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Your Digital Pastor - Dr. Marcus Cylar

Your Digital Pastor - Dr. Marcus Cylar

By Marcus, Your Digital Pastor
Welcome to the Your Digital Pastor Podcast, where church communications consultant, Dr. Marcus Cylar, delivers daily devotions to encourage you on your journey and weekly insights that equip pastors and their churches with tools and tactics for more effective digital ministry. If you’re a lead pastor, executive pastor, communications director, or media director looking for strategies and conceptual insights, informed by culture and current events, to help you take your digital ministry efforts to the next level, this is the podcast for you!
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043: Let’s retire the word “virtual”
We’re in the middle of a global pandemic, and everything we do now has the word “virtual” attached to it. I’m sick of it. Give me these 8 minutes and I will compel you to never use the word again! Need communications help? Holler at me: #YourDigitalPastor
October 26, 2020
042: Identifying and maximizing content opportunities
I talked previously about “content opportunities”. I want to put some flesh on that with some insights to help ministries preach the gospel more effectively. Taking advantage of content opportunities simply means looking at everything you do as content. Need communications help? Holler at me: #YourDigitalPastor
October 21, 2020
041: Shortening the distance between idea and execution
You wouldn’t believe how much content I’ve produced that I’ve never published. As a #digitalministry specialist, stewarding the greatest story that’s ever been told, I need to stop doing that. Shortening the distance between idea and execution puts your ministry in the frame of mind necessary to behave like a media company. Such a mindset is vital to success in this #digitalministry landscape in 2020 and beyond. When you begin thinking like a media company, you start finding content opportunities everywhere, in everything. And when you’ve set your heart and mind on identifying those opportunities as often as possible, you become a better storyteller. That’s why tools like voice tweets are so important. These allow us to get out our ideas much quicker and flesh things out so, again, our minds are freed up to produce great, kingdom-impacting work. This episode is brought to you courtesy of Twitter voice! 💪🏾 Need communications help? Holler at me: #YourDigitalPastor
October 20, 2020
040: Communication, presence, and progress
Communication is as much what you do, don’t do, and don’t say as much as it is what you say. Presence is as much a heart posture as it is a physical location. Progress: What have you dragged your feet on in the past? What have you been slow to understand? Stay woke. But let’s do so with the mind of Christ. Especially in this season. Need communications help? Holler at me: #YourDigitalPastor
June 13, 2020
Bonus: #BlackOutTuesday: Under the microscope
#BlackOutTuesday was supposed to be about amplification. We do the opposite of that, though, when we needlessly evaluate people’s personal lives as the basis for discrediting their contributions. Let’s stop that. Need communications help? Holler at me: #YourDigitalPastor
June 02, 2020
039: Now is not the time for social distancing
I promise this is not what you think it is. Give it a listen. Either you’re with us or you’re not; there’s no gray area anymore. The love of Christ dictates as such. Need communications help? Holler at me: #YourDigitalPastor
May 30, 2020
038: COVID-19 and the new importance of daily impact
Just a few thoughts — The successful ministry in this new paradigm is not the one who will have the most powerful Sunday experience, but will be the one who will create engaging, God-glorifying content on a daily basis. Churches in this season will best show up online as their own networks.
April 18, 2020
037: 6 content ideas to connect your church beyond the sermon
1 - Morning prayer and devotion (at least five days a week) 2 - Podcast (perspective from the pastor on a relevant topic) 3 - Mass text of encouragement (can be six days/week) 4 - 30-60 minutes of live Q&A on FB/IG Live (or you could teach first and then “hang out” for a while) 5 - Robocall (alternate day of the week and time so it’s always unexpected) 6 - Blog post (some do a “From the Pastor’s Pen” bulletin style, but honestly, it’s sometimes mailed in; actually take it seriously and do it on a different day of the week) Let’s talk about this! Holler at me and let me know your thoughts. Which of these will you implement in your church’s content strategy? Digital is going to be our new norm for a while, so I want to take the lead on how we need to be thinking about and executing on digital so we can reach more people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Need communications help? Holler at me: [You can actually DM me as well for the time being...all my websites got hacked and therefore I’m in the middle of transition. 😩]
April 04, 2020
036: COVID-19: 6 characteristics of digital-first experiences
Digital is uniquely: 1 - Personal (can create 1 to 1 impact out of 1 to many encounters) 2 - Ubiquitous (can experience the event anywhere) 3 - Shareable (can send a link and allow others to tap in) 4 - Asynchronous (can consume in your own time) 5 - Passive (can engage even while doing other things) 6 - Collaborative (can see the thoughts of others you ordinarily may not know in person) Let’s talk about this! Holler at me and let me know your thoughts. Because of #COVID_19, digital only is going to be our new norm for a while, so I want to take the lead on how we need to be thinking about digital so we can reach more people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. [I’ll be adding to these show notes with links to the aforementioned content from Brian Fanzo when I get a chance to circle back to it.] Need communications help? Holler at me: [actually, DM me for the time being...all my websites got hacked 😩]
March 28, 2020
035: Fighting for your passion when your dreams don’t come true
Some churches were on the forefront of the digital ministry trend, others were later adopters, and yet many more have come to #onlinechurch kicking and screaming over the past few weeks. Those are the churches I want to help in this season. It pains me to no end that in this ever treacherous season, in these most perilous times, when the global pandemic of COVID-19 has brought us to our knees and relegated us to our own homes, I am not on the #churchcommunications front lines. At the hour when my gifts and passions are needed most, I am not currently a daily church communicator. It hurts. Badly. But even though my current occupation is different from what I prepared for, I know I still have gifts and talents within me that I can use to help churches, especially well-meaning but inexperienced ones, navigate this ever-changing digital ministry landscape. And I plan to do just that. Even if I must do it for free. I have resolved to start sharing simple church communications tips, in video form, every single day (prayerfully) for the time being so I can help ministries show up best online and preach the gospel at this hour when the world needs the good news of Jesus Christ most. That’s what this episode is about. It was designed to be an IGTV post, but it’s not letting me post it the way I want to, so I turned it into a well-overdue podcast episode. If you want to skip the backstory and go straight to the actionable content, feel free to fast forward through the first nine minutes. God bless! Need communications help? Holler at me: #YourDigitalPastor
