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Church Communications | Social Media | Content Marketing Hosted by Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson, The Seminary of Hard Knocks podcast is a practical and fun show dedicated to helping church leaders and church communicators reach people more effectively with their message. New episodes drop weekly on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.
 
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We are finally in the post-pandemic transition phase in this fast-changing digital world. This team-up doesn’t sound so good but it’s happening now. How are churches dealing with this transition? Is it safe to go out and hold physical church services like we used to? What happens to our digital presence?? How is this affecting our ministries?? Thes…
 
There are a couple of reasons why an employee stays with a company. A few of these reasons are having a safe working environment, the feeling of being valued, and financial security. By being a volunteer, financial security is obviously not applicable. A common denominator volunteers have is having the heart of a servant. So, if there’s something a…
 
As churches continue to ride and embrace the complex yet exciting wave of social media, it’s best to be reminded and grounded of the purpose of why we are utilizing these platforms – that is to make real connections and relationships in our sphere of influence so we can bring people to Christ. So if our goal is only to get more likes, engagements, …
 
Whether in our personal or your ministry life, if there’s one thing we’ve all learned from this season we are in, it’s this: We’re all in this together. It has been and always will be the heart of the Social Media Church podcast to help you take your ministry goals, especially online, to a higher level. But here’s what we want you to know, you may …
 
In case you haven’t heard, Altar Live is THE software that will revolutionize the online church experience – and we mean it! As promised in Episode 337, we’re announcing in this week’s episode the three winners of Altar Live’s ONE-YEAR FREE subscription! Jump in to find out if you or your church is one of the lucky winners. P.S If this stirred your…
 
There’s no such thing as a ‘silver bullet’ on social media. The key to success is consistency. But consistency does not mean that we’d have to stick to our comfort zones. Now that social media IS ministry, we could totally be different and be outside the box, but are still inside the Book [Bible]. It’s time for your creative juices to flow! Jump in…
 
It wasn’t too long ago, we only heard pastors preach once a week in a church building on Sundays. But in this digital age that we live in that’s no longer the case. Our host, Aaron Magnuson in this podcast episode shares a candid conversation with guest and one of the SMC Conference’s speakers, DK Hammonds on how we can further maximize the power o…
 
So churches, it’s time that we tap into our people’s stories and bring people together. Because PEOPLE CONNECT WITH PEOPLE. When we make that connection, they will start talking and from there, it’s a guarantee that amazing things will happen. Join our host, Aaron Magnuson, in this podcast episode as he shares a conversation about leveraging storyt…
 
It’s true that content is key when creating for an audience in the online world. We’ve seen its importance over the past year and a half. But, churches are not only driven by content. What makes a difference in people’s lives, especially for churches, are the relationships and connections built through social media platforms. To this we say – conve…
 
It has been two weeks since we had our very first Social Media Church Conference and we’re still celebrating all that God did. More than 400 church ministry leaders are ready to amplify their ministry to the next level so they can take the gospel to more people from near and far! How exciting is that?! In this episode, we’re going to give you a fla…
 
What a Conference we just had! And we want to give a BIG thank you to you, our listeners!! After months and months of preparation, we are happy to report that The Social Media Conference reached over 400 church leaders worldwide! ...Now what? Join our hosts Nils Smith and Aaron Magnuson as they share a candid conversation about their joy and experi…
 
I love a good scroll-stopping headline. In our profession, church communicators and marketers are always looking for a quick list of best practices to help us get more emails opened, increase clicks, get more followers, etc etc the list goes on and on. Over time, the playing field changes, and those tried and true best practices, well, aren't anymo…
 
It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words - such a cliché, right? But the reality is, someone deciding whether to go to your church or not is looking at your social media posts, your content, and the photos of your church community. So it may be true – photos really do say a thousand words. In this podcast episode, our host Aaron Magn…
 
Churches, whether we admit it or not, the people we’re trying to reach online are still consumers at heart. And the reality is, they are bombarded with marketing messages and high quality media everywhere they look. One of The Social Media Church Conference speakers, Dawn Nicole Baldwin, shares an important conversation about how to keep your brand…
 
Social media and the internet have become today’s language. And with millions of people out there who do not know Jesus, this is where your Facebook Ads as a church come in! In this latest podcast episode, one of The Social Media Church Conference speakers, Chris Abbott, joins host Aaron Magnuson in a conversation about how churches can flip the ap…
 
The online space is the most inexpensive campus to grow. Even if you spend on advertising and boosted posts, you’re always within your budget. There’s no right or wrong way to build your online church community. To help you get started, listen to this podcast episode as one of The Social Media Church Conference speakers, Sly King, shares insights w…
 
