But I know one thing:
I have always felt like an idiot doing it - I've never been comfortable with any aspect of it. Whether that is a personality thing or that I have a sense of it being 'wrong' or 'disobedient' in anyway, I'm not sure. I don't know.
So I've either not done it at all or done it a way I don't like or done it in a way that undermines itself with overly depreciative tones
Though it seems now to be a normal part of having a 21st Century ministry - websites, facebook fan pages, MySpace, street teams, publicity, tours etc. etc. etc.
Whatever I've not been able to reconcile, a lot of other people seem totally OK with.
I know I'm an idealist - I'd greatly prefer others to lift me up; advocates who will believe in me and what I do - and for word of mouth to do any 'promotional' work that needs doing.
And because I see everyone else running ahead and promoting their stuff left, right and centre, I often feel a little left behind - because what I'm doing is not packaged and presented and publicised in the very intentional way others are doing it - my stuff certainly doesn't reach everyone it could - but does it reach everyone that it 'should'? That is the question I cannot answer.
I don't think my problem is a lack of confidence or self confidence, in fact if anything the opposite is the problem - it is more likely pride than an absence of self belief. (I pretty much believe my songs to be as good as anyone else's - no existential angst here!).
Also my problem isn't that I am so very humble that I don't promote myself - I guess true humility wouldn't think about it all, and certainly wouldn't be writing this blog post.
My problem is that I don't like promoting myself, not one bit.
In thinking and wrestling this I've found two verses that have really helped
He must become greater; I must become less. (John 3:30)
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7)
So I want your help and thoughts. Self promotion, do you think it is:
Good - a normal, natural thing. Highlighting the good things God has given us and offering them up to the wider Church in order that it may be blessed.
Bad - an unnatural, ungodly approach. Full of pride, self interest and ultimately harmful for the Church and an unhealthy distraction - even as far as creating idols of people and their gifts.
Ugly - there is nothing 'wrong' with it but it is a little tasteless and crass.
all your comments are greatly appreciated - I'd love to have a good discussion on this issue...