Old Reliable

How many blog posts have you seen that start with an apology?

“Hey, sorry for not posting for so long. I had some projects at work, and then my mother-in-law came to visit, and then I got sick all weekend…”

I imagine all bloggers start out eager and excited, planning on regular posting. But life often gets in the way of our best intentions. And yet reliability is one of the hallmarks of building a strong platform in social media.

Michael Hyatt, author of Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, posted a blog recently listing reasons he stopped reading your blog. One of the reasons given was unreliable or infrequent posting. The apology post also appears on every list of “blog posts no one wants to see” that I’ve ever read.

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I say this only with fingers pointed at me (as this screen cap of my post dates will bear out). But if the critique fits, then take it in the constructive and encouraging way it’s meant:

People aren’t interested in intentions.

What’s the solution? Consistent action.

Maybe that means scheduling out posts well in advance, or structuring realistic goals like one post a week. Perhaps it means blocking out a portion of the day for interaction on social sites, or for writing and editing the next blog. It definitely means we avoid being haphazard, only posting when we feel like it.

Spirituality is like a platform, because we have a message we want to get out to the noisy world that may or may not be listening. Just like successful blogs and social media efforts, the message we communicate has to be reliable. If I never speak about my faith, it’s hard to believe that’s a powerful or important part of my life.

Our spiritual platform – just like social media – is born out of discipline and consistency. We do the little things, the day-in day-out basics of living out our faith, the stuff no one applauds or even likely sees. In this way, we develop patterns and habits that serve us well when crises arise.

My pastor from when I was a child posted a story about a fellow believer, a widow of a pastor who was murdered two months ago. My former pastor and an elder paid this lady a visit with the hopes of encouraging her by presence if not by words. He wrote, “She didn’t express anger or bitterness (though I could understand it if she did.) Willie and I went to encourage her, and we left encouraged by her!”

He then made this key insight:
“Such true Christlikeness isn’t acquired in a crisis. She has lived consistently for God over time and now, in the midst of the storm, her faith is made manifest. I was deeply moved. I want to be like her — as she is like Christ.”

We have the option to dabble in a hobby, post a blog now and then, share some thoughts, maybe read a Bible verse or “like” a spiritual post on Facebook. We can have the Sunday spirituality in a life that otherwise leaves out Christ.

But then we have no spiritual platform to stand on, no compelling reason for the crowd to stop and listen to what we have to say.