We live in a generation where people crave for authenticity. And we also live in a generation where people want to know if their pastor has a personality! In this podcast episode, our host Aaron Magnuson, shares a conversation with guests Jennifer Benton and DK Hammonds on how church leaders can best position themselves in maximizing the audio-base…
 
Some say Michael Angelo is considered to be the best artist in history. Yet in his peak, he said, “I’m still learning.” And so as creatives, we NEVER should have that feeling that we have arrived. We shouldn’t have that feeling that we have gotten there. Because at the end of the day, there’s always still some learning to do. Join our host Aaron Ma…
 
If you've ever received a "bad" gift, you get it. It's not that you're unappreciative. You just don't know what to do with a wall-mounted fish that sings when people walk by. You don't think you'll ever wear a pink unitard that says "Work Out" anywhere. When guests arrive at your church, it's a nice gesture to give them a gift to say thank you for …
 
One of the things highlighted over the course of this pandemic is that the internet is just too big! We all could jump in and throw content for social media and other platforms, but it is still not enough. And while it is certainly not a competition, NOW is the perfect time for us to truly maximize this landscape, and leverage the internet in order…
 
It’s one thing to testify but it’s another thing to experience your own testimony. Don’t be too caught up on what to “put out” in social media, but rather take the time to absorb, breathe in, and let your own story impact you. The Social Media Church Conference speaker and thought leader, L.Michelle Salvant gives us a sneak peek about what it means…
 
When someone new walks into the church, there’s always one thing people get in order to connect–contact details. And the surest way of connecting with somebody is through their phone number. We invited one of our The Social Media Church Conference speakers, Natchi Lazarus, to share a conversation with host Aaron Magnuson and give a preview of his t…
 
What is the key to creating a digital communications strategy? In this podcast episode, our guest Seth Muse, joins host Aaron Magnuson, and breaks down how his team helps their partners get a better understanding about how communications work in digital spaces Seth also gives us a sneak peek of what he’ll be sharing as one of the speakers in The So…
 
Have you ever walked out of a church service? Turns out, lots of people have. This week on the podcast, Meagan and I read some of the crazy, hilarious, upsetting, and uplifting stories we heard from you! IN THIS EPISODE The amazing AUDACITY Legit reasons to get up and leave What some "normalized" actions can communicate to today's crowd that might …
 
Mental health, generosity, and racism are such important topics for our churches to be covering. Many people we lead are waiting for us to start engaging in these difficult subjects. Chances are, many churches aren’t talking about these subjects, not because they don’t want to, but because they don’t know how to. Join our hosts, Aaron Magnuson and …
 
A church website is more important than ever in the post-covid, digital world. The year 2020 accelerated everyone's digital savvy by leaps and bounds, so more and more people will be using your church website than before. We'll discuss how to make your home page guest-friendly and how to optimize other pages for your regular attendees as well. IN T…
 
One of the lessons this season has taught us is: there are things that are just out of our control. The same is true to our churches – we were forced to let go of the box of control, and adapt so we can bring the message of hope in Jesus in the midst of uncertainties. Are we now operating on a decentralized model? Or maybe a better question is: sho…
 
Today, you have two lobbies to think about. There's the physical lobby and the digital lobby. You've probably thought about how to cast vision in your lobby a little, with handouts, signage, posters, etc. But have you thought about your digital lobby? Meagan and Seth give practical ideas and strategies for communicating your vision both directly an…
 
Who would have imagined the church would have changed so much in the past year? From physical gatherings to Zoom meetings, in-person Sunday services to livestreaming, mail-in tithing to digital giving, and so much more. This past year, the global crisis has revealed the opportunities for churches and ministries in this digital landscape, but not ev…
 
What is a First Time Backer? Well, it ain't no holla back girl, that's for sure. In this episode, I talk with my good friend Jeff Reed from TheChurch.Digital about the future of the church in a hybrid digital/physical expression and what to do about it. We also talk about the phenomenon of your regular attenders who haven't been back in a year feel…
 
Women have had to fight for a lot of rights and freedoms and the church is one of those places where the debate still quietly rages on. My guest this week, Adesewa Greg-Ighodaro helps women in the professional world in Nigeria, Africa to find their voice for sharing the Gospel in their workplace, their families, and in the church. She is a communic…
 
Just when we thought we have enough social media platforms, we see and hear about another emerging application called NextDoor. Join our hosts, Nils Smith and Aaron Magnuson, as they introduce this newest tool inside our digital toolbox, as well as sharing strategies on how church leaders can maximize this platform to the ever-changing needs of the…
 
