Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more
than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus
throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.
In the weeks leading up to my book launch, a friend of mine shared a message with me that she said came from God. “Go big!”
“What does that mean?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” she answered. “That’s all I heard.”
I take orders from God seriously, and my friend is reliable. If she says God told her to tell me something, I believe He did. (I even wrote a chapter on listening for God’s voice through other Christians.) But what exactly did God mean?
I wrote Are You Listening? for three groups of people: those who have hit a wall in their faith journey, those who don’t take time to acknowledge God daily, and those who live out their faith in their heads rather than their hearts. Though this covers a rather large group, most of the people who fall into one of these categories would not be actively looking for a book to change their situation because they probably don’t recognize their situation as problematic. Therefore, my potential audience was limited. How could I go big if the pool of potential readers was small?
In addition, Are You Listening? is a short book. It has only 146 pages. I didn’t know how thin it was until my author copy arrived in the mail. Then I wondered if pages were missing—but they weren’t. How was I supposed to go big with such a little book?
I’m not famous. I don’t have a huge platform. Nor do I have an assistant or an agent. It’s just me. How do I go big with that???
The apostles may have asked themselves a similar question.
Both Mark and Matthew write about the time a crowd followed Jesus to a desolate place where he had compassion on them and healed the sick. When evening came, his disciples came to Jesus and advised him to send the crowd into the villages to buy food. Jesus answered, “You give them something to eat” (Mark 6:37).
I can imagine Peter saying, “How are we supposed to do that?” No disciple is named in Mark’s account, but someone does ask (rather sarcastically I might add), “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?”
Jesus responds with a question. “How many loaves do you have?” (Mark 6:38) The disciples had five loaves and two fish. They were not empty-handed. They had something to contribute. Jesus took what little they had, multiplied it, and fed five thousand men and their families.
I, too, had something to contribute.
I had a small book, faithful email subscribers, and twelve-thousand followers on Instagram. I took what I had and offered it to God.
My small book launch team willingly shared quotes from Are You Listening? with their friends and family. I sent multiple emails to my subscribers asking for their support by making a purchase on a specific day. I bumped up my number of Instagram posts and boldly asked my followers to purchase the book. I went big with what I had and, faithfully, God multiplied my efforts.
Not only did my following increase, but people with larger platforms than mine approached me when they learned I had a new book coming out and asked how they could help share the news. People came to ME asking how THEY could help!
Sales for Are You Listening? spiked, driving it to the number one spot on Amazon for New Releases in two categories. Though it didn’t stay on top for long, it remains in the top 100 for those two categories: Religious Faith and Christian Faith.
Last Friday, my Instagram following was stuck at 14.9K. That is an impressive number, but I dared to ask for more. “God,” I prayed, “could you make it an even 15K by next Sunday’s book launch?”
God didn’t wait till “next Sunday.” Two days after my request, my following hit 16.1K. Instead of a hundred extra followers, God gave me a thousand.
I am reminded of Ruth from the book of the Bible that bears her name. In a manner of days, she went from being a poor widow gleaning the owner’s field to becoming the owner of that field. How is that possible? “With God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). God is able when we are not, and he can turn things around quicker than we ever could.
God may have called me to “go big” because my book was launching, but I think he calls each one of us to go big for him every day. What are you holding back that you could bring to the table?
THE SONG THAT COMES TO MIND is More than Able by Elevation Worship.
Favorite lyric: “And can you imagine, with all the faith in the room, what the Lord can do? It’s gonna happen. Just let the Way Maker through.”