“Jon Watts had been making hip hop records for 5 years before he became convinced of Quakerism. Not that he wasn’t already a member…”
Jon has an excellent blog at Jon Watts Songwriter & Videographer where you can read more of his biography, listen to his music, and watch any number of videos including his recent QuakerSpeak ones. But it was a recent post that touched a nerve in my constant self-questioning of my own existence as writer, blogger and musician. Jon writes:
As Quakers, we make this fundamental, unshakeable distinction: God’s will. My will.
If we are to do the will of God, we must first let go of our own striving, our own willing. And if we are to give over our own willing, how could it ever be in good order for us to reach out for something as vain and creaturely as celebrity?
And he goes on to explain how this played out (pun intended) in his own vocation to music as ministry:
How to Be Humble
(in the Digital Age)
In the age of social media, I would argue that we are all self-promoters. We are all choosing what story to publicize about ourselves (and what stories not to).
In this new environment of constant self-publicizing, I would suggest that the question has moved from if we are self-promoting to why we are self-promoting. Social media can just as easily be a megaphone for spirit-led ministry as it can for our creaturely-attention seeking. What is it that you are publicizing? What do you plan to do with the attention?
I am lucky enough to be out of the spotlight, for the moment. My new job of directing the QuakerSpeak YouTube Channel allows me to shine that spotlight on the ministries of other Friends, and mostly to remain safely behind the curtain.
But I still post on Facebook and Twitter. I still have a YouTube channel. And I still ask myself, every time I post:
What is my primary motivation in posting this?
Is it faithful for me to post this?
Is this post from me or is from God?
What do I plan to do with the attention generated by this post? Will I enjoy it for myself or allow it to be a service to doing God’s work in the world?
And once I feel clear on those questions, I ask these:
Am I holding back because I’m worried about how I will be perceived?
How can I make this bolder and more accessible? How can I reach more people with this message that has come from God?
Do click over and read the whole post – and subscribe to Jon’s blog – it will be time well-spent, promise…