Leading Your Facebook Group with Nik Goodner of CRTVChurch
[00:01:06] Nik from CRTV Church
[00:02:17] What are you obsessed with this week?
[00:09:35] Nik talks about the beginnings of CRTV Church
[00:19:54] Taking a stand against racial injustice
[00:24:25] Encouraging creatives during COVID
[00:33:52] Cultivating a large online community
[00:43:02] What’s next for CRTV Church?
[00:46:37] Encouragement to other creatives
[00:49:45] Rapid Fire
“Creative church is this platform that’s design to bring creatives together and empower them to be who they are meant to be.” (9:50)
“We create content, podcasts, events, and opportunities for creatives to connect and develop that side of them, so that they can be more secure in who they are and who God has called them to be and who they’re meant to be.” (10:08)
“At some point, you have to realize that conversations are so big that you either have to weigh in, or your silence is going to look like a betrayal.” (21:17)
“You know, sometimes the best words you can hear are ‘you got this,’ honestly, and that’s just the truth. Whenever things are happening with COVID, we made some cheesy posts. You know, like stuff that you probably already know, but man, you needed that reminder today.” (24:25)
“As a group admin, as a community leader, wherever you fall on the social media management scale, you are going to want to be listening to the problems that your audience is facing and coming up with solutions for them. That’s the most important thing you can ever do, because it becomes really easy to encourage people when you know what they’re going through.” (26:09)
“The longer you listen to people, the more perceptive you become as a creative.” (29:53)
“They post something that they may be excited about, or they may have questions about, and other people weigh in, and this is how conversation starts, and this is how community happens naturally.” (35:28)
In a world where social distancing and quarantining have become the new normal, virtual relationships and online communities have gone from an ancillary opportunity for friendship to a vital part of a normal social life. For creatives, these trying times can seem like an even more considerable burden on a group of people that typically thrive with the support of a community. Nik Goodner joined Bryan and Loren to talk about how his online community CRTV Church is here to help.
What is CRTV Church?
CRTV Church is an online platform devoted to bringing creatives together and empowering them to be who they are meant to be. Nik started CRTV Church after the church he was working for shut down. He realized that his community only existed in the context of his church. After realizing this was a common problem for creatives employed by churches, he decided to create CRTV Church as a permanent, constant community for church creatives. Simply put, it's a church for church creatives.
Taking a stand against racial injustice
Amid the Black Live Matter movement marching back into the spotlight over the summer, Nik believed it was essential to speak up and lead his community in joining the movement. Nik said, "At some point, you have to realize that conversations are so big that you either have to weigh in, or your silence is going to look like a betrayal."
Encouraging creatives during COVID
The COVID pandemic has created difficult circumstances for people working in almost all fields, and creatives are not excluded from this. Right now, people need reminders of simple truths, things they already know. You got this. You matter. The world is lucky to have you. These are simple things creatives can tell themselves, but they are reminders they need to hear.
Cultivating a large online community
Starting and maintaining a sizable online community comes with its own unique set of struggles, as it contains a broad spectrum of people who are willing to speak their mind. Maintaining the health of a group like this can be very difficult, but Nik has a straightforward answer. Listening to the group's problems goes a long way in allowing you to care for its needs. When you listen to the group and stay in-tune with its issues, you can give it the encouragement it needs. Nik insists that respecting and trusting others is vital to the group's health. Nik refuses to keep people around for the sake of adding to the group's numbers. If their attitude is terrible or they are detrimental to the team, he takes them aside to talk about it. If they are not willing to change, they will have to leave the group.
What's next for CRTV Church?
CRTV Church will be hosting a 24-hour virtual conference on October 23. They will be live streaming for 24 hours with guests from all over the globe to talk as a community and grow together. Tickets include the ability to re-stream sessions that might be missed throughout the 24-hour conference. More information about the conference will be coming soon.
You know, sometimes the best words you can hear are you got this, like, honestly, and that's just the truth. Whenever things are happening with COVID. Like we, based on cheesy posts, you know, like stuff that you probably already know, but man, you needed that reminder today. You needed somebody saying that outside of you, you telling yourself I got this, you need other people to.
