March 5, 2009

Audience of One


That’s what the sound of yesterday’s post sounds like. I know it’s not for lack of visitors, but the response to Have You Reached a Verdict has been uncharacteristically quiet.

It makes me wonder, was the writing subpar? Uninteresting? Confusing?

Or was the topic too heavy? Do we struggle with the fact that our “good” life merits no more favor with God than a convicted felon’s? That grace isn’t earned, it’s given freely—to all who receive. ALL.

Instead, if I wrote about the results of my living room remodeling (which I will do soon), would the comments have flowed freely? Yes, there are times for the superficial and fun, but sometimes we need to pause and chew on the tough truths of God? Are we willing?

All I know is that the words would not let go of me until I got them out. And so I did. In my imperfect way I’m trying to go where God nudges and share what he sets in my mind. In return I trust He will use those words as He sees fit. Even if it means I put myself out there and feel a little foolish for doing so.

If you’re in a ministry-type position, you know what I’m talking about. There are times when the deafening silence makes you wonder, Is anyone listening? Are my efforts in vain? Lord, did I mishear you? Surely, the enemy wants us to cease and desist—to become discouraged, to water-down our message, to doubt. But we must listen to the One and not be dissuaded. Jesus tells us, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27)

God even uses the little things we do—actions we think are overlooked or of little consequence.

I design our church newsletter. I think it's a great tool, but honestly since I rarely get feedback, I wonder if anyone even reads it and if we’re just wasting our time doing it. This month as I put together the latest issue, (that was behind schedule and already full) I felt a strong prompting to spotlight the new single moms group, even though I don't normally control content. I reached out to the study's leaders, who are passionate about this group, to write something up. Because I needed it right away I gave them plenty of room to put it off until next month. Well, they jumped at the chance and wrote a heartfelt piece.

I squeezed their article in, sent the newsletter off and didn’t think about it again. Until yesterday morning. My friend who leads the single moms group sent an email saying, “I got a call last night from a woman who hasn’t been to church in a year but still receives the newsletter. She read about our group and will be joining us starting next week.”

Wow! I don't think this sort of thing ever happened. But, God did have a plan. and He used our faithful efforts to meet this woman right where she was.

My point is that most of us are not in a position to influence hundreds or thousands of people. It’s easy to look around and think others are more qualified—or effective. But, each of us is in a position to reach just one. And maybe that’s what God intends, because to Him that one matters.

I encourage you, if you feel like you’re hearing crickets, if you feel unqualified, ineffective or small, keep on keeping on. God has a unique plan just for YOU and when you follow his holy nudge, He will bless your offering.

Even if the results seem insignificant, or you never see them at all.

“In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10)


Sassy Granny ... said...

You've made some really good points! When I began blogging, no one even knew I existed. It bothered me not one scintilla because my reasons for blogging had nothing to do with an audience per se. I was writing for an audience of One, actually. Imagine my surprise when people started showing up!

I'm with you ... we just keep on keepin on. Who knows, if even one person profits (perhaps that one being ourselves), then it's well worth the time & effort. Besides, I can't imagine the loss of the amazing friendships we've all woven here, in cyberspace.

Cheryl Barker said...

Right before reading this post, I read your previous one. I thought it was great -- well written, on-target, and powerful. Who knows, it may be one of those things like you mentioned today -- you may never know who that particular post was meant for. I think we will all have some surprises in store when we get to heaven, huh?

Sue J. said...

I have been publishing the PTA newsletter this year. It's the first time the newsletter has been available on a download-only basis (trying to go green!).

The PTA Board was excited, but, so far, the only comment from "outside" has been through the principal, who heard from a parent that I put in the wrong date for daylight savings time on the calendar. yea.... (LOL!)

Your blog is dedicated to celebrating our awesome God, and if you honor Him through sticking with your goal, then you have done well. As for who you might reach, how and when, it's completely out of your control--and, honestly, that's a better situation.

When God calls you to write, I hope you really do answer, regardless of how we respond.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kelli,

I love this quote:
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one"
Mother Teresa

Being an inspirational writer I have changed it up a bit. "You may feed a hundred people or you may only feed one."

None of us will really know how many lives we touched until we go to Heaven. In the mean time, I gage if my writing has blessed someone by asking myself, "Did it inspire me?

If so, then I at least know I have feed one person for the day.


Peggy said...

I even got a call about another single mom, who said they were looking into the group as well.
Yes, we do have an awsome God, and we as followers don't need to do anything but what He asks of us.
then watch Him take over.
Blessings and Love.....Peggy

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Well, I love your prison post! I get it, and yes, you probably would get more comments if you posted a recipe. Things like "looks good" , "going to try this one tonight!" or "how many calories in that one?" Stuff like that.

But when it comes to kingdom stuff, stuff that requires a bit of probing and introspection, I, too, often hear the crickets and wonder if anyone's really getting it (other than Sassy...she always gets it!);

I think I'm mostly "over it" now; still and yet, the writing is hard fought some days and painfully time-consuming, and I sit back and wonder and pray and ask God to keep the pen flowing or to stop the flow. I'm leaving it up to Him.

Never underestimate what you're doing here, Kelli. You are an awesome writer, and your heart and willingness to pen it always blesses me. God is pleased also. I promise.

Keep to it, and should you ever post a recipe, I just might try it! The Parson's Wife had a great one the other day. I made it tonight and burnt my hand in the process...yet another reason why I should NEVER be allowed in the kitchen...EVER!!!!


JerryLyn said...

Kelli, both these posts are great. As one of the Moms involved in the Single Moms Group, to observe God's movement--one precious Child of God at a time--to witness growth and healing--is really nothing short of a miracle.

saleslady371 said...

I like this post and think it is important to be true to our calling. I enjoy your style. I know how you feel about writing the church newsletter. I use to write the email newsletter for our Women's group and it was difficult to get others to participate in writing articles not to mention rare feedback. I think my expectations were too high. Have a great weekend.

Laura said...

Hey, Kelligirl...

I went back and read your previous post (I'm just behind in blogging and life, but what else is new?) and must say, I admire you for participating in this ministry. Your post moved me and challenged me.

I can see why the woman from your church found herself wanting to get into your ministry after reading your words. You are a gifted writer.

I always enjoy coming here, friend.

Irritable Mother said...

So glad you put yourself "out there." Even if it's just for one - God cares about that ONE. Amen, dear sister!