March 21, 2020
034: This is the XFL: A story of rebranding, reinvention, and redemption
Because of what I’ve been through in my own life, I am fascinated with redemption and reinvention stories. The 2020 reiteration of the XFL is such a story, and I’m here for it. I promise if you give this a full listen, the value is there. Need communications help? Holler at me: #YourDigitalPastor
February 10, 2020
033: A shrewd QR code marketing strategy you’ve probably never used before
On this episode, I talk with one of my very best friends, Chris Preston (, host of the podcast “Where Did I Park?” ( about a truly innovative idea utilizing a QR code in a way you’ve probably never heard of to market his podcast. Trust me, you’ll want to listen to this one! Scripture: Luke 9:49-50
January 13, 2020
032: 5 ways to add value when you have nothing to say, pt.2
A continuation of the throwback clips I shared previously as background, I reflect on what was happening at the time of those recordings and connect them to the concept of being able to add value on social media when you’re going through personal matters and it would be much easier just to shut it down. There are five key ways we can still have a social media presence when it seems we really don’t have much to say. We do so by becoming a: 1 - Master engager: leaving comments on other people’s stuff, whether you’re saying something of value that others can learn from or you’re encouraging either the content creator or someone else in those comments 2 - Master cheerleader: even if nothing you feel is noteworthy is going on in you’re life, you can still bless people by the way you’re able to celebrate the great things others are doing 3 - Master curator: sharing articles, gems from podcast episodes; I’ve added podcasts and blogs to my repertoire because of the recommendations of others 4 - Master resource person: tools, account to follow 5 - Master learner/reporter: What books are you reading? What courses are you taking? Do you have something useful to say about those? Need communications help? Holler at me: #YourDigitalPastor
January 01, 2020
031: 5 ways to add value when you have nothing to say, pt.1
Scripture: 1 Peter 5: 6-11 Tool: Speechify app Before getting into the points, I wanted to take a look back to two pieces of content I made—both of which have shown up on past episodes of the pod—about things I went through while I was in the middle of a multi-year storm that wrapped up (thankfully) in 2019 and what I learned in the process. I’m using these throwbacks to set the conceptual stage for what we’ll discuss in the next episode, coming very shortly. The holiday season is rough for some of us for a number of reasons, and I want to meet those of you for whom this applies right where you are and give you a late Christmas gift to empower you and take you into 2020 victoriously. Need communications help? Holler at me: #YourDigitalPastor
December 28, 2019
030: You began your #GivingTuesday campaign too late: 5 reasons why
1 - People don’t have to be compelled to spend, but they do need to be compelled to give 2 - We are compelled by stories and It takes time for us to connect to the stories of others 3 - You didn’t take advantage of extra time to bring more exposure to your ministry, organization 4 - You squandered an opportunity to distinguish yourself from others 5 - You missed an easy chance to create regular content Scripture: Philippians 4:8 Tool: Tweet thread analyzing the controversial Pelaton commercial from a copyrighting standpoint: Need communications help? Holler at me: #YourDigitalPastor
December 08, 2019
029: The #BlackFriday edition - Why brand is king
TL;DR (DL): People won’t care about what you do until they connect with who you are. I connect a few ideas and resources together to arrive at this key takeaway for business, #churchcomm, ministry as a whole, and interpersonal relationships. Links mentioned: Web Smith on Twitter: 2PM: Gary Vaynerchuk: Need communications help? Holler at me: #YourDigitalPastor
November 30, 2019
028: 5 types of video seminaries should be creating
Types of video seminaries should be creating 1️⃣ Testimonial videos 2️⃣ Live event video (chapel, commencement, conferences, presentations, convocations, work not on campus but in the community) 3️⃣ A recorded webinar for prospective students (one specific to each academic program offered) 4️⃣ Classroom moments 5️⃣ Daily 1-min devotional videos or live morning meditation (preferably from the President or spread it around between President, VP(s), faculty, staff, sometimes students) Scripture: Luke 17:7-10 MSG Tool: AudioMaster app - $4.99/quarter Need communications help? Holler at me:
November 05, 2019
027: 5 types of content seminaries should be producing
1️⃣ COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT - In every seminary community, which comprises, at minimum, current students, faculty, staff, and alumni, there is a treasure chest of stories to be shared, either of what those seminary family members are doing presently or of the difference the seminary has made in their lives. An institution’s social media team should collect as many of these stories as possible and post them frequently. 2️⃣ BEHIND THE SCENES: IN THE CLASSROOM - What is it like to actually take a course at your school? I remember having some fascinating and oftentimes spirited conversations in my classes during my seminary years, and I can only imagine what kind of online discussion could have been sparked had clips on any of those discussions been posted on social media. Instant engagement right here! 3️⃣ PRESIDENT’S PERSPECTIVE - Among the many hats a seminary president should wear is that of content producer. He or she should have a blog, vlog, podcast, or at least a bi-monthly newsletter where he/she shares perspectives and advances thought leadership on issues of relevance to the Christian community, thereby raising the profile and prophetic witness of the seminary as a whole. 4️⃣ CAMPUS LIFE/IN THE COMMUNITY - Prospective students should not only get a taste what it’s like to take a class at their potential school, but they should also get a glimpse of what being a student on that campus looks like. If the seminary is a commuter school, the focus with this type of content would be less on campus life and more on the programs or projects the seminary taking place in its surrounding community. 5️⃣ CURRENT SCHOLARSHIP - One really good and collaborative way to advance the thought leadership of the seminary would be to discuss the current research of its students and faculty. Prospective students and potential donors could be attracted to the difference-making academic work taking place in the seminary community and want to be a part of it. With these types of content and others I’ll be discussing over time, a seminary should never struggle to find engaging content to share. Scripture: Isaiah 61; Luke 4:16-21 Tool: Prayer of Examen app from Fuller Studio - Need communications help? Holler at me: #YourDigitalPastor
October 29, 2019
