Platform-Building Pt. 1: Leaders Should Be Writers

Christian leaders have this in common: we work to reshape society. It’s why we invest in our families. It’s why we befriend people. It’s why we work in our churches, and it’s why many of us write.

Man Writing a Letter

In all areas of life this much is true: ideas matter.

Ideas shape society. So we work to shape people’s ideas. We tell people the gospel, we teach them Scripture, we equip them to serve and become leaders, and we organize, encourage, and steward.

Much of this leadership happens in person. But much of it also takes place in written form. Written sermons, articles, books; these extend the range of a leader’s voice.

Blogging Matters.

Six months ago I created this blog as a means of extending and refining my own voice. I have devoted a lot of time so far to my 60 posts. But I have spent equal time working to build my own concept of what a platform is.

I have determined to stay in this project for the long haul. Therefore my main investment is not in my particular website. Rather it is in growing my own set of skills as writer and publicist. So I am reading, collecting ideas, and imagining.

Blogging is a huge challenge.

One of my main challenges is to balance my time between investing in myself (reading) and producing something (writing). And certainly these are not my only tasks to balance! I’m also seeking to make my writing known (publicity). Tasks of publicity include designing a blog, interacting on social media, and developing a select network of people to invest in.

This is a lot to keep up with, and it can be a bit disorienting. How does it all fit together? What leads to what? What is most important?

To further complicate things…

There is the problem of the blank page. I don’t mean the literal blank page that a writer faces each day. I mean the “blank page” of the future that lies before me. If I haven’t yet created a platform, how do I know what I want it to look like? What are my reference points?

It’s impossible to edit something that doesn’t yet exist. If my platform and work-flow don’t yet exist, I have to start from scratch to define a vision, goals, and a work-flow.

Given the nature of this problem, the solution is to learn by doing. Set up a routine, follow it, and see where it leads. Then revise.

It’s a recursive method: each month’s work and vision must be a refinement from that of the previous month. It’s also an incremental method: work-flow and output must be established one piece at a time, and then automated where possible.

Ultimately, it’s a lot of work!

But I have no trouble staying interested. It’s an adventure and an investment. When I get bogged down in details, I have a fire to keep me going. I believe that ideas matter, and I believe in my message.

People can change. My words can help them change.

God can work through me despite the errors I may make. It will be worth the trouble.

 


You’re reading part 1 of a 4-part series:
Platform-Building Pt. 1: Leaders Should Be Writers
Platform-Building Pt. 2: Desktop and Workflow
Platform-Building Pt. 3: How to Understand the Process
Platform Building Pt. 4: Ten Principles