Friday, June 26, 2020

How God is working around the globe and at home

I'm so thankful for a faithful team of financial supporters and prayer warriors. Here's an update of what God is doing.

Let me know if you'd like to join my weekly email prayer team!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

John the College Student

Living on mission at college, plus how sharing the Gospel helps you obey Jesus with all of your life.

If you can't view the audio player, click here to listen to this podcast episode.

Show Notes:

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Nick in the Fifth Platoon

What is there wasn't any divide between "secular" work and "sacred ministry? Listen to Nick who is living that out.

If you can't view the audio player, click here to listen to this podcast episode.

Show Notes:

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Some thoughts on how to start a podcast

There's some irony in this blog post as I've only had a podcast for about 13 months. I am in no way an expert on the subject, but as I've had a few people ask I wanted to gather some of my basic answers on podcasting in one place.

Before we get into the technical details, I wanted to give a couple words of encouragement:

First, we need your podcast. If there is a subject that you see missing, you should fill that void. When it comes to any topic related to movements of God, we want to see the podcast upon podcast that normalizes following Jesus, pursuing the lost, living on mission, making disciples, planting reproducing churches, etc. I have a podcast because I felt there was something missing in podcasts on movements. Steve Addison's Movements Podcasts had been great at painting pictures of movements for years, but I was looking for something that shared more on the practical tools and had a #NoPlaceLeft bent.  When I couldn't find it, I made an attempt at starting one. Make the show you want to hear.

Second, you (and I) may only podcast for a season (6 months, a year, who knows). The content you put out into the world will still have a great amount of value. After I finished Season 1 of On the Road I took a 3 month break. What I was surprised to find was that my original episodes continued to get downloaded at the same rate throughout that entire break.  People were still seeking and engaging the content. This affirmed for me the value of podcasts as a content distributor (similar to a book in many ways). If you have something to share, that will still have value three years from now, even if you've stopped regular new podcast episodes.

On to some basics on podcasting:
  • I took a very intense but insanely helpful podcast class from Akimbo. Actually at the time of this blog, they are offering that class again. Check it out: It wasn't free, and it took some time in my daily schedule for a couple months, but it was the boost I needed to get a decent quality podcast out the door.
  • You get to choose your episode length, format, and feel. I'd rather have your personality come through your show than have it sound like everyone else's podcast. 
  • Sound quality: I bought a decent microphone.  But I also recorded all of Season 3 with regular wired headphones with a built in mic. I've found the biggest factor for decent sound quality is making sure you're in a room that's not a big echo-chamber. Other than that, the sound quality is pretty forgiving.
  • This also goes for people you record in interviews. I have only ever used Zoom for recording interviews. I ask my guests to use a mic if they have one and make sure they are in a relatively quiet space without too much echo. 
  • Speaking of interviews, you can choose how you want to do that too! I like to send my questions ahead of time, hit record, and follow my questions loosely. This leads to a natural conversation but also requires more editing. When I partnered with Steve Addison for this episode I got to see him set up the interview flow before hitting record. Then he asked the very natural sounding questions, but they had already discussed the direction they were going. Another helpful tip from the Akimbo class was: You're in charge. If you are unsure of how the interview is going, you can bet that your guest is. Just lead graciously and it will work out fine.
  • An even more helpful tip: Pray with your guest before you start interviewing. I've definitely seen that inviting Jesus into the conversation makes it more fruitful.
  • I currently use Audacity for sound editing. It actually doesn't work the best with the latest Mac update (Catalina), but since I'm mid season I don't want to learn a new editor. Mary at the Live Ten O Two podcast had great things to say about Alitu, so I would pass on that as a solid recommendation, if not a little pricier.
  • As far as hosting your podcast, I use Simplecast and have been very pleased with it.  The one time I needed to contact customer service it was great. I've also heard good things about Buzzsprout. There are many other options out there, so choose something that seems like a good fit for you.
  • As an FYI, the only marketing I've done is post to my personal Facebook and ask my guests (and those who connected me to those guests) to share with their networks. 
  • Finally, here's a checklist I use to process episodes:
    • Schedule Interview
    • Conduct Interview
    • Rough Edit Interview
    • Send sample to guest for approval
    • Write additional content
    • Record additional content
    • Mix entire episode
    • Run through (2 hours of free audio clean up each month)
    • Final Listen
    • Schedule Blog & Episode to Publish
    • Share with guest and others to promote
I'll update this blog post as I learn of new tools or have a new experience in podcasting. Reach out if there's other questions I can answer for you. Let me know what you make. All for Jesus until there is #NoPlaceLeft.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Central Illinois Gospel Conversation Training

Saturday, July 18, 9am-130pm | Liberty Bible Church in Eureka Illinois

Join us for a training on how to start spiritual conversations, share the Gospel, and nurture spiritual interest. We'll put what we learn into practice that day. Topics covered:
  • 3 Questions to get to the Gospel 
  • 3 Circles Gospel Tool 
  • 4 Responses to the Gospel  
  • Next steps for you and those you are reaching with the Gospel. 