Hey, what's up, everybody. Welcome back to the do marketing differently podcast presented by go rogue X. This is the podcast dedicated to helping you. If you're a marketer or a small business owner, just to help you do marketing differently, because well, we want to serve first and give value to help you guys stand out from the crowd.
So we always bring on awesome guests. We try to provide tips and tricks every single week. That will help you do that and stand out from the crowd. Uh, Oh, I have my awesome cohost, ms. Lauren Lewis with me today.
Hey, Hey, how's it going? It's going good. Good. Good. And we have an amazing guest as well. Mr. Nick Gardner.
How's it going, Nick?
I don't want everyone to get their hopes up just yet, but I am a guest. Amazing is to be determined.
I love it. Well, we're already starting off with a bang. This is fantastic. I'm excited to get into this. If you guys don't know, Nick, Nick is a. The founder of creative church CRTV church.
If you're looking out there, we had a fun discussion before we started recording on this, uh, creative church. It's, it's an awesome, I've always appreciated everything that Nick's been doing. He has an amazing Facebook group. Um, I can say that it is one of my favorite Facebook groups, uh, because he has just done an amazing job with the community there.
Uh, but really serving church leaders, connecting people, um, and making sure that, that he helps get them and their passion out there. And he's done a great job of that. And so we're very, very active. Excited to have him on, and we're going to talk about Facebook groups, but before we get into that, before we get into that, we'd like to have some fun.
What is that? Lauren,
each week we like to start our podcast out with what are you obsessed with this week? So starting with our amazing guest, Nick, what are you obsessed with this week?
That's a good question. Um, and you know, I keep going back to this well, um, and I don't know why, but, uh, have you guys seen the Christopher Nolan, Batman movies?
Oh, yeah. By far.
Yes, absolutely. I don't know what I'm, what kicked this off, but I just, I started watching the first one, then I'll watch the second one. Then I'll watch a third one or rewatch the second one. And, uh, I'm just, I'm really obsessed with the fact that those exist first off and second that they just didn't never made any more of those.
And now I'm just really bummed. Cause those are great movies actually. DC actually had something there with that and they really let it go. It really let it go.
Yeah. That could have been a big contender for the Marvel universe, the cinematic universe. I agree with you, Nick. Number two is my favorites, uh, by far, I mean, Heath Ledger's performance as a joker was just insane.
And honestly, um, Tom Hardy is the a as Bain. That was, I mean just, Oh, so good.
So funny story
movies are well crafted.
So well-crafted, I actually saw the dark night in an IMAX theater for the first time, right after I got my wisdom teeth out. So I was still on pain meds. Oh, that movie was terrifying
Oh my goodness. It was so scary just because it was like already in the IMAX theater. So, I mean, it was like so big and I was like, and it was. The first time I had seen it and I was just like, I think I was just robbed from the payments. Yeah. It was quite the experience.
horrifying. No, it's Batman, Lauren. It's just that I
just calmed down just fat. So, I mean, this is, we can't, we can't get down too far into this path, but, uh, what did you think of the joker or joker, uh, walking Phoenix's performance on that? Cause it had that same kind of feel a little bit.
I liked the movie.
Um, it was good. Uh, You know, it's someone I'd revisit. Let me just put it that way. I just wouldn't revisit it that often.
. It makes sense
. It does. Uh, to Lauren it doesn't make any sense to me cause I, I love, I went back. I think I saw it three times at theaters and I just watched it recently. I think I put it on HBO max and I just watched it.
I love that movie so much, but I'm the same way with the dark nights.
You're the only one has the HBO max subscription. That's keeping that alive.
It's true. It's a lot for the SSME street. Uh, I mean, well,
Oh, they'd stop changing the app. You might actually be able to keep up.
Oh, good grief. Yeah. That's a whole nother podcast and a whole nother topic.
Anyway. Hey, what's your obsession, Lauren, what are you upset?
So we like to talk a lot about TV shows and I started a new one. Why is that?
I'm like. I don't know what that is.
Oh, you're going to love it. Did you like a next generation?
So I started, I'm not a huge fan of the main character and then she kind of annoyed me.
And so I stopped, but I realized that was a mistake. I need to keep going. Um, And so, but starting the card, it was such a pleasant surprise, and it just it's so well done. It's really beautiful. And I really enjoy it and I love Saifai. So I don't know why I'm just now hopping on the strain, but
did you watch Voyager or any I'm sorry, I just keep it.
