Marketing or ministry?

My friend, Yvonne Anderson, reflects today on the tension between marketing and writing. Having two books published this year has shown me how that tension increases exponentially. There seems to be a continual tug of war between these two priorities. But one thing I’m learning is that the lines blur between marketing and ministry.

Since last week Wednesday, I’ve had:

1) a radio interview broadcast,

2) a book signing,

3) a devotional engagement, and

4) a meeting with a support group for moms who have suffered loss.

All these events were related to my two books published this year. In June Reformed Fellowship published Little One Lost: Living with Early Infant Loss (also available on Amazon), and in November Reformation Heritage Books released  A Month of Sundays: 31 Meditations on Resting in God (which is also available on Amazon). 

Last week I posted about my radio interview and book signing, but until now I haven’t had an opportunity to write about my devotional opportunity or my meeting with a support group for moms.

Angela Dunston Johnson, Glenda Mathes, Susan R. Lawrence; aka as "The Three Forever Amigos"
Angela Dunston Johnson, Glenda Mathes, Susan R. Lawrence; aka as “The Three Forever Amigos”

On Sunday, I shared devotions on “Christmas Rest” with the women of Union Park Baptist Church at their Christmas Tea. My friend and story-teller extraordinaire, Susan Lawrence, had suggested my name to the organizers, who were kind enough to invite me. My longtime writing friend, Angela Dunston Johnson, broke from her busy schedule to attend. It was a blessing to spend time with old friends and meet new ones. I’m thankful to God for the opportunity. And I deeply appreciated the warm fellowship with the Union Park ladies during this delightful afternoon.

On Monday evening, I spent an emotional evening with women who have lost little ones. They asked insightful questions about my book on early infant loss and my personal experience. Listening to their moving stories, my heart broke.

These events of my past week all fall under the broad category of what writers call “promotion” or “marketing.” But when does marketing become ministry?

The answer to that may depend primarily on the heart’s motivation. If my desire is for self-promotion, I feel that my efforts can only be defined as “marketing.” But if my desire is for Christ-promotion, perhaps God permits my efforts to expand into “ministry.”

My prayer is that I will always be sensitive to the differences and aware of the motivation of my heart.

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2 thoughts on “Marketing or ministry?

  1. Thanks so much for your post! I just published a daily devotional, “Deeply Rooted” in September and have had the same struggle between marketing and ministry. I love the idea of checking my heart motivation, you are really speaking to me today. I want my focus to stay on God and what His plan is for the devotional. My goal and heart is for ministry to others, not marketing myself.

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