Bonus: Kanye’s “Jesus is King” and the “Huffington Post Disease”
I had some thoughts this evening about the effect of social media on the public sentiment toward Kanye West’s initial gospel offering. #YourDigitalPastor Need communications help? Holler at me:
October 26, 2019
026: 5 fundamental principles of #churchcomm
026: The 5 fundamental principles of #churchcomm This week’s topic was inspired by @bradyshearer and the #ProChurchTools #podcast. That is to say these principles aren’t original thoughts of mine, but the presentation of them in this way was birthed out of a church communications workshop for a certificate program I was blessed to facilitate in 2018 at my alma mater, @ashlandseminary. The format of the workshop was to present a fictional scenario based on a pressing issue in the local church and then break off into groups to discuss. I was fully prepared to lead the workshop based on this format, but when the professor and director of the program asked me to talk about who I am and the work I do in church communications, I came off the dome with five quick points. It wasn’t until I wrote these points down on the whiteboard that I realized I was simply repeating what Brady and @alexandermills talk about on the podcast all the time. To be able to teach church communications in seminary—my dream—you have to have a theoretical framework to operate off of, a set of principles that will continue to apply even as the communications technology changes. These principles I believe fit that bill. 1️⃣ SEIZE THE 167. Out of the 168 hours of our week, the typical believer only spends one of those hours at a weekly gathering (2-3 hours in most black churches 😂). We’re doing our ministries a disservice to focus so much of our attention, programming, and messaging on Sunday, while allowing every other entity to dominate the attention zeitgeist the rest of the week. 2️⃣ WE’RE TELLING THE GREATEST STORY THAT’S EVER BEEN TOLD. If we truly believe the gospel is indeed the greatest story, then we need to be relentless in researching, testing, and developing creative strategies to tell that story. Our story is too important to be romantic about tools and tactics that we used to love that are no longer relevant or effective. 3️⃣ WE’RE EXPERIENCING THE GREATEST COMMUNICATIONS SHIFT IN 500 YEARS. Much in the same way that the printing press made print available to the masses, not just the elite, the internet has democratized the distribution of media, effectively removing the gatekeepers and allowing anyone with a message to have their message heard. the only thing holding us back today is our willingness to use the communications channels available to us and how creative and effective we are in using them. 4️⃣ THE GREATEST COMMODITY A CHURCH CAN POSSESS IS ATTENTION. Far more than money, facilities, a strong worship team, and dynamic preaching, attention is a ministry’s most vital asset, for it is with that attention that we will have the opening we need to preach the gospel and tell this greatest story ever. We must take the approach and pursue anything short of sin to get people’s attention and reach them with the gospel. 5️⃣ THE BEST WAY TO GRAB ATTENTION IS THROUGH STORY. Stories grab attention, stories compel, stories spark action. That’s why Jesus used them so frequently to teach heavenly principles. He used parables constantly to communicate what He needed people to understand so they could make different decisions regarding their thinking or lifestyles. Those stories changed lives. And we have the opportunity to do the same. Scripture of the Week: Mark 4:35-41 Tool of the Week: FOMO Fanz Podcast - Brian Fanzo (@isocialfanz on all platforms) Need communications help? Holler at me:
October 21, 2019
025: 5 reasons #churchcomm should be taught in seminary
This week, I’m sharing my #topfive reasons seminaries should offer church communications education. 1 - Just like pastors and seminary professors, church communicators are stewards of the greatest story that has ever been told. To be a good steward over something, you must be trained to handle it. While seminary is not the only place for training, it is definitely beneficial to be undergirded with theological training. You’re so much more than a flyer maker; you’re a minister of the gospel, and being trained as such can only help you do your job better. 2 - Receiving at least some of the same training a pastor receives can help the communicator and pastor get on the same page. On the flip side, offering at least a church communications survey course can help one preparing for pastoral ministry to see things from the eyes of the communicator. Not seeing eye to eye with the senior leader is one of the biggest pain points for church communicators, and seminary churchcomm instruction could help mitigate that. 3 - The Director of Communications is increasingly becoming a senior-level position in strategy, weight, and responsibility (or at least it should be). The communicator should therefore have theological training that is on par with senior religious leaders. One functioning in this role is best served when he/she has the trust of the senior leader and is granted some level of authority over strategic decisions regarding how the mission and vision of the ministry are communicated and the day-to-day execution thereof. If pastor and communicator are receiving at least somewhat similar training, then perhaps that trust will be granted. 4 - Offering church communications training can shorten the learning curve for a communicator just starting out. You hear many stories about communicators accidentally finding themselves in that role because they were young or because they were working with youth and the role was placed upon them, and they therefore had to learn on the job. Of course, communications is changing all the time, especially on the digital side, but establishing a standard baseline of training can provide a solid body of knowledge the communicator can start with and build from. 5 - Communicators can find themselves in pastoral roles through community management or responding to social media mentions, comments, DMs, and emails. Having at least some pastoral training would allow you speak with a pastoral voice or perhaps even gain enough trust and buy-in from your pastor to speak on behalf of the ministry when you’re engaging others online. Scripture of the week: Mark 14:32-35 Tool of the week: My Twitter list - Seminaries Connect with me or subscribe to the list @pastorcylar Need communications help? Holler at me:
October 14, 2019
024: 5 Seminaries killing it digitally in 2019