Churches, how do you measure success? Is it through the number of shares, comments, and likes you have on a post or a video? In this podcast episode, The Grove Church’s Senior Pastor, Rev. James Carmichael, shares a conversation with our host Aaron Magnuson about why the true measure of success in churches is reflected on having an intentional comm…
 
Have you come across the latest trending app, Clubhouse? It’s still in beta but it’s already worth $100 million! What is this app and is it something church leaders consider jumping on? In this podcast episode, hosts and Clubhouse app users, Nils Smith and Aaron Magnuson walk us through this app and how it can be maximized for the church’s workspac…
 
As churches continue to figure out this dynamic communication shift, we are seeing how the internet has become a powerful tool to reach people from near and far. Listen to this podcast episode as hosts Nils Smith and Aaron Magnuson talk about why your church’s online strategy shouldn’t involve hiring an Online Pastor. At least not at first. Listen …
 
Resumes don’t always tell the whole story. When someone jumps from job to job it could be because they are not dependable and looking for the next big paycheck. It could also mean they are a high-capacity leader looking for a place to thrive. If you think you’re a high-capacity leader or you have some that work for you, this podcast will help you u…
 
Churches are in a season of figuring out the complexity of digital ministry and how it relates to their theology. Does the Bible speak to online ministry? Listen to this podcast episode as Kingdom One Chief Development & Online Ministry Officer, Matt Curtis shares an eye-opening conversation with host Aaron Magnuson as they unpack the theology behi…
 
Is Cryptocurrency the future of money? As cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin continue to become more and more mainstream, the church doesn’t have to play catch up on this conversation. In this podcast episode, host Nils Smith shares an insightful conversation about crypto for churches with Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer at Engiven, Matt Hayes, …
 
If you feel like you can’t keep up with what’s happening in the world of digital communication, follow Natchi Lazarus on Instagram. I talk with Natchi about what the church looks like in India, some of the latest trends and developments in digital media, and his new book The Connected Church in this episode of the podcast. In this Episode: What’s d…
 
No matter where someone is in the world, technology makes it possible to reach them. How can church leaders leverage technology to go beyond a church’s physical location? In this podcast episode, our host Nils Smith is joined by his good friend Alan George, as they share a conversation about Alan’s decade worth of experience being the Online Pastor…
 
Easter is coming. After a tough year in 2020 and a somewhat heavy Christmas, Easter might be a dark cloud in the future for some church leaders and communicators. This episode is your permission to see the bright and fun future of hope that this Easter represents! Meagan and Seth talk about several great ideas for online fun with Easter this year t…
 
Doing church on social media didn’t make sense before as much as it does now. Today, you find churches even on TikTok and Reels! In this podcast episode, Transformation Church’s Content Strategist, Rohn Starling shares tips and tricks with our host Aaron Magnuson on maximizing TikTok and Instagram Reels to get the Gospel across a greater reach. Plu…
 
Every leader knows that they can't do everything. Which, of course, makes us feel like we can't do anything. Of course, that's not true, but who wants that? Learning to delegate tasks and doing it in a way that ensures the tasks are completed well is a learned skill. Paul Fleming has been a successful business owner, entrepreneur, pastor, and commu…
 
Who would have thought COVID-19 would impact our lives this long? In the first few months, everybody shifted to digital, then after a few weeks, a lot stopped too. How do you tap into a generation who just don’t want to consume but rather create? Is there really a “silver bullet” to influencing Gen Z? Listen to this podcast episode as our host, Aar…
 
October last year, our host, Nils Smith, in partnership with Awesome Marriage CEO, Dr. Kim Kimberling, launched a self-paced Online Marriage Retreat designed to help couples in their most intimate relationship. In this podcast episode, Nils and Dr. Kim dive deep into this topic and how it can impact marriages in churches to not only survive, but th…
 
If you're in communications at your church, you probably need some help. Before we hire more staff, we first try to find volunteers. So where do we start? How do we recruit volunteers for our content teams, what teams should we create (like a Photography team)? In this episode, we'll tell you what has worked for us to recruit, train, inspire, and l…
 
Now that everything has gone digital, in the church space, how can we take off the time barriers, get engagement, and be in a community with our online audience as we share the Good News? In this podcast episode, Sandals Church’s Digital Senior Strategist, Nick Ovalle shares insights with host Aaron Magnuson about 2nd screen experience and how chur…
 
Whether you're a communication director just starting out or you're starting over, the first 100 days is an important time in the life of your ministry. What do you do first? Where do you start? In this episode, Seth and Meagan will give you some advice for how to execute a solid communications plan by laying out a few milestones and tools to help …
 
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