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  • Sonya Leigh Anderson

Without Brand or Bio



“If the Holy Spirit wants to amplify your voice he will open doors no man can shut!”

-Christine Caine, The Art of Teaching


A couple of weeks ago I listened to an absolutely profound and radically perspective-shifting message. It was an interview between John Mark Comer and Christine Caine, recorded for an online course called The Art of Teaching. Countless times I pressed pause, rewound, re-listened… typing notes in an attempt to capture quotes and counsel. And from beginning to end I knew it was God himself who was speaking to me.

Oh my goodness. I acknowledge it now. Here. Full confession. I have been living with so much pressure. Pressure to build a brand and market a product and chart a course for ministry. Because I’m in my 50’s and it’s now or never. And I’ve published a book, and maybe I’d like to write another. But why write if no one’s buying? And every bit of counsel I’ve been given UNTIL THIS MOMENT is the obvious checklist:

Social Media

Website

Branding

Blog posts

Email campaign

Podcasts

Public speaking

On and on

Promote

Promote

Promote

I’ve known it for a while. I have been living under the constant stress of feeling like an underachiever. Like I’m not doing enough. Like the clock is ticking and I need to figure it out.


But then there are these other inklings. A passage from one of Paul’s letters:

For we do not market the word of God for profit like so many. On the contrary, we speak with sincerity in Christ, as from God and before God (2 Corinthians 2:17).

And I’ve been haunted by this very question. Am I marketing God’s treasure for PROFIT?!

Again and again I circle back to my repeated conundrum. Would God… my generous teacher who provided every single word of The Covenant Storywho has lavished me with his Spirit’s teaching in every season… who has taught me to listen and know the Shepherd’s very own voice…


Would my God now leave me to figure out how to market HIS MESSAGE on my own??


And then. In the midst of my mental chaos. There’s this. This radically different and beautifully helpful, Holy Spirit infused message. Just when I needed it most.


Honestly, I’m not even sure how much of this I should be sharing online, since it came from a private teaching course. But the very fact that Christine Caine’s entire message is about serving God’s humblest calling without giving a thought to marketing-for-profit makes me think she’d be okay if I shared a few of her quotes in light of my own story. Starting with this:

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand anywhere else (Psalm 84:10).


Caine starts with the EXACT PSALM I’m currently memorizing. She talks about the beautiful privilege of serving God’s church wherever he has you.

Yes. Yes. Yes. I would rather stand on the threshold of the house of my God…

Christine talks about following the Spirit, letting God be the one to open the doors. And I take notes like a crazy person…

  • Promotion doesn’t come from the north, south, east or west, it comes from God…God opens doors no one can shut.

  • Go after the opportunities no one else wants, and God will give you opportunities everyone wants.

  • God doesn’t need a brand or bio.

  • Operate within your gift in a godly way within the doors God has already opened.

  • We do not make our living off the church…we build the church!!

  • Start humbly…just serve…learn people.

  • Die daily.

  • Any sense of entitlement keeps us from God’s grace.

  • The Lord gives us a platform. Don’t despise the platform God has given.

  • Bottom line: You have a microphone in your hand 24/7 and if the Holy Spirit wants to amplify your voice he will open doors no man can shut.


Yes. Yes. Yes.


YES!! I have always known my God is faithful. Yes! I’ve always known he opens the doors. Yes! I’ve always known followers of Jesus are doing their best work when they pick up a towel and bend down low and do humble things. All of this I’ve known and all of this I’ve desperately wanted, and now I feel like God has granted me permission.

Permission?!


I laugh out loud. Who needs permission to do the thing he’s been calling me to do all along?

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