One very important aspect of church communications that is never discussed is the communications efforts of the institutions responsible for equipping the leaders of the church. I am uniquely qualified to provide value on this subject. In this 4th quarter of 2019 (and beyond, prayerfully), I’m taking a chance on myself (more on this later) and doubling down on what I’m called to do and what I’m passionate about. I’m going to create much more content on #churchcomm this quarter with a heavy emphasis on (1) how seminaries are (and could/should be) using digital media and (2) building a case for church communications education in seminaries everywhere. On this episode of the podcast, I present my top five seminaries killing it digitally in 2019. Here they are: 1: Princeton Theological Seminary - IG: @princetonseminary; Twitter: @ptseminary 2: Southern Baptist Theological Seminary - IG: @southernseminary; Twitter: @SBTS 3: Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary - IG: @midwesternseminary, Twitter: @MBTS 4: Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary - IG, Twitter @SEBTS 5: Fuller Theological Seminary - IG, Twitter: @fullerseminary Honorable mention: Harvard Divinity School - IG, Twitter: @harvarddivinity Dallas Theological Seminary - IG, Twitter: @dallasseminary Two key takeaways: (1) These institutions have been standouts for me online either (a) because of the quality and volume of content they create, (b) the way they make use of their scholarship, (c) how they engage their followers, or (d) the way they emphasize their students and alumni more than themselves. Every theological institution ought to be emulating these qualities online and offline for the growth their school and, more importantly, for the glory of God. (2) Every seminary needs the following to increase its digital footprint and grow its enrollment and impact: (a) a content publishing hub, above and beyond its website and online/on-campus curriculum; (b) a weekly live or audio/video broadcasted chapel service; (c) a framework for sharing the stories of its students, faculty, alumni, and community. Scripture of the week: 1 Chronicles 12:32 Tool of the week: Linq - digital business cards Need communications help? Holler at me: #YourDigitalPastor
October 07, 2019
023: #LeadingFromTheBottom: How to add value when you don’t know the answer
#LeadingFromTheBottom is me distilling the many leadership lessons I’ve learned from this season of my professional life. In this episode, I talk about how you can still lead and be of value as a go-to person, even when you don’t know the answer. I pray what I’m sharing is a nugget of wisdom you’ll be able to use in your own life and ministry. #YourDigitalPastor
July 01, 2019
YDPshort007: Pray for your boy + the power of playlists for your life and ministry
February 2019 has been a crucial month in the history of my life, crucial for my future and for everything God has for me. This last week of the month is critically important to seal the work that has already been done. I’m therefore asking for you to agree with me in prayer. This month was so important that I had to get my mind and spirit right, and I did so by (a) shutting down all my social media (except LinkedIn) and (b) creating a playlist that reflects my heart and mind during this season of my life and what I need(ed) God to do for me this month. This is the music I’ve been listening to throughout this month; you should hear a theme emerge. If you’re praying with me, I invite you to follow along with me and add the playlist to your library. I pray it blesses you. I also discussed how creating playlists on your music service of choice and be a highly effective content play for your ministry. #YourDigitalPastor “No Choice But Victory” Playlist Spotify: Apple Music:
February 25, 2019
YDPshort006: Involving more people in the content-production process
Something special ESPN college basketball is doing to involve fans in its live coverage is incredibly smart and creative and reflects something pastors and their church communications pros need to be doing as well. #YourDigitalPastor Website: Portfolio:
February 11, 2019
YDPshort005: Apple vs. Everybody and why it’s important to be everywhere on social media
It took me ten seconds of looking around this Starbucks I’m working at today to realize that Apple gets you one way or another, and that’s why they’ve dominated the 21st century thus far. I share what this domination has to do with the concept of being everywhere on social media. #YourDigitalPastor Website: Portfolio:
February 08, 2019
YDPshort004: Super Bowl ads: What message would you convey with all that attention?
If you had $5.25M for a Super Bowl ad, how would you use those 30 seconds and how would doing so build the kingdom? #YourDigitalPastor Website: Portfolio:
February 04, 2019
YDPshort003: Enhancing your ministry communications through Facebook Messenger bots
On this first day of Black History Month, I share a memory from high school that makes me think about how effective Facebook Messenger bots can be for bolstering your church’s marketing and outreach efforts. If you’re compelled to get started with this, holler at your boy and I can help you get started! #YourDigitalPastor Website: Portfolio:
February 01, 2019
YDPshort002: Life & leadership lessons from the NFL postseason
Yes, the New Orleans Saints got screwed royally. Yes, the could’ve been more resilient in the face of controversy. But there are other points and lessons on life and leadership here that haven’t been talked about that are worthy of discussion here. I also add a key takeaway from the Patriots dynasty that I’m not sure has ever been considered. Website: Portfolio: #YourDigitalPastor
January 26, 2019
YDPshort001: To free or not to free? That is the question!
Many ministries make their sermons available through podcasting and building a presence on YouTube. Many others make them available for purchase. While I understand why others do the latter, I do not believe it’s the best way to accomplish your ministry goals in 2019 and beyond. In this first installment of the YDP short, I discuss why as I answer the question: “To free or not to free”? Website: Portfolio: #YourDigitalPastor
January 16, 2019
022: My 2018 #bestnine: The power of shaping your own narrative
2018 was the best and worst of times for your boy, but I did some things this year that will set me up for the rest of my life, and for that I’m grateful. In this brief break from hiatus episode, I reflect on what those things were, share my I consider them my #bestnine of the year, and discuss why I suggest you engage in the same reflective exercise before you go any further into 2019. Devotion: Ezekiel 20 - For the sake of his name... Tool: The For Immediate Release Podcast Moment of Inspiration: One percent better everyday Website: Portfolio: #YourDigitalPastor
January 03, 2019
Devotion20180921: Galatians 6:10 MSG
The road to destiny is not always easy; in fact, it’s long and quite difficult. In long and difficult situations, it’s good to look for the quick win. This verse lets us know the quickest win possible in kingdom living.
September 22, 2018
Devotion20180920: Hebrews 13:8 MSG
This one is a slippery slope, so let’s just say this: Leaders and lay should be held to the same set of standards concerning how we live our lives. Peterson said it best here: “There should be a consistency that runs through us ALL” (emphasis mine).
September 20, 2018
Devotion20180919: Matthew 6:34 MSG
What better advice can we receive than to focus our entire attention to what God is doing right now? How much better would our lives be if we followed that advice and not allowed ourselves to get caught up in the minutiae of a future we don’t know, as opposed to a present we do know.
September 19, 2018
Devotion20180918: Proverbs 27:5-6 MSG
A little bit of negativity for a positive purpose is far better than faux positivity. We therefore can’t be so quick to gravitate to those who just tell us what we want to hear all the time because they may have no intention on helping us grow.
