Years ago I heard Tony Campolo speak about being part of a ministerial association where he lived. Every group has their measuring stick and this group used Sunday evening attendance. So the first thing they did each meeting was to go around the circle and share that statistic.
Tony decided to have some fun and play their game. When it was his turn, he reported that they had between 3 and 4 hundred in attendance for their Sunday evening services. Every pastor in the room was awestruck and Tony became the new guru of that little group. His words of wisdom were valued like gold and everyone had questions to ask.
Then a few months into these meetings someone asked Tony exactly how many people they averaged in attendance at Sunday evening services. Tony replied with something like “37.”
As you can imagine, everyone was stunned. “But you said it was between 3 and 400!” To which Tony replied, “37 is between 3 and 400.”
I love it! How could they be so vain as to think that the number of Sunday evening attenders is the measure of success in a church.
I would never do that. But I would use the number of blog followers to boost my confidence and measure my success. I’ve even looked for the number of followers on other blogs that I visit.
How could I be so vain?!
Everyone likes to have someone reading their blogs and positive affirmation can be great fuel to spur us on in writing. But this shouldn’t be our primary motivation.
If it’s all about God then it’s simply a matter of sharing what He has put on our heart and trusting that He will use it according to His will; whether it’s with a thousand people or just one soul.
But it’s hard. Even the tips others give you for building a following include visiting lots of other blogs to either “Like” a post or “Subscribe” to their blog. The idea is that people will return the favor. But I can’t bring myself to do that.
I enjoy checking out other blogs when time allows, but if I like a post or follow a blog it’s simply because it touched my heart and challenged me in some way.
Jesus taught that the way to confront the issue of greed in our heart is to give stuff away.
So to confront my tendency to “number watch” my blog I’ve stopped posting how many people are following through Subscription. Though it just dawned on me that the number of people following my Facebook page is still listed. I wonder if that can be removed?
P.S. – And anyway, the number of followers posted by WordPress was wrong by my count. It was actually… never mind. LOL
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.