Whether by Many or by Few: A Different Way to Think About Your Platform

There’s a great little Bible verse in 1 Samuel 14:6 where Jonathan claims that “the Lord will accomplish His purposes, whether by many or by few.” Some translations say, “Nothing can hinder the Lord; He can win a battle with many warriors or just a few.”

The phrase “just a few” resonates with me this week as I encourage fellow bloggers, book writers, community builders, and speakers. We’re increasingly expected to produce proof of our influence though followers, retweets, shares, event attendance, mentions, and of course, book deals. Bigger is always better in social networking circles.

But is that God’s way to think about influence? What about the few that we care for? What about the few that God calls us to love and influence?

I’m driving home from teaching my small class of students. Just 24 in each class, 48 altogether. In the world of influence and big numbers–of platform and importance–I am woefully inadequate. I’m a joke to publishers and conference teams.

I’m nobody. Even my blog doesn’t rank high enough to mean anything.

But you read it. And I love you and am thankful for you. I’m not trying to measure influence anymore; one really can’t. Jesus didn’t employ performance metrics in his ministry on earth. He turned away from big crowds and invested in the few.

I’m realizing how much I love the few.

God accomplishes His purposes whether by many or by few. Maybe it shouldn’t matter to us either.

_______________________________
Thank you for reading Live with Flair. Thank you for the privilege of teaching you if you are reading as my student. Thank you for the high honor of being asked to speak at any event you might have attended. I see you as you and not as a platform for influence.

* Thank you to Robin Kramer over at Pink Dryer Lint for helping me see this truth. 

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20 thoughts on “Whether by Many or by Few: A Different Way to Think About Your Platform

  1. Heather, I LOVE your blog posts! I subscribe and your tiny gems arrive in my inbox without fail every day. You write with a balance of beauty and truth that I have not found matched anywhere. Thank you!

  2. Thank you, thank you. My little blogs are posted every day. I planned to go to BlogPaws in May but why? I don't care about stats or being big; I simply want to share what's happening in my heart with God and in the Beagle sanctuary. I won't ever be professional in blogging, but I have your book (love it), enjoy every entry of your blog and wish I were in PA to even audit a class. Keep on keeping on. The church started with 13 including Jesus, and it took a long time for the 12 to “get it.” Kudos, my friend.

  3. Hi Heather: Platforms? Everyone is a joke to publishers and most conference teams are simply cliques. Blogs? I still haven't figured them out yet – just an electronic bulletin board and some people get paid to let advertisers on them, to promote things that no one buys anyway. How empty is that. One tiny spark can burn a whole state down. One seed can grow a whole farm. I write and stop and write and stop – though to this day, I still continue to write because of a letter I received from a woman, responding to an editorial I wrote on child abuse some twenty years ago, when I was as much a nobody as I am now. I know I've reached people with my words – I just don't know who and have never earned a dime from it. The woman who wrote to me said the following after picking my name by chance out of the phone book and sending me a letter: “If you are the one who wrote this editorial, I want to thank you, because I was at my end, thinking that no one cared any more and you gave me hope.”
    “Thank you.” So i still write. God led me to read your writing and told me to keep reading it, so I would be inspired. He was right and you must be doing something right. Thank you, Mark

  4. Recently I've been clinging to the verse in Zechariah 4:10. In one version it reads, “Do not despise this small beginning for the Lord smiles to see the work begun!” So many times I despise my own efforts, expecting more results or greater influence.

    Heather, I believe your efforts are far beyond “small beginnings.” I first heard you teach at a U.S. staff conference and was struck by your enthusiastic talk about writing.This led me to order your book, then begin following your blog. I've been ordering and recommending your book to dozens of people along the way, as well as passing on your admonition for us to write with flair!

    I think one of the most fun things in Heaven will be when God shows us the “trail” of how our small beginnings were multiplied by Him. Be assured, He is multiplying your efforts…and smiling, too!

  5. I read your blog several times per week and always find your posts to be well-written and thoughtful. Most people don't stand on the shore and watch all the ripples their stone creates. Think of me as someone on the other shore whom you touch often.

  6. Heather you are loved and appreciated by me! I thank you for writing this blog…for spreading grace and flair and your beautiful spirit. Your influence is much larger than you think.

  7. This reminded me of Matthew 18:20 – For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

    It's not about the biggest congregation or following. God's love is personal.

  8. LOVE, love, love, love, love this, Heather. I'm in the process of writing a blog post (whic is taking me forever because I don't get paid for writing posts on my own blog and I have two articles for which I DO get paid that are a priority, duh) and this is one of my points. I'm encouraging others to remove their stat counters, if possible, and ignore them if they can't. I think you are fabulous. You bless my day – always. Thank YOU!

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