September 18, 2018
Devotion20180917: Isaiah 40:29 MSG
Devotion: Isaiah 40:29 MSG
September 17, 2018
Devotion20180916: Psalms 18:30 MSG
Devotion: Psalms 18:30 MSG
September 17, 2018
Devotion20180915: John 7:38 NASB
Devotion: John 7:38 NASB
September 17, 2018
Devotion20180914: Psalms 73:26 NASB
Devotion20180914: Psalms 73:26 NASB
September 17, 2018
Devotion20180913: Colossians 3:2 NASB
Devotion: Colossians 3:2 NASB
September 17, 2018
Devotion20180912: Ephesians 6:10 NASB
Devotion: Ephesians 6:10 NASB
September 17, 2018
Devotion20190911: 1 Chronicles 16:11 NASB
Devotion: 1 Chronicles 16:11 NASB
September 17, 2018
Devotion20180910: Psalms 16:8 NASB
None of us are going to literally think about God 24/7. We’re not that deep. But if we constantly keep God before us, that just means we’re consistently living a life that’s pleasing to God, and we’re conscious of the decisions we’re making that bear that out.
September 10, 2018
Devotion20180909: Psalms 34:8 NASB
Tasting and seeing—the fullness of a true relationship with God is a multifaceted experience.
September 10, 2018
021: Launching your book to maximize ministry impact
021: Launching your book to maximize ministry impact Devotion: Isaiah 26:4 CEV Tool of the Week: Twitter’s audio-only Go Live feature Feature Presentation: Interview with Pastor Kellen Brooks Moments of inspiration: Multiple sources of measurement
September 09, 2018
Devotion20180907: Ecclesiastes 3:14 CEV
No amount of money, power, fame, or position will ever help us escape the fact that God always has been and always will be in control. The sooner we come to that realization, the happier and more content we will be.
September 07, 2018
Devotion20180906: 2 Thessalonians 3:5 CEV
There’s no mystery as to what is required of us to live a life that is pleasing to God. The difficulty is in the execution thereof, and that’s where prayer comes in.
September 06, 2018
Devotion20180905: 2 Corinthians 4:18 CEV
In this Christian journey, that which is not seen lasts far longer than that which is seen. With that in mind, let us all consider this question: If the whole internet were to break down today and we couldn’t edit our lives anymore, would we be able to deal with our unedited selves? What would we then be compelled to work on?
September 05, 2018
Devotion20180904: Proverbs 17:22 CEV
As much as we have agency over how we feel emotionally, we have the ability to set the tone for how we feel physically.
September 04, 2018
Devotion20180903: Psalms 28:7 CEV
Allow the Lord—not your own understanding, intelligence, connections, resources, or even other people—to be your shield.
September 03, 2018
Devotion20180902: Romans 12:12 CEV
There’s something powerful about *never* stopping, especially in prayer.
September 03, 2018
Devotion20180901: 1 Corinthians 1:10 CEV
Imagine where we could be as the body of Christ if we could finally start operating in agreement like the first-century believers did when thousands were being added to the faith daily.
September 03, 2018
Devotion20180831: Hebrews 12:1 NRSV
We have the power to defeat the attack of the enemy in our lives. As the writer of Hebrews reminds us, others have done it, so we can, too.
September 03, 2018
Devotion20180830: Psalms 46:1 NRSV
Trouble may very well be the context in which we’re most familiar with God. We often find ourselves in times of trouble because we’re walking with God. Our obedience will often land us in compromising situations, but that’s where faith comes in. We have to believe the trouble we find ourselves in is temporary and that God is our refuge, strength, and very present help in the midst of it.
August 30, 2018
Devotion20180829: Psalms 27:14 NRSV
Waiting on the Lord is not easy. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you and to themselves. It’s hard because we so desperately want our plan to be God’s plan, rather than discerning God’s plan and lining up with that. The “let your heart take courage” piece is key here because we’re fearful of things not working the way we want them to, but if we can press past that fear and disappointment, we can be blessed.
August 30, 2018
Devotion20180828: 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 NRSV
God is love. Cool, we all know that, but what does that really mean and how does that impact our daily lives? How do we show the love of God everyday? The apostle Paul gives us the blueprint for that in this most common passage of scripture.
August 30, 2018
Devotion20180827: 1 Corinthians 15:58 NRSV
In the grand scheme of things, there’s so much that simply doesn’t matter. May we think about that when we consider what we allow ourselves to get stressed out about.
August 29, 2018
Devotion20180826: Psalms 139:13 NRSV
How dare we argue with the Master Designer?
August 29, 2018
Devotion20180825: 1 Samuel 16:7 CSB
If your heart isn’t right, you could possibly find yourself in a lame duck situation as a leader—a leader with the position, with the title, with the letters behind your name, but no power or, more importantly, no anointing. God looks at the condition of our heart, above all else, to assess our readiness for leadership, so let’s concentrate on fixing that first before chasing everything else.
August 29, 2018
Devotion20189824: Proverbs 19:21 CSB
Just as Gary Vaynerchuk admonishes us to never be too romantic about one particular platform when it comes to branding and marketing, we cannot be romantic about our own plans because if they’re not God’s plans, there’s no point in hanging onto them, for they’re never going to work, no matter how committed we are to them.
August 25, 2018
Devotion20180823: Zephaniah 3:17 CSB
Can you imagine the Lord doing for us what we were created to do for Him? Wow.
August 24, 2018
Devotion20180822: Psalms 91:2
David had to go through something to be able to have the kind of testimony he did in this psalm. Let’s embrace our trials, knowing God will deliver us from them and give us a powerful testimony with which we can glorify God.
August 23, 2018
Devotion20180821: Hebrews 10:35 CSB
Devotion: Hebrews 10:35 CSB - Our suffering is not in vain, so we must remain faithful. We need as many scriptures reminding us of this fact as possible.
August 21, 2018
Devotion20180820 - Psalms 23:1-3 CSB
There’s no greater illustration of the richness of scripture than the 23rd Psalm. It took a lot of pain and faithfulness to produce that.
August 20, 2018
020: How every pastor can use a podcast
020: How every pastor can use a podcast Devotion: Micah 6:8 CSB Tool(s) of the Week: The Audio Converter iOS app: | MP3 Converter - Audio Extractor iOS app: Feature Presentation: How every pastor can use a podcast - recording inspiration throughout each week This is a series of clips I’ve shared on Instagram over the past few weeks, just illustrating what any pastor can do to produce podcasting content from material he/she already has. I pray this inspires and motivates you to get started. Moments of inspiration: 1. Maintaining consistency in my fitness journey 2. How to know where you stand at all times 3. How to deal with setbacks
August 20, 2018
Devotion20180818: Romans 8:26 NLT
Lord knows I would sound (and live) like an idiot with the power of the Holy Spirit working in and speaking through me.