Oh, no. Yeah, no,
I know. I haven't actually watched wager
you've never watched it, so you might not get some of the tie-ins, but it's a very good, well done star Trek show.
Yeah, there's a parent. Like I watched like old. Star Trek with like my mom. So like I have like this appreciation for like star Trek, Meredith.
My husband is watching with me and he's like watching no star Trek. So he was like, what? And, um, yeah, it was pretty funny. Some of the questions he was asking, I was like, this is kind of embarrassing for you. So
I'm embarrassed for you in this moment. That's awesome. Yeah. Well, uh, so my obsession this week is the, um, Uh, ATM mini.
We joked about it literally. And then in the church production world, which we're not, we're using it for and church production, but a Nick can relate with this, but all of the posts inside of this Facebook group in the creative Facebook group, it is literally, it is like, Oh, I'm waiting for my eight, 10 minute to come.
It sounds so excited about black magic. Yeah. Is releases phenomenal piece of hardware, uh, that helps with, I mean, any type of video switching and scaling and keying and all the things that yeah. I enjoy nerding out over that. Lauren does not, and that's okay. You know, cause I have people like Nick on our show that I can be like, I literally got the email right before we started recording that it shipped finally they've been on back order forever.
So BNH came through. Oh, so excited.
What's funny is I'm probably following with boring on this one. I'm not a hardware guy. Um, but I'm really happy for you. I mean, I'm excited for what's going on. I don't know what the ATM mini does.
Oh man. I am telling you something, man. If any of the, if any of the people from the group, hear you say this, you may, I mean, it's going to be,
I know I'm a fraud. I know I'm a fraud when it comes to that. That's why I have great friends who really love that stuff who tell me, they try to keep me informed. Like, you know, like, you know how the president is informed by people who, you know, because he doesn't know anything about certain topics. That's me. They're informing me about certain things.
I'm like, Oh yeah, that sounds very exciting for them. So what does that do again?
Hey, you know what? You owned it, Nick, and I appreciate you for that, man. Thank you. So I won't be tagging you though when I'm like, Hey Nick, so awesome. And you're like, so excited.
I will send you back, you know, congratulations.
I was going to say like anything within like graphic designs aspects and all that kinda stuff. I like making things look pretty, but I just don't care how they. Work like
well, we were talking before, so if you guys are watching on video, cause we record this as well as for video podcasting purposes. Uh, and so if you guys see in Nick's background, he has, um, he has a hex codes for black and white, which is super creative or Whitney.
I love that. Pretty cool. And so, uh, yes, there you go. Ah, see mean, so it's so fun because when we started talking about kind of brand and brand colors for us, I mean, I'm a big black and white guy. If I could just wear black all day, it just makes things so much simpler. I don't have to think about what I'm wearing.
And so I, we started following more and more of what you were doing naked. I was like, he's got the black and white brand and I love it. I love everything about it. So anyway, I'm very excited to kind of get into this. And, uh, and talk through, because again, we've talked about the Facebook group and if you're, if you're out there and you're a marketer who is really passionate about something and, and especially changing the world, empowering people, uh, this episode is going to be for you because Nick has a wealth of information and wisdom to, uh, to share.
And, uh, we're going to make sure by the end of this. He is, he believes in himself that he was an amazing guest. So make sure you guys send that feedback because we've been wanting to talk with Nick for a long time. And so, uh, but Nick I've completely butchered your bio. So please tell us what it is exactly that you do.
And, uh, so just for people, thank you
. You've done a great job. You really have. Um, yeah. So for people who don't know me, don't know who I am, um, creative church or CRTV church. Uh, it's like my passion, my number one daily grind. Uh, it's what I do full time. Um, people are always surprised by that, but I do do it full time.
Um, and, uh, Korean churches, this platform that's designed to bring creatives together and empower them to be who they are. It's a B. So we do practical skill development things and as well as spiritual things, because we're a church and we have a spiritual side as well as a practical side. So it kind of interlaced both of those.
And we create content, podcasts, events, and opportunities for creatives to connect and, um, It developed that side of them so that, you know, they, they can be more secure in who they are and who God's called them to be and who East Smith who's, who they're meant to be. Um, just before I started creative church though, I went through a hard breakup with a church.
