On Being a Message Bearer {for my writing, speaking, ministry leading friends}

Wouldn’t you agree that being a message bearer is no easy thing? It’s a responsibility and calling. It’s a burden and privilege. It is full of blessing and too many trials.

But have you considered how it’s been this way since the very beginning? Oh yes, since the days when Jesus’ followers first step forth to bring the Good News forth to listening ears and longing hearts, being a message bearer meant saying yes to rejections and trials and uncertain futures.

All we have to do is look deeper into Paul’s letters to find the tension points. I suppose we can consider him one of the first message bearers of the Gospel, so he knows this journey better than anyone. His words penned for the Corinthians couldn’t be any more relevant today for us as writers and speakers.

In a time when platform is the thing to achieve and every guru would like to declare how to get there, Paul paints another pathway.

He reminds us that is about God’s story for His glory.

Because it’s about God’s power at work in His plans.

Paul’s call is counter-cultural. Come to think of it, so was Jesus. Didn’t He teach that the first shall be last? Was He not the crucified King? So how do we follow His example today?

As writers and speakers, and as testimony transformed into legacy-leavers, how do we embrace the call to tell His story as it’s manifested in our lives for His glory, without it becoming clouded by impure motives?

Message Bearer Manifesto for Writers, Speakers, and Ministry Leaders

Oh yes, impure motives, that so often emerge from a valid place of need. In the same way Satan baited Eve with a “did God really say” question in the Garden of Eden, he twists our needs into plots of scheming and manipulating to get to our end goal. When we’re in an environment where it appears that “everyone else is doing it that way,” isn’t it that much more tempting?

As writers and speakers and ministry leaders, we are strapped with the decision of how to steward our calling, one the world calls platform.

What is appropriate to charge for services, resources, and products, especially when our ministry is our livelihood? Would anyone in a comparable secular industry expect payment as opposed to giving it away? Is this appropriate to do when the heart of our message is about Jesus? How much should we devote to social media and marketing? How can we reach those we feel God has called us to serve using our gifts and talents, without being misunderstood as trying to sell ourselves?  How do we maintain the balance between financial integrity and irresponsibility? Between trusting the Lord to meet the needs and being foolish with our giftings and resources?

Friend, I don’t have a blanket answer for you. And quite frankly, I’m not looking for a blanket answer from you either. 

We can’t create a master template that fits everyone perfectly. 

It’s a heart-life-stewardship before God matter.

God knows our circumstances and needs. He knows our motives and who we seek to please. If we’re willing to be gut honest with Him, and empty ourselves of our own agenda, I do believe He’ll give us wisdom and discernment we’re looking for. He’ll show us how to run our ministries and go about publishing our books, the way to sell our services and products with integrity, and what is appropriate to expect as compensation when we speak and teach.

If we line our lives up with the principles found in the Word, then the Spirit will lead our calling for His glory.

Friend, I speak this from a place of continually seeking God for His leading, sometimes getting off course, then ultimately bumping into His extravagant grace and kindness. That’s where the Message Bearing Manifesto comes from. In the days prior to a speaking engagement, the matter of platform for Christian writers and speakers hit social media following a tweet from Beth Moore re-capped in this fabulous post.

God is the one that calls us.

Coincidentally, I was part of an ongoing conversation about platform with a group of writer friends in a mastermind group even before that platform convo overtook social media. All this while I was questioning God’s plans for me as a speaker, feeling the tension over the amount of time it takes to prepare, the loss of work time, and the imploding bills (thanks to college tuition due in the middle of tax season).

I was about to throw in the towel, to be honest. And then. I spent the day with the loveliest group of women, and saw evidence of God using my gifting as His message bearer. I was humbled, to say the least.

And yet again, the next morning, I woke up restless, overcome with anxiety over the tension of ministry, work, and family finances.