August 19, 2018
A quick note about the podcast
Spoiler alert: We’ll be back tomorrow! (Saturday, August 18, 2018)
August 17, 2018
Devotion20180810: Proverbs 10:17 NLT
Devotion: Proverbs 10:17 NLT - The quickest way to ensure you won’t be successful in life is to fail to be self-aware. We can never be above correction, especially if it’s coming from God above.
August 10, 2018
Devotion20180809: Jeremiah 31:3 NLT
Devotion: Jeremiah 31:3 NLT - We ought to thank and praise God that God’s love for us is so much greater and deeper than the love we show to one another. I mean, we shouldn’t even still have a chance to get this thing right, but we do, and I thank God.
August 10, 2018
Devotion20180808: Psalm 16:11 NLT
Let’s seek God’s presence and the joy and peace that come with it.
August 08, 2018
Devotion20180807: Philippians 4:4 NLT
Devotion: Philippians 4:4 NLT - If we can concentrate on the joy part of our walk with God, we won’t think so much about the requirements and compulsions of performance-based Christianity, and we’ll be more likely to really live this thing out.
August 07, 2018
Devotion20180806: Romans 10:17 NLT
This scripture speaks to the heart of my mission here as Your Digital Pastor.
August 06, 2018
Devotion20180805: John 15:13 NLT
Devotion: John 15:13 NLT - It’s interesting that Jesus talks about laying down one’s life for his/her friends in the next breath after He talks about His being the vine and our being the branches.
August 05, 2018
Devotion20180804: Philippians 4:19 NKJV
Devotion: Philippians 4:19 NKJV - If we focus on the singular need that keeps us from the fullness of God and off of the various things we think we need, we will end up takin care of both!
August 04, 2018
019: What platform should my church be on?
Devotion: Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV Tool of the Week: Twodio iOS app: Feature Presentation: What platforms should your church be on? I was blessed to be a guest on the Church Media Guys podcast, chopping it up on the pressing question for so many ministries: What social media platforms should my church be on? I definitely had plenty to say on this, plus a few perspectives I’m going to guess you haven’t heard before. Check these guys out! They’re doing some great work out here! Web: | FB Page: | FB Group: Moments of inspiration 1. Let the memory of what you’ve lost be your motivation. 2. Your process is your process!
August 03, 2018
Devotion20180802: Hebrews 12:14 NKJV
Devotion20180802: Hebrews 12:14 NKJV - Holiness and treating people right: Two things we have not yet owned in our relationship with Christ but absolutely need to in order to represent Him the way we need (and ought to want) to.
August 02, 2018
Devotion20180801: Psalms 55:22 NKJV
Devotion: Psalms 55:22 NKJV - Pay attention—the psalmist doesn’t say God will take the burden away. What he does say God will do is just as encouraging, though, at least to me.
August 01, 2018
Devotion 20180731: Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV
Devotion: Ephesians 3:20-21 - We see a few reminders in these two verses about what kind of God we serve and what kind of power God has put in us. These verses ought to encourage us in our moments of doubt about our strength.
July 31, 2018
Devotion 20170730: Mark 11:24 NKJV
Devotion: Mark 11:24 NKJV - I take what comes out of my mouth (as well as what I put in it) far more seriously than I ever have before. Especially concerning what I say to and about myself.
July 30, 2018
Devotion 20180729: Psalms 121:1-2 NKJV
Devotion: Psalms 121:1-2 NKJV - We have to be super careful to fully understand every single word we read, regardless of our version of choice, lest we interpret verses such as these incorrectly.
July 29, 2018
Devotion 20180728: 2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
Devotion: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:21‬ ‭ESV ‬‬ I don’t know about you, but I need to be reminded of the sacrifice of Jesus every single day of my life. When I start trippin and getting beyond myself, I need this verse to come back to my memory...
July 28, 2018
018: The best free content for church communicators
Devotion: 2 Thessalonians 3:3 ESV Tool of the Week: Cute CUT iOS app Feature Presentation: Best free content for church communicators 1. Adam McLaughlin - $100/mo church comm pack 2. Brady Shearer - church growth formula 3. Gary Vaynerchuk - The GaryVee content model: How to Make 30+ Pieces of Content from a Single Keynote Moments of inspiration 1. Don’t ignore the process; expose the process! 2. Whatever you need to do, just go get a win!
July 28, 2018
Devotion 20180726: Proverbs 16:24 ESV
Devotion: Proverbs 16:24 ESV - I’ve learned over recent months that love languages are applicable in more than romantic relationships. Words are very important to me, and they should be to you as well.
July 26, 2018
Devotion 20180725: Ecclesiastes 7:9 ESV
Devotion: Ecclesiastes 7:9 ESV - Want to make a hater upset? Refrain from getting upset! Don’t give him/her the #SameEnergy he/she is giving you. Trust me, it’ll work.
July 25, 2018
Devotion 20180724: Matthew 7:8 ESV
Is our level of expectation for what God can do in our lives where I t needs to be? God is eagerly looking to bless us, but are we ready for the blessing?
July 24, 2018
Devotion 20180723: Matthew 7:7 ESV
God is eagerly looking for as many opportunities to bless us as possible, but we’ve got to be living right first. There’s no way around it.
July 23, 2018
Devotion 20180722: Psalm 32:8 ESV
Devotion: Psalm 32:8 ESV - Sometimes, in the midst of your talking to God, God will interject with instruction and guidance. It’s unique that it happens here in this psalm, but that’s really how God deals with us in prayer, if we’re truly listening.
July 22, 2018
Devotion 20180721: Matthew 6:25 MSG
Devotion: Matthew 6:25 - Lord, help us to always consider your love for us and keep things in perspective.
July 22, 2018
017: Churches, you can still get busy on Twitter!