Um, I was working for, uh, I was, I was on staff for a little under eight months and, um, the leadership decided we were going to close up shop. Um, I will. Talk about the events that transpired to make that happen. Uh, so a little bitter, but um, growing up, working for churches, you know, my parents being there were church planters and my father was a pastor.
My grandfather was pastor. My great grandfather was a pastor. Like I come from a long line of pastors, um, having a church close that I was on staff. That was very hard. It was a very hard season forming. And uh, in that moment, uh, and. Helping me really realize that, you know, this is the first time in my entire life that I was at a church.
I was, I was at a church that closed down, you know, it's, it's gone. And I am out here by myself. Uh, I'm out here kind of alone, and I don't have a church to work for. Um, I realized that my community only existed in the context of my church. And to me, that was a huge problem. Um, and I thought to myself, you know, a lot of other people are dealing with that where their community is only in the context if they're working for a church.
So in the context of their church, so what could we do to solve that problem? Now, I know there's some events that were going on at the time. You know, you had seeds was a big one. Um, uh, the church down at fellowship church at C3, um, and those conferences that they help bring creatives together, but then they only happen once a year.
So my solution became creative church, which was a permanent constant community for church creatives. That acted a lot, a lot like a church and a that's literally what, you know, we behind the scenes that are creative church, we always say we're a church for church creatives. Um, and that's kind of helped give us context as for what we do and what the content that we create, or the events that we create.
Um, and then we kind of run everything else behind the scenes, like a media company would, and that's how we generate income and, and feed the, keep the church going. So that's kinda my backstory, that's where I'm at. Um, other than that, I live in Orlando and, um, I'm married and I have a dog. My dog is a miniature schnauzer and my wife's name is Lydia.
So that's kind of me and me in a very tight nutshell.
Yeah, I love that. And that actually, again, that brings a lot more clarity too, because we knew somewhat of what you, what you did. But even with that, I mean that it, well, I will say this and naturally drew us as church creatives. Right? So for those that don't know, but Lauren and I met at church, uh, my wife is best friends with her and so we kind of started this like just.
Basically helping the creative team just develop these processes and stuff. And then we found the Facebook group and what, all of what you guys were doing. And so it just naturally pulled into that direction. And so you're accomplishing your mission, uh, with the, with creative journey has been phenomenal for us.
And so, um, really it's one of those things too. I mean, How have you from the beginning, uh, really been able to, to build that. So, I mean, you kinda mentioned it about like, Hey, this is what I want to do, but what were, what were kind of some of the practical steps that you actually put in place for your organization, but then also just, you know, even around the, uh, the Facebook group itself,
So, um, definitely made a lot of mistakes doing this, you know, banana for five years. Um, I don't know that I had a formula start now. Uh, and I think that showed, um, uh, for any kind of growth. Um, because when we started, I literally just went and followed a whole bunch of church creatives that I knew on Instagram.
And then a whole bunch of people caught wind of it. And we just had this like explosive growth, like just boom. Like we had 10,000 people within six months. Wow. For a brand new Instagram account. That is cute. Um, and so, you know, we, we began to kind of see. You know, my business might've made because before I ran creative church, uh, helping, um, nonprofits and government organizations kind of stabilize themselves financially and help them with that strategy.
So the business side of me is going well, can we capitalize on this at all? Um, and, uh, off of this growth. And so we began to create things that actually meant something to the creatives that we're creating for. And that's kind of whenever we started implementing things that actually helped sustain our growth and continue to grow.
Um, a lot of those things were like creating content, being there for them, and then starting to operate kind of like that church where we're creating events or creating meetups to connect these creatives. Um, but yeah, it, it. I don't. Yeah. So the sad, does that answer your question?
Oh yeah, totally. Yeah. I don't know.
I don't think I knew about the kind of that, that explosive growth growth up front, because that's pretty cool. Um, and especially with, I, I think naturally, I mean, you're a very talented designer and I think a lot of that played into where it's like, you can't be shaking the sat around now. It is true Nick.
So it is one of the things that it's like a, I think on the back end of that, of being able to, to see an account that does resonate with. You know, you can't just say, Hey, we're creative or, Hey, we're a video company and then not be able to shoot video. Well, like you have to do whatever it is, the community you're building.
