God use Hootsuite to teach me a truth I'd un-learned over time. I've been in ministry well over 20 years now. I learned pretty quick that if you’re the kind of person that needs a consistent stream of affirmation from people, then ministry isn’t going to be a lot of fun. Sure, people continually encourage me in one form or another, but man cannot live on encouragement alone, for it normally comes in small doses.
Working From A Different View.
In fact, of all people, those of us in ministry receive little energy derived from ROI: Return On Investment. The reason is simple: a lot of what we do is measured in the eternal scope of work; which means that a large portion of our life’s work will not show up in what we can see in the here and now.
However, few things can cause a man of God to wither faster than living in a barren land where encouragement never comes. We are human, and like it or not, we are created to be emotional. Our souls need injections of encouragement, no matter how strong we may be as leaders.
Recently, God spoke to me about this very issue. God has spoken to me through songs. God has spoken to me through people. God has spoken to me through creation. God has even spoken to me through dreams. However, God has never spoken to me in the way He did, or I should say, never through the medium He used most recently.
God spoke to me about the results of the work of those of us called to ministry, and He used, wait for it … Hootsuite.
Pardon me for a second, but you must stay with me. Don’t leave now. Just read on!
The Cliff's Notes on Hootsuite.
If you’re not familiar with Hootsuite, I must cover this because the whole God-moment is wrapped up in this issue to follow. I’ll be quick, I promise.
Hootsuite it’s a social media manager where you can schedule out your Tweets, Facebook posts, and that sort of thing, months ahead of time. Some people don’t like it, but I’m telling you, if you write or produce videos like I do for the sake of engaging men spiritually, then something like Hootsuite is critical to your life. It’s an incredible time-saver.
Hootsuite has this “link shrinking” tool whereby you simply put in a link to your website page where the video or article is living, and you “shrink” that link. It becomes an “ow.ly” link. I know you’ve seen that, or maybe a “bit.ly” link, if you’re on Twitter or Facebook. Ow.ly and Bit.ly are the same sort of idea. They are link trackers.
The reason an “ow.ly” link is critical is that Hootsuite tracks performance for you. Meaning, I can take an article or video from my website, post that link to Twitter, Facebook, or an email, and by using the “ow.ly” tracker, I can know exactly how many people read it or watched it.
Ow.ly has changed my life, and my perspective, and I’m not kidding.
For a year or so, I wondered if what I was posting on Twitter or Facebook was actually helping people. I’d see a comment or two, a few Re-Tweets, or a 20 or so “likes” on Facebook, but that was about it.
Until I purchased HootSuite Pro. In the first week, I was stunned.
I’d post an article, and only see 1 or 2 Re-Tweets, but I’d pull up the tracker in Hootsuite Pro, and see that 78 people had read it. I’d pull up another article or video link, and see that 432 people had clicked on the link to watch it; yet, I had no idea that was happening, until I had a device that tracked my results behind the curtain.
Until That Day.
My brother, never, ever forget this simple reality when it comes to serving the Lord and living out your calling: you have no clue how far your work reaches and you never will … until you cross the river.
Just because you are seeing but a mere Re-Tweet of your sermons popping up in life change within your church members, or just because only a few people “like” your new ministry vision, it doesn’t mean that the rest of the people your life touches have tuned you out. Don’t track your work based on what you can see, because God didn’t call you to measure your worth to Him in that way.
You have an “ow.ly” tracker, and it is the God of the universe. He doesn’t measure your analytics on the here and now because He knows better.
One day, you’ll cross the river.
On that day, my brother, you will be stunned at how He used you.
Do. Not. Quit.
Jason Cruise is a published author and speaker.
He hosts Spring Chronicles on Sportsman Channel.
God and Hootsuite is a part of a series entitled, "CALLED."
A post by ministers for ministers appearing quarterly on www.JasonCruise.com