The Future Church - A Church Communications Podcast
Church Media + Communications
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E039 - East-West Mentorship

 Joanna: Today we're going to talk about those East and West relationships. What I mean is peers who cheer us along and coach us along and mentor us.

James: This has been huge for me in the past couple of years. As I started visualmediachurch about three years ago I started as a side hustle. I mean I was working a full-time job and I had never done an online business before. I mean I'd had a previous company that I had worked with three friends. So I had experience running a startup but in the world of building an online company it was definitely really hard to kind of figure out how to do everything right. And what was really really big for me is I managed to meet some people in some Facebook groups some church Facebook groups who became these East and West relationships for me they were people that you know I met briefly through just texting on like even just comments on other people's pages and I gradually developed into I was messaging them separately and then we jumped on a couple like Facetime calls we're like hey nice to meet you. Tell me about what you were working on. I've seen you lots. We seem to kind of even in comments like we're hanging out in the same rooms and it seems like your opinions seem to really align with mine and these relationships have built to the point where now I have I'd say about five or six different people who I am messaging with at least once a week and we are just either bouncing ideas off of one another as far as what we're doing with our businesses and ideas on how to build things or I'll have a guy who must be hey have you tried this for your website yet? This is really awesome it's like a powerful tool really helps your members like download things easier. And I'm like wow thanks. And I do the same. And sometimes it's purely like you have a frustration right. There's always things that can happen and sometimes you just need moral support right. Like hey I saw this thing happening online and that really you know that really stinks that somebody would be doing that. I just want to let you know that I noticed and other people notice and you know we're here if you. Don't react to it like in there they're saying to me like don't react to it it's good it's good just to talk about it and you know it definitely stinks that that can happen but you know it happens to all of us and it's good to at least know that there are other people out there going through the same thing and that's happened a lot in the past couple of weeks and I've had people who are way more experienced in this world who have been doing like church graphics for 15 years messaging me late at night and just say hey I saw this thing happen too and just want to you know that I'm not good with it and you know you're supporting one another.

Joanna: I think the other thing too is it doesn't happen maybe right away you have to build trust and relationship. But you know even people at a distance can have a view into your life to maybe challenge you when needed. So not just encourage you but also if we're trying to just sharpen one another saying like hey I know you man like I know your heart I know your passion but that post actually sound a little angry. I don't think you wanted it to sound that way because we know each other and like we know that's not who you really are. But like you may want to reword that or maybe maybe you want to take that down or think about that differently you know. And if people they don't have to be in our day to day life in our own city to be people who can encourage us even in that way exhort us and help us be who we really want to be.

James: And that's so healthy to have people that are in your life that can do that right. I mean I have lots of those people who, if visualmediachurch makes a post with a spelling mistake within 10 seconds I know "spelling mistake, spelling mistake" and boom it gets fixed. But you know the thing is I'm not mad at those people I'm not like oh you know forget you guys you're just tearing me down. No they're telling you to let you know so that you can fix it. And it's helpful to have people who can who can notice those types of things whether they're big or small who you trust and then you they trust you back in the same way. Yeah and those things are just they're very healthy and they're very good and I find they really helped my day. I mean I was having messages back and forth with a guy who lives in New York City just a couple days ago when we were talking about a few different issues that were going online as well as we got to this long conversation of encouraging one another where I was saying hey like you have so much experience in your world like in the thing that you're doing that you're actually way more experience than all your competitors. Why aren't you telling people more about your past? And like the big giant megachurches that you've done this amazing work for and he was kind of like oh yeah I guess I just haven't and I'm like "no you need to tell people that's not bragging", like you need to share your resume. Like I think people will trust your brand more knowing that you've also worked for the biggest of the big and you've done some amazing work. And so like just basically you share on encouraging one another to say hey get in front of the camera take some more pictures coming to you see your face anywhere on your product like you are the guy running it. I want to see more of you like I am encouraged. Hearing your story more people than need to know about you. And then I have him back. OK I've sent materials that we've been working on here. And he said I like the look of it I like the vibe I like what you're doing but I would also change this and this and this I don't think it really matches who I think people perceive you are. And so that is really really important in today's day and age of the Internet and Facebook and Instagram. You can build those relationships around the world and get those different perspectives rather than in your own little bubble.

Joanna: Right. So I think what we're seeing is in whether it's like the media business stuff that you're doing in church world like me. It can be lonely you might be the only person in your organization or the only person in your organization doing that type of work. But it doesn't have to be lonely in this digital world. We can find those East West places those peers who are coming alongside us. And if they're not in your own organization if they're not in your own town they can be found all over the Internet. You just have to begin saying hello to people just like you would in real life. And I think it makes our life so much richer and we get better and better at who we are and what we do.