You have to have some type of authority, but you know, obviously understand the struggles and what it's like to go through that process. So, um, absolutely.
Yeah, I've absolutely loved, um, the group, just because I think finding that. Um, church creatives on a whole, um, just, um, tend to be really overwhelmed.
They wear a lot of hats. Um, they can also yeah. Be sadly underappreciated for what they do. Um, and so when we were serving on the creative team, um, this was the first Facebook group that I've ever wanted to be. A part of that actually was helpful. There's so many of them that are supposed to be, but they're not.
And this one was so supportive and I love all the resources that come through as well as, um, I love the people that. Share their graphics. I think it just, it sparks ideas for me. And we've talked about this or did you see that? Like, it was so good and somehow, sometimes we wish we could be more edgy, like other churches and have more schools.
We're all about. Yeah,
we do push that envelope a little bit. And for the most part, we have a pretty forgiving congregation, but there are a few things that we pulled out. They're like, what, what was that again? You have the goats and also snakes running around somewhere like, wow. Yeah,
anyways, um, through all of that, one of the, as we play that bumper for church every once.
Oh yeah. Um, how have you stayed true to yourself as an admin, Rennie and group? Even when that's, when that's challenging, especially if you have a lot of people, you're going to see a large variety of church creatives that are coming from all different backgrounds.
Yeah. So, you know, um, do you guys subscribe to the Enneagram at all?
Is this going to mean anything to you? You understand kind of the context of the Instagram. So I fall on the Enneagram eight side of the Enneagram. Um, so remaining true to myself. This is not a very hard thing for me to do. Um
, it's actually explains a lot. I'm not going to lie. I'm like, okay. Alright. Well we understand.
Yeah. Be very honest with myself. Like what I can do, what I can not do and, you know, portraying that to other people. Um, it's not, it's not very hard for me. Um, I think the biggest threat to my existence, it would crumble my world. If someone meets meets me and they go, man, you're not how you act on social media.
Like, I think that would be like the thing that goes, Oh my God, what have I done to fail these people? Because. I don't ever want to get at that point. So like, you know, kind of, part of it might be a little difficult to read under, you know, answer this because I don't know what I would do with that. Being authentic to myself or being true to myself.
I don't think I'd have a group if I wasn't that way. Um, I don't think I'd be running it that's for sure. Uh, if I was that way, if I had to put on a mask, it just wouldn't make me. You know who I am and the person that I am.
Yeah. Well, we, and we talked about that too, when we were just kind of prepping for your episode and just like, Hey, what do we want to talk about?
But that was, that was one of those things that really stood out to us with U of a, especially during kind of the, the racial divide and the racial tension that that's been going on, the, in the social justice, uh, you really took a stand and we appreciated that. I saw that and I was like, wow. There's not a lot of admins that are doing that.
They just want to, you know, not keep the peace. I mean, you did it in a very professional way, but it was just one of those. It's like, Hey, I want to be a part of this even more just because I know now what you stand for and what you will tolerate, what you won't. And, but it wasn't tolerate. I mean, there was a lot of, even those comments and questions where people were genuinely just don't know, and that there's a lot of grace and that, that is something that you don't see.
Um, It is, especially in, on the, in the social media world, but, uh, you've done a great job of kind of keeping true to yourself. And do you have any advice maybe for some admins who are kind of going through, maybe they're not one to kind of be a challenger to kind of put things out there and they are a little more reserved, but what's a, what advice would you give to other admins of groups like this?
Yeah, just, you know, don't do anything that's outside your comfort zone so far that, you know, you're ruin your own happiness. That's a big thing. Um, I know there's some people who are admins who have come to me and they've told me, no, we didn't say anything because it's just not our nature to say anything.
And I have a, I have a little grace for it. Um, I can understand, I know that, you know, again, an issue like this with the, with the race thing, um, and what's going on with the black lives matter movement, an issue like this that you're not speaking on, raises some other red flags. So it's kind of hard for me to have a lot of grace for it, but I can have some fun.
I understand, you know, maybe they, yeah, you just really would really destroy them to speak out against this. Um, so I kind of, I can get with that, but at the same time, whenever something like this is important, that's happening, not only in your culture, but in your group's culture. Cause creatives are on the front line of interpreting this movement, I believe to their pastors and their church congregations.