Devotion: Matthew 22:37 MSG Tool of the Week: RØDE VideoMic Me/Me-L for quality smartphone audio Feature presentation: Twitter is still a viable platform, and your ministry should be on there. It doesn’t take much of a time investment, though, if you’re doing the right things. Moments of inspiration: - Keep that same energy! - You’ve got a powerful testimony!
July 21, 2018
Devotion 20180719: Proverbs 1:7 MSG
If God is the creator of all, knows all, and can do all, then why don’t we start with God when we’re looking for solutions, rather than consulting God at the end of our fruitless pursuits?
July 19, 2018
Devotion 20180718: 1 Peter 5:6 MSG
Devotion: 1 Peter 5:6 MSG - If we can rest in the fact that God’s strong hand is on us and that God is careful with us, we can prayerfully find peace in God’s timing and not trip when things don’t go the way we’ve planned.
July 18, 2018
Devotion 20180717: Psalm 1:1-2 MSG
Devotion: Psalm 1:1-2: Yes, God likes us when we are doing what we’re supposed to be doing, but God also loves us even when we aren’t. That ought to encourage us because we are going to have low moments when we’re not hitting on all cylinders.
July 17, 2018
Devotion 20180716: John 1:37 MSG
Devotion: John 1:37 MSG - The purpose of a miracle is to demonstrate the potential power of God in your life, if you would just get to that “be it unto me” place.
July 16, 2018
Devotion 20180715: Colossians 3:22-25 MSG
When we do what we do for God, do we truly act like we’re doing it...for God?
July 15, 2018
Devotion 20180714: Lamentations 3:22-23 NASB
If we could treat each instance of God’s goodness as an event to be celebrated, rather than just lumping everything God does together, perhaps we would be more appreciative of God and more faithful.
July 14, 2018
016: From 0 to social: How a church can thrive using just IG
I feel so strongly about Instagram as a platform that I firmly believe every ministry NEEDS to be on there. In fact, if a church is just starting out on social, I would advise them to start on IG because if his many features it has and how many unique opportunities you have to engage people for the sake of the gospel. The following are the steps I would advise a church to take to get started and gain traction one Instagram if I were consulting with them. 1. Getting team together to pray for unity, execution on vision 2. Draft a content calendar 3. Purchase a wireless lavalier mic that connects to a smartphone 4. Record 4 weeks of messages; watch to pull out as many 60-sec clips as possible for posting 5. Pull out written quotes from those clips for quotable images 6. Start collecting as many testimonials as possible; people talking about (a) takeaways from the message, (b) experience with the ministry in general, (c) Christian experience in general 7. Get everyone on the team who is
July 14, 2018
Devotion 20180712: 1 Peter 3:12 NASB
Be not weary in well doing. Well, that's not this scripture, but it's essentially the same message.
July 12, 2018
Devotion 20180711: Ephesians 4:32 NASB
If we could really take this verse to heart, I believe we could alleviate a lot of the political tension that divides us in the body of Christ today.
July 11, 2018
Devotion 20180710: 2 Timothy 1:9 NASB
Don’t you ever be deluded into thinking your salvation has anything to do with you or what work you’ve put in. It’s all about God. All of it. And if circumstances need to be shifted in order for us to be reminded that, then they will be.
July 10, 2018
Devotion 20180709: John 15:7 NASB
We tend to go straight to the "ask whatever you wish" part and skip over the fact that we need to abide in God before we can ask anything.
July 09, 2018
Devotion 20180708: 1 Peter 2:9 NASB
Sometimes, you just need to be reminded how wonderfully blessed and anointed you are in God. That’s why we need to stay in God’s word.
July 09, 2018
Devotion 20180707: John 15:5 CEV
Devotion: John 15:5 CEV - Lord, please don’t ever let me move without you.
July 09, 2018
015: 10 Podcasts church comms pros should be listening to
10 Podcasts church comms pros should be listening to 1. Pro Church Daily - Brady Shearer 2. Seminary of Hard Knocks - Seth Muse 3. Church Communications Podcast - Katie Allred, Darrel Girardier 4. Social Media Church - Nils Smith 5. UnSeminary - Rich Birch 6. For Immediate Release - Shel Holtz 7. Social Media Marketing - Michael Stelzner 8. Rainer on Leadership - Thom Rainer 9. The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast 10. Lead to Win - Michael Hyatt //general leadership
July 07, 2018
Devotion 20180705: 1 John 4:11-12 CEV
Devotion: 1 John 4:11-12 CEV - Our love, not any other aspect of Christian living, is the great litmus test of how much Jesus we have in our lives. If we have a love problem, we have a Jesus problem.
July 05, 2018
Devotion 20180704: 2 Timothy 1:7 CEV
We can’t do a single thing without the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
July 04, 2018
Devotion 20180703: 1 Peter 5:10 CEV
Devotion: 1 Peter 5:10 - In this Christian walk, we may suffer for a little while, but that suffering is only for a little while. Why? Because—and you’ve heard it before—we’re in a fixed fight. We are going to win, period.
July 03, 2018
Devotion 20180702: John 14:6 CEV
Devotion 20180702: John 14:6 CEV - We have everything we need right now to do all God has called us to do. The question is do we look only to Jesus as the way, or do we look to everything else we put our hopes in to make that way for us?
July 02, 2018
Devotion 20180701: John 14:27 CEV
Devotion: John 14:27 CEV - Who or what do we get our peace from? If our peace is not from God, then it’s not true peace.
July 01, 2018
Devotion 20180630: Philippians 4:7 NRSV
Devotion: Philippians 4:7 NRSV - Mindset, yet again. That healthy mindset, that peace of God that surpasses all understanding comes through an enhanced prayer life. Go get your knee pads!
June 30, 2018
014: 5 reasons your pastor needs to be podcasting
Every pastor needs to be podcasting, period, without fail. And I’m not talking about just uploading your Sunday sermon; I’m talking about hosting an actual show where you discuss topics. In 2018, it’s imperative that this happens, and I discuss five reasons why.
June 30, 2018
Devotion 20180628: Romans 8:6-8 NRSV
Devotion: Romans 8:6-8 NRSV - This game of life is, first of all, a mind game.
June 28, 2018
Devotion 20180627: John 3:20-21 NRSV
How do you act when the light is shone upon you? How you answer that question says a lot about your character and the kind of life you’re living.
