I have used these four questions in my own life to help gauge my motives within the context of my own ministry settings:
1. Is how I present myself publicly consistent with who I am privately?
The physical signs of the covenants of God are external expressions of a person’s personal relationship with God. As a New Testament believer, my actions are the expressions of the inward change Christ has made in me. Therefore, the person I present to the world should be consistent with who I am in my walk with Christ. When these two are not cohesive, I know I need to make a change.
2. Am I looking to be sent or to be seen?
When John the Baptist proclaimed the coming of God’s kingdom on earth, he developed a following of disciples. However, John recognized God’s ultimate purpose for him was to prepare the path for the One who was to come after him (Mark 1:7). When Jesus began his ministry, John recognized the necessity for Christ to increase and for him to decrease (John 3:30). This realization led John to urge his disciples to leave him and follow Jesus. We can learn from John’s humility as leaders within the body of believers. If there is a time when the focus becomes too much on us as messengers rather than Christ as our sender, a resignation of control may be necessary. When we are sent into the world to bring the Good News, it’s the message of Christ that brings life. Prayerful consideration of every ministry opportunity has helped me examine my attitude and motives when proclaiming the message to expand the kingdom.
3. Am I looking for an audience or for engagement?
My original purpose to connect on Facebook ten years ago was to reach the students within my church ministry in a greater capacity. Now, as I interact on Twitter and Instagram, I sometimes am distracted by the number of followers I do or do not have. In these moments, I find it helpful to look at the reason I started engaging in social media. In John 15:12–15, Jesus discusses the importance of love and friendship. If our core interest is kingdom building and development, the way we engage with others should reflect these values. God has given us amazing ways to minister to a particular group of people. Social media allows us to connect to our niche environment. If your story and background allow you to best reach single mothers, God may desire for you to reach more women through an online presence than through the work you are doing at your local church alone. The most important thing is for us to focus on what God asks us to do, rather than simply try to make a name for ourselves.