And, um, Helping them define what kind of stand they need to take or informing them or educating them. Um, but I'm going to do my job and that's what the group is, is essentially about. So like, if you don't do anything, that's on Rob you of her happiness, but yet at some point you have to realize that conversations are so big that you either have to weigh in or your silence is going to look like a betrayal.
Yeah. And I think a lot of, a lot of people saw that during this time, a lot of group admins who remained silent, a lot of my friends came to me and they were like, that looks like that. That looks like a betrayal. That's what that looks like. They didn't say anything. They didn't post anything. They didn't make it, the messaging towards it.
And I'm not tooting my own horn and saying, Ooh, I did such a great job, but, uh, But I just want to warn admins out there that whenever things like that happen and you don't win, you're reserved and you're like, you shut down and you know, you don't even say, you know, I stand with, with my, with, with, with my people.
Like you just completely nothing. That's going to look like up the trail to some people. So you want to make sure that you're doing things that, you know, You can, you can put out that, you know, you remain satisfied with your life, but yet at the same time, you don't want to miss those big cultural conversations like that.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely. Well, and that, I think even again, going back to that, I had mentioned the grace thing. It was really for people who were asking the questions, like, I don't know how I'm like, this is kind of the first time I've even having some self realization and I don't know what questions to ask her.
I'm trying, you know, and there wasn't a. Uh, an outpour of people, like how dare you, you should absolutely know you should, you know, and you, you did it a great way of educating the people to where, even my stuff I learned through that. And I'm like, wow, I didn't, I had never thought about it that way. And that helped me kind of have even more empathy in that situation.
And only one make me learn more in that, in that moment too. So
yeah, I mean, I think also, I mean kind of, obviously not. Taking that from the racial aspect, but like taking it down to just like silence on, on issues in general. Um, I think we see a lot when we're working with clients in social media and they'll get a bad review and they don't want to address it.
Cause they're like, well, it would look bad. And I'm like, it looks way worse when you don't say anything or
you disciple. All the reviews or comments or anything like that, like, Oh,
so yeah, I think always finding, um, finding your voice and being able to communicate well is always really important. So we really appreciate what you've been doing and in that group, for sure.
Um, so thinking about, um, creatives and gentlemen, we talked a little bit that they can be, um, well, creatives are just an interesting greed as well. Um, but, um, I kind of work as a project manager over a lot of creatives that was, so
we have a book that you've, what is it hurting, hurting tigers. She's like how to, how to manage creatives.
I was like, that's a great book for you.
Yes, it is. Um, but anyways, um, they can also be a, just, it's an interesting group that I think during, especially like COBIT times, um, we see a lot of creatives that are, I mean, they're going above and beyond right now to find creative ways. Um, so how have you found, um, A way to easily encourage creatives without, I don't know, being cheesy.
And like, you got this without, you know, actually being authentic about it.
You know, sometimes the best words you can hear are you got this, like, honestly, and that's just truth. Uh, whenever things are having to have COVID. Like we, based on cheesy posts, you know, like stuff that you probably already know, but man, you needed that reminder today.
You needed somebody saying that outside of, you know, you telling yourself I got this, you need other people to tell you that you have this. Um, yeah, just, you know, in this, again, part of our mission with creative church, you know, whenever we're developing people spiritually, you have to remember that to be developed spiritually.
You have to be encouraged. Right. So we want to encourage people. So encouragement is always a big part of what we do. Um, because I'm an Enneagram eight. I get honest with people real quick. And, um, if I don't encourage people, they'll just feel like they're being punched all the time with truth bombs. And I don't want to just punch them all the time with truth bumps.
I want to remind them that the situations that they're in, they can handle and they can take, and they can, they, they do have this, um, especially with, you know, what. What happened with COVID in the changes that had to be made in a lot of churches very quickly. Um, they needed that reminder that whenever they hop on social media, they got into their group, that we were there to be there for them.
Like we changed everything that we are doing. Uh, we erased months of content that we had planned. Only to gear it towards helping them do what they're dealing with right now. And that comes down to a lot of empathy and a lot of listening. Um, you know, we, we have two ears, one mouth that's that means we have to listen to twice as much as we talk.