Friday, June 12, 2020

Free thoughts on personal support raising

I've had many times I've sought to raise personal support over my life. Like most things in life, you don't really know it until you've done it. So here are some thoughts from practical experience.
  • The best way to ask people for financial support is specifically and in person. 
  • Raising money is not a zero-sum game. It is NOT a board game with a defined end and some weird "win" if you get to 100% of your goal by a deadline. We should raise money for what God is calling us to do now and at the same time take the long-term view. A "no" to your request today may turn into a "yes" in the future if you take this view.
  • That being said, sometimes you have specific deadlines and goals to meet. Be honest about them.
  • If someone already knows you, they probably believe in you more than in your specific ministry. Of course, they want to know that your work is legit, but it's more about the person you've shown yourself to be than any slick ministry plan. Sometimes an honest "I'm going to be figuring that out" is one of the best things you can say.
  • There's going to be a dip. Probably a big one. If you're not familiar with The Dip then Seth Godin's book by that title is a must read. A short summary: Anything worth doing will have a slog in the middle that's not very fun. We should expect it, lean into it and pray like crazy as we work through it.
  • Here's the trade: I'll give you 200% of your needed support for the rest of your career in a support-raising field. In return you may never contact any of your current or potential supporters again about anything. Would you take that trade? If you would, support-raising is definitely not for you. (This tip is from this Movements Podcast episode about support raising.)
  • Being good at raising funds doesn't make you a stellar Christian. You may not be walking closely with Jesus at all. Similarly, you might be horrible at fundraising. Which might mean God has a different plan for you, not that you're a failure as a follower of Jesus. (Check out this podcast episode with Dave Miller for how God used his poor support raising as a guide on his journey.)
If you want a great book on support raising, I would recommend The God Ask. If you want a lesser book (but free), I wrote this one.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Tyler the Window Washer

Working on mission, no matter your vocation, actually lends itself to multiplication of ministry.

If you can't view the audio player, click here to listen to this podcast episode.

Show Notes:

Friday, June 5, 2020

Spirit Walk S.W.A.P. Framework Phone Wallpaper

I just finished reading Spirit Walk by Steve Smith. It's one of those books you wish you had read a few years earlier. 

Steve gives a simple framework, S.W.A.P., to help you recenter your life (or your day... or this moment) on walking with the Holy Spirit.

I'd highly recommend the book, but I also know I need some daily reminders to walk in the spirit. Here's a simple phone wallpaper to remind me to SWAP my control for God's control.

My only request is that if (when) you make a better background, you take a minute to share it with me.

Summer Short Term Discipleship

I was recording a podcast interview recently and the topic came up that we often separate our evangelism from our discipleship. Many believers know that they should share the Gospel (even if we're scared to do so), but what happens next?!

You're invited to come learn a simple short-term discipleship set to help you train new believers (or old!) to follow Jesus. We'll be meeting Monday afternoons in Pekin.  Please contact me if you want more details OR let me know if you want to schedule another day and time.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Kumar on Movement Leaders

Jeff Sundell interviews Kumar, a movement leader, about finding and developing movement leaders.

If you can't view the audio player, click here to listen to this podcast episode.

Show Notes:
  • Call/text any questions, comments, or feedback: 321 209 3899
  • If you're interested in a transcription of this episode, check out this link.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Summer Online Discovery Bible Study and Training

Starting this Wednesday we'll be leading an online Discovery Bible Study. This is both a place to grow in your own faith and a training ground to disciple others though discovery Bible studies (either online or in person).

The study will be 8-9pm central. We'll use a Three Thirds meeting format and SWORD method to discover the truth out of God's word to apply to our lives.

Let me know if you're interested in joining (or if this day/time doesn't work for you, let me know if you want training to disciple others through a discovery Bible study.)