Rebeca Seitz

Rebeca Seitz is president of Glass Road Public Relations, a firm representing works of entertainment created from a Christian worldview. She is the author of five published novels and served as the first dedicated fiction publicist for Thomas Nelson Publishers. Learn more at

Christian Self-Promotion

I’m often asked, “How does a Christian justify self-promotion? Aren’t we supposed to die to self and be all about others? What about that verse in Proverbs where we’re told to let others praise us and not praise ourselves?”

First, I love that these Christian writers are committed enough in their walks with Christ to even consider this conundrum. It shows a maturity of faith to spend time discerning how faith plays out in the writing career. These are usually the kinds of authors I thoroughly enjoy representing because they have no “diva” attitude. Humble authors are a delight to work with.

That being said, I believe a fundamental misunderstanding of ownership lies at the heart of the dilemma. When someone comes to Christ, he/she forsakes all in order to come under His Lordship. Think of a servant in a royal household. Are the clothes on the servant’s back owned by the servant, or provided by the master? The food that the servant eats, is it a possession of the servant? If the servant is granted time by the master to, say, pen a treatise on serving with humility, is that treatise the master’s, or the servant’s? If the servant is called to the master’s chamber to sing or perform a role, who owns that production? In Christianity, it is all the Master’s. Everything is done for love of the Master, and anything produced at His direction is His, not only because it is created with talents on loan from Him, but also because the servant’s heart seeks only the Master’s glorification.

So it is with Christian authors and artists. Everything we are, all we do is not ours. It comes from and returns to Him. So, if we accept that anything we have is His, then we can see that publicizing our books/movies/music does not bring us glory; rather, it brings Him glory. After all, it isn’t our books we’re promoting but His. (It is important to note that these should have been written and produced with excellence so as to be a reflection of Him.)

It’s the fundamental understanding of possession. A heart whose only possession is love of Christ says to the world, “Look! Look at this incredible thing He did.” A heart of self-love says, “Look! Look what I did!”

Now, I know some will say, “Um, Rebeca, that’s nice and all, but if I tell someone who isn’t a Christian that my book isn’t mine but God’s, I’ll lose them right off the bat.” Yep, maybe, which is why a Christian perspective on publicity is so vital to the Christian author and artist. There’s a delicate balance to being wise as a serpent, yet gentle as a dove (as Jesus directs in Matthew 10:16).

In the world of publicity, wisdom is taking stock of the culture in which we’ve been placed. How does it work? What makes it function? What are the paradigms at play? Gentleness comes from utilizing those answers within an underlying current of love for God and for fellow man. For example, our culture learns of entertainment-oriented products (novels, movies, music) through celebrity. We’re not told of the latest thriller, we’re told Stephen King has released a new novel. We don’t see a producer hitting the morning talk show circuit to promote his/her latest movie (with the exception of James Cameron, who has made himself a celebrity by being the only producer in the world to have two movies gross over a billion dollars, one of which has no human actors in it to make the promo circuit). Instead, we see Julia Roberts or George Clooney or Meryl Streep discussing the movies in which they star. The celebrity’s name is enough to “sell” us on the product. Wise Christians engaging in publicity take stock of the culture and recognize this paradigm at play.

We then ask ourselves, “How does that work from a Christian worldview? In a culture that glorifies self to sell product, how do I get my Master’s product into their hands when they don’t consider the Master a celebrity? When they glorify a human but not the One who created the human?” The answer, of course, is to ensure the human glorifies the Master. If the human’s identity—behavior, words, actions, being—serves as a giant arrow to the Creator, then bringing the world’s attention to the human ultimately ends up bringing attention to the Creator.

It’s easy to see this at play in other religions. When I write the name Tom Cruise, do you think Scientology? When I write the name Richard Gere, do you think Buddhism? When we embrace our faith with every facet of our being, we become representatives of that faith (which should give us all pause—what a responsibility!).

So, be encouraged, Christian author. Be of good cheer, Christian artist. Work diligently to create something of excellence that glorifies the Father in heaven. And then, determine to use that product to bring ultimate attention to Him. He knows your heart, of course. He knows if your goal is to share truth or build self. Rest in that knowledge.