And, um, as a group admin, as a community leader, wherever you fall on the social media management scale, um, You are going to want to be listening to the problems that your audience is facing and coming up with solutions for them, that's the most important thing you can ever do? Um, because it becomes, it becomes really easy to encourage people when you know what they're going through.
Um, and it becomes really easy to drop a word that, you know, cheesy, but shouldn't affect their lives in a big way, just because you had the. Audacity to just shut your mouth and listen for a little while and see what they were actually going through. It's not something you're going to find in a customer survey either.
You've got to actually actively people watch your community to actually understand what it is they're actually dealing with.
Yeah. Yeah. I completely agree. That's a, I think even in general, you've done it in a way of encouraging people of just grabbing their agenda. We always talk about stopping the scroll.
Right. Um, and you've done it in a way that it's a graphic, but yet it's done well to where it grabs your attention. And you're like, Oh yeah. Like, Hey, you know, you are loved. You, you do matter. And that's, that's such a, even as, as, I mean, I'm, we were pretty open about mental health, you know, around here and just taking care of yourself.
And so there's that, that one statement of you matter to me that resonates to me probably way more than even with my wife. Like, she, she sees that and she's like, yeah, I do matter. But like with me, it's a deeper thing. And so you've done yeah. That encouragement in a lot of ways that that really help you like to scrolling through like, Oh, Hey, appreciate that today now, you know, I needed that.
That's awesome. Well, and even, even talking about that, I mean, we, you know, especially during the, you know, the pandemic and stuff that, that, uh, right at the beginning, it was discouraging for a lot of people because people were scared. They didn't know what was going to happen, not just about the virus, but, you know, the whole world is changing.
Right. And so, um, you did a thing kind of right out of the gate, uh, which was couch Fest. Right. And talk to us about that, because that was really when, uh, from a marketing standpoint, I know you did not intend this, but from a marketing standpoint, seeing you go every single day, or I'm trying to think of how many times a week that you did it, but it was like, it was always showing up like, Hey, we're going to have this guest, I have this guest we're having.
I was like, Oh, I need to pay attention to what's going on because. You were actually doing a lot, you know what I mean? And so that did help kind of bring the awareness of the group up because you're doing something different, which we like around here. But talk to us about that. What, what was your kind of mindset going into that?
So couch has happened in 24 hours, literally from inception to design to roll out. It happened at 24 hours.
We were without, we had the guests lined up because I did tell everyone that we're going to do some live talks to kind of help people navigate this stuff. But then it was like, no, we can't just do live talks.
Like we gotta make it. This has to be something. And, uh, so I came up with this idea of. You know, sitting on your couch and it's the couch Fest. And so literally sent the, I did the initial design, but I sent it to someone else who was gonna design my tee shirts and things. And they came up with a way better design.
This is what I was saying. I'm not really good designer. I'm a good, I'm a good logo maker. I can do logos really well. Like when it comes to like, Oh, I need something like really creative don't call it. It was, I can't help you there. Uh, and so. I sent it to him. He got that to me, midway through couch Fest.
So we have it. So we started using this as a logo and yeah, it was, it was, again, something that, because I was listening to the audience, I knew what was coming down the pipe. Um, and that's the thing, like the longer you listen to people. Uh, the more perceptive you become as a creative. And that's really what we want to get to.
We want to become almost like fortune tellers, not because, you know, we can read the future, but because we just smell the blood in the water and, um, that's what what's happened. I was like, I could smell it in the water. I know something is we're going to need something to really rally people at the beginning of all this.
And that's where couch Fest came from. And. We knew already what the, what the needs were going to be. We knew people were going to need live streaming. We knew that people were going to have to figure out ways to connect with their kids online. We knew that people were going to have to figure out how to connect with our guests, how to translate people that are watching for the first time into their community.
So I just have the people who I thought or believed, could speak on it. And they went and just blew me away. They impressed me because they knew exactly what they were talking about. Um, And it really, it really became a big, it became a big thing for our community. And I think we will do it again next year.
Hopefully not because we have a of it, but because we can actually, you know, and, you know, give that to people.
Um, yeah, I love that. That's a, I hear, I hear a theme kind of keep them keeping going. Like, you're a great listener in that. And we, we talk about. Uh, especially in our, you know, different businesses and stuff about paying attention to what people are saying and being able to describe the problem better than they can describe it.
