it to start, I whipped out that phone and read those words:

“We enjoyed your work, but – given our current client list – I needed a confident and unanimous response from my colleagues…and we didn’t get there. In brief, we’re concerned that publishers will find your current platform limiting.”

And I tucked phone back in pocket, and gazed at my girl all eager to see a “real” princess go by in a parade, and I longed for her to know that she is a princess because of what King Jesus has done to make her a child of God, not because of sparkles and puffy dresses.

And it hit me.

The best place for her to learn that…. is upon a

Platform.

The platform I build through day in and day out service and sacrifice, being joyfully engaged in the little things in her world, in the worlds of my five little children and the one growing within me. And maybe building a platform in that blogosphere, literary world would distract this mamma’s heart and mind from gaining the one platform worth having…the one I build in my husband and children’s lives. And building one out there might chip away at the one platform that I do have that is truly worth keeping. The platform that is right here. Right here in flesh and blood, right in front of me.

So, I will willingly forego landing a publishing deal, or all the work it would take to get a platform in order to land a publishing deal,

if I can only build a Gospel-centered, Christ-exalting, love-exuding platform with my husband and children.

I will labor in the mundane, sacrifice in the secret, faithful preach the Word of God to those within my own four wall, that I might build that platform in my children to proclaim to them the Savior that died for them ad loves them. And Lord willingly, they will be made into little disciples who do the same in their spheres of influence in 5 or 10 or 25 years.

This is the type of platform Jesus built. One with twelve simple, average guys who were so captivated by the miracles they saw and the death and resurrection they witnessed and the love and power that was imparted to them, that they moved forth into their communities, cities and the nations to repeat the process of building platform, in their own spheres of influence.

May I do the same, for these kids, as Christ does it in me, for His glory.

I have a big job before me. A time-consuming, emotion-consuming, life-consuming platform to build. It may not be as glamorous as soaring blog stats. It may not be as significant-in-my-culture’s eyes as a name on a book fresh off the printing press.

But it is big in God’s eyes. And it is big in those little one’s eyes whom I have the opportunity to gaze into and tell that they are loved. and prioritized.

And the platform I have in their lives is worth every moment of the work that building it entails.

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Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false God
They will receive blessing from the Lord
and vindication from God their Savior
Such is the generation of those who seek him.
Who seek your face, God of Jacob.
Psalm 24:3-6

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. katie d
    Feb 03, 2014 @ 14:41:20

    it’s funny… I’ve been trying to build my blog and wanting to write a book this year… but my “platform” has become less and less gospel focused and more and more about making printables that people will flock to my blog for. It’s become about making me feel important. At the end of the day, my stats are growing on my blog… but for what purpose? It’s an empty feeling… knowing that not once last week did I point my readers to Jesus. You are a great writer my friend. I am always challenged by you.

    Reply

  2. Maria Garriott
    Feb 03, 2014 @ 15:44:08

    Bravo, Kimberly! Jesus can build his kingdom with our without our “platforms”! As you know so well, we are called to be faithful, no matter whether the sphere is big (in a publisher’s eyes) or small. Publishers need to sell books to stay in business, so they are consumed with numbers and bottom line figures. I feel your excitement and disappointment with these events, but Jesus is building his kingdom through you in so many ways. I am amazed and so blessed by your faithfulness in completing your first draft!

    Reply

  3. juan
    Feb 03, 2014 @ 17:58:29

    The PlBlessArticlE Was Very Encouraging Thanks You And Your Family Have Truly Blessed Me In Ways You’ll Never Know I Have Connected With Your Husband Danny And Look Forward To Meeting You Guys One Day As I Am A Newark Native And Have A HearT For Ministry There.. Good Bless

    Reply

    • kimzhis
      Feb 04, 2014 @ 01:10:02

      Hi Juan, Danny told me about you and we are SO THRILLED about the call that God has placed on your life to reach out to people in Newark. You are such an answer to prayer! We have prayed so long and hard for laborers for that harvest field, despite all its brokenness and disfunction!

      Reply

  4. kimzhis
    Feb 04, 2014 @ 01:05:29

    Thanks, Katie, for sharing honestly….It sounds like all of us are in the same boat. fighting for the true reason we even started blogging in the first place.

    Reply

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