June 27, 2018
Devotion 20180626: James 1:5 NRSV
Devotion: James 1:5 NRSV - If God is generous with us and to us in general, just think how much more generous God is with wisdom. And we thank God that God is so generous because we can't make it a single day without God's wisdom.
June 26, 2018
Devotion 20180625: 1 Peter 5:8-9 NRSV
The apostle Peter perfectly outlines four universal keys to holy living. We'd be good to model what we do based off of these keys.
June 25, 2018
Devotion 20180624: 1 John 2:1-2 NRSV
Devotion: 1 John 2:1-2 NRSV - Aren’t you thankful to be serving a God who advocates for us, rather than judging us?
June 24, 2018
Devotion 20180623: Galatians 5:16 CSB
Devotion: Galatians 5:16 CSB - I like to look at walking by the Spirit and not the flesh a little like I do fasting...
June 23, 2018
013: You down with OPP?
This is not what you think, I PROMISE. Hint: Scores of people have built strong personal brands on Instagram and have expanded their businesses on the back of already-existing content. I highlight five of those people here. We can take a lot of encouragement away from these examples regarding how we respond to the spirit of competition in ministry.
June 23, 2018
Devotion 20180621 - Matthew 28:19 CSB
Devotion: Matthew 28:19 CSB - The authority Jesus confers upon us at the Great Commission speaks to how we should approach every area of our lives.
June 21, 2018
Devotion 20180620 - Hebrews 4:16 CSB
I’m so grateful for people who pray for me, ride-or-die friends who are willing to turn over their plates on my behalf. But I’m even more grateful for that I don’t have to have someone go to God on my behalf to have access to God.
June 20, 2018
Devotion 20180619 - Isaiah 40:31 CSB
Devotion: Isaiah 40:31 CSB - The grace of God covers us, but it doesn’t necessarily prevent us from facing consequences. God will strengthen us, however, in the midst of our season of consequence and redeem us back to God’s self because God loves us.
June 19, 2018
Devotion 20180618 - Isaiah 41:10 CSB
Devotion: Isaiah 41:10 CSB - I’ve heard it said many time before that faith and fear don’t mix. I think that’s hogwash. Faith speaks to how we handle fear.
June 18, 2018
Devotion 20180617 - Psalms 68:5 CSB
Devotion: Psalms 68:5 CSB - On this Father's Day, it's important to know that God relentlessly pursues the gaps in our lives and is waiting to fill them if we allow God to do so.
June 17, 2018
Devotion 20180616 - Romans 11:33 NLT
Devotion: Romans 11:33 NLT - When we don't understsnd something, we typically bail. We can't do that with God, though.
June 17, 2018
012: 5 Fundamental principles of church communications
So, I recently kind of stumbled into what I think may very well just be the fundamental principles of church communications. I’ve never seen anything regarding church comm come together in this way, and all the credit goes to Brady Shearer for providing the language for all of this. This could be really I HAD to speak on it. And speak I did. Whew.
June 15, 2018
Devotion 20180614 - James 1:17 NLT
YouVersion Bible verse of the day: James 1:17 NLT - Not only does God never change, but God's position in our lives never changes either.
June 14, 2018
Devotion 20180613 - Colossians 3:13 NLT
YouVersion Bible verse of the day: Colossians 3:13 NLT - The blessings of God are designed not just to come to you but to flow through you.
June 13, 2018
Devotion 20180612 - Matthew 5:44 NLT
I'm adding a daily devotion to the pod, starting today. Devotion for Tuesday, June 12, 2018
June 12, 2018
011: What wins for churches on social media
In ministry, we're often so caught up in making sure the message of the gospel goes forth that we forget what it means to act like a real person, whether on social or in worship. Those who can come across as actual human beings in ministry will ultimately be most effective in reaching people for Christ.
June 06, 2018
010: Speed and the killer feature Twitter needs to add
I don't work for Anchor, but if I had to guess, I'd say the company pivoted to what it is now because true engagement just took too long is in its first iteration. Speed is something we all need to consider in business, in ministry, and just in life as a whole.
May 31, 2018
009: A digital ministry workshop at Ashland Theological Seminary
I was blessed with the opportunity to facilitate a digital ministry workshop at Ashland Theological Seminary-Detroit, where I earned my Master of Divinity. This is the audio from that workshop.
May 25, 2018
008: Gaining perspective in prison for future prosperity
I was inspired watching Gary Vaynerchuk's business meeting with rapper Tee Grizzley. He truly made the most of his season of adversity, and he's cashing in now because of it. (Devotional: 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
May 15, 2018
007: Newton, Gambino and social media tools
Sir Isaac Newton’s third law applies to life in general, not just to objects. It’s scope is well beyond physics class. That encourages me.
May 10, 2018
006: The future of theological education
Fuller Theological Seminary is leading the way in delivering theological education for the rest of the 21st century and beyond, and naturally, I’m excited about it. (Devotional: 2 Timothy 6:12)
May 04, 2018
005: Some thoughts on faithfulness
I pulled together some seemingly disparate thoughts on several issues or ideas and grouped them together under the umbrella of faithfulness. Because if we can master faithfulness, we can position ourselves for favor and elevation in God (Devotional: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
May 03, 2018
004: Social media oversharing
This episode is a throwback to 2017 when I started doing video and audio content in my car because I found it was when my best thoughts came out. Here, I was talking about why we should have more compassion and empathy for those who are sometimes a little too candid on social media (Devotional: 2 Corinthians 16:9).
May 03, 2018
003: Leadership in crisis
You don't really learn much about the veracity and quality of one's leadership until he or she is in a crisis. And in the social media era, how we act in times like these is so much more important than ever before. If we look at how Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Michigan State University Interim President John Engler have handled controversy, some very clear, easily applicable lessons will emerge.
May 01, 2018
002: I'm a digital ministry trainer
I am a digital ministry trainer, so I am providing an example of the work I do in teaching people how to use these platforms. Here, I am training on how to set up a podcast on Anchor.
April 27, 2018
001: About the YDP Podcast
Sharing introductory information about this podcast. I'm excited! I'm building something here, and I pray you'll join me for the ride!
April 27, 2018