Where’s the balance, God? How do I serve You and trust You to provide? How do I live ground with Dayenu

The Lord brought me face to face with 2 Corinthians 2-4, and from there, I caught fresh wind in my sails. Because God speaks life through His word. I saw my marching orders to press on in the Lord’s purposes. But to remember those precious instructions, I had to create vision for walking in line with Word. Thus, the Message Bearing Manifesto now hangs prominently above my desk, drawn from the pages of 2 Corinthians 2 -4.

The Message Bearers Manifesto

for writers, speakers, ministry leaders {and legacy leavers}

  1. I believe that the Lord will open the doors of opportunity for me, but that I may also turn down those opportunities if I have no peace of mind. (2 Corinthians 2:12)
  2. I believe that God wants to use me to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume, which will be perceived differently by those who are saved and those who are perishing. (2 Corinthians 2:14-15)
  3. I believe that God is watching how I go about sharing the Gospel with sincerity and Christ’s authority, and I am committed to not becoming like the “hucksters” who preach for personal profit. (2 Corinthians 4:17)
  4. I believe my heart is like a letter from God for others to read through authentic relationships — a letter written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the Living God. (2 Corinthians 3:2-3)
  5. I believe that I am not qualified to do anything on my own, but that my qualification as a message bearer comes from God. (2 Corinthians 3:5)
  6. I believe that God makes me a minister of His new covenant written by Spirit, which is what gives life to others. (2 Corinthians 3:6, 8)
  7. I believe I can be confident and bold in sharing the Gospel, because Christ has removed the veil and softened my hardened heart, making me more like Him, and He will uses as a message bearer through the working of the Holy Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:4, 12-18)
  8. I believe that all I need to do is tell the truth before God, and I don’t need to embrace any shameful deeds, underhanded methods, or try to trick anyone or distort the word of God for any reason as a message bearer. (2 Corinthians 4:1-2)
  9. I believe that Satan, who is god of this world, blinds the minds of those who don’t believe and they are unable to see God’s glory and understand this message about the glory of Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)
  10. I believe that I do not need to go around preaching about myself, but that I am called to preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and I am His servant. (2 Corinthians 4:5)
  11. I believe that I am like a fragile clay jar containing this great treasure of Jesus shining in my heart for other to see the glory of God as it is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.  (2 Corinthians 4:6-7)
  12. I believe that as a message bearer shining the light of Christ, it makes it clear to all that my great power is from God, not myself. (2 Corinthians 4:7)
  13. I believe that as a child of God and message bearer, I will be pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; hunted down, but never abandoned by God; knocked down, but not destroyed; as I suffer for Jesus and experience life in Jesus. (2 Corinthians 4:8)
  14. I believe that I will live under constant danger of death because I serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in my dying body . . . and I want to die well with a testimony of Christ’s work in my life, for the sake of eternal life for those who witness and are called to Jesus. (2 Corinthians 4:11-12).
  15. I believe that I am called to continue to preach with the same kind of faith as the psalmist when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke,” so that God’s grace will reach more and more people, and there will be great thanksgiving and God will receive more and more glory. (2 Corinthians 4:13-16)

God is the one that calls us. He is the one that qualifies us. And He is always the one that provides. Because He wants the glory steeped in His story.

I pray that if you are a kindred message bearer, you’ll find deep hope in knowing the struggle is real, you are not alone, and God has His hand on you as you steward this calling. May you sense His presence, His leading, and be quick yield your heart to Him.


If you would like encouragement and support on this journey of being a message bearer, I’m happy to get in trenches with you. This opportunity is one way I love cheering on message bearers. Grab this free resource for all you need to know about publishing.  Here’s a free checklist if you’re launching a book, and this opportunity may be the perfect fit. Drop me a note if you’d like more information!

Message Bearer Manifesto

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If you're a writer, speaker, or ministry leader in need of encouragement and focus, download this free resource and fix your gaze on the one who calls you to proclaim His message.

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2 Comments
  1. This post is so timely. You have addressed it beautifully! I’ve downloaded it and will print it to hang on my office wall.

    THANK YOU!

    • Kendra, I am so thrilled this was a blessing to you! Praise the Lord!

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