Um, I know, I don't know if you know, Pat Flynn, but he's, he's just one of those guys is a big proponent of that. Like you should be listening constantly listening because that helps you solve their problem even before they know they have that problem. And I think that what you would you talk about just bringing on those people and having that conversation like, Hey, again, Feeling like we're all in this together.
Which, I mean, that was obviously the tagline too, is like we're all together alone. And so it is one of those things that like, it definitely made you feel like that, like, Oh, okay. Seeing other people are having issues with church stuff. And how do you do the stream and what are we doing? Like all of these things.
And then I was able to chime in on some of that stuff because we've been streaming for the past year and a half or so. We got on early when a lot of people weren't just to. Ha try it out and see what we could figure out. And so I was able to help people and then other people who were more advanced were able to help me.
Um, and he just, what all, it's almost like you just put the right people in the room and you just kind of like, okay, all you guys help each other, you know, it's, you're like, Hey, I know this is a problem. And all of you can help each other with this. So I'm just going to start this thread. And then you guys just all help each other in there.
You know, it's just, you're, you're facilitating those conversations, this, and that's, that's one of the key areas. I think it's awesome.
Yeah, no, I think it's totally, I, we run into a lot of people. Um, obviously there are clients that I want to start a podcast, you know, I want my social media channels to be huge and everything, and they want all the files been.
They don't really like people and that can always be a problem because I'm like, well, you gotta have to listen to them to actually grow that unless you're going to do that a real slimy way. Um, and so it is really cool to see authentically people enjoying each other PE other people, um, and actually truly listening, which is, is really important for sure.
Um, so speaking of how
fun time on social media, if you don't like people,
it's always fun. You're talking about, they're like, well, I really want to grow my pocket podcast or whatever. And we're like, well, who are you talking to you? How are you promoting you? You know, going through and having conversations with people like literally you could pull up a hashtag of what your podcast is about and then just start answering questions or interacting.
Well, I don't really have time for that, like, well, okay. All right. Well, good luck have fun. Yeah, exactly.
Uh, well, speaking of people, um, one of the things I think that intimidate a lot of people when they think about starting a Facebook group or maintaining a Facebook group is that people are human and they do stupid things and say, whatever comes to mind.
And so, you know, um, with having a larger group, how do you keep your group healthy and how do you handle people? Just being people.
So, yeah. Um, it comes down, you know, I consider myself to be like, kinda cultivator of like the culture. And so like, what do I want to see in the culture and what do I not want to see?
So I have some hard knows that I don't want to say I do not want to see any disrespect. Um, I believe that respect is something that should just be given freely, uh, trust. On the other hand, that can be earned. Um, but for me, if you're not respecting other people, you're, you're not gonna, you're not gonna find yourself in this group for very long.
Um, and you also have to give trust to people that they're going to follow the rules, or they're going to, you know, listen to what you're leading or how you're leading. Um, I know a lot of my, my, a lot of my counterparts have gone to post-approval and our groups, which is a. Right by thing. Um, but as soon as you do that, you really need to take that one or community out of your, out of your bio, because you're not a community anymore approvals once you are as a resource blog and, and, and that's all you are, um, because we have to get people the freedom to post what they want to post and have a little bit of ownership.
And this group. Uh, even though sometimes it's things that I don't really particularly care that they're posting, um, discussions that they're having that I'm like, I wish we wouldn't be having that discussion right now. I kind of have to live with that fact because this is how community happens. They post something that they may be excited about, or they may have questions about and other people weigh in and this is how conversation starts, and this is how community happens naturally.
So I can't be the person. You know, deciding what gets talked about all the time. I have to kind of go with the flow of where the community leads and it's a big deal for me to keep trusting the creatives that are in the group to be the creatives of the group and take ownership in what they're in, what they're posting and follow the rules that we've set in place or the guidelines.
And, you know, even if you cross those guidelines, those rules. Alright. You know, I've been known to give grace at least once, um, uh, some flat nose, some flat nose. I will say some. Those are just, if you get in there and you are just tearing people apart, we had a one guy, we had one guy early on, this is antithetical, but when a guy early on who man, every time someone would post, he'd be right there to give the harshest nastiest critique.
And I grabbed him and pulled him aside into a chat. And I said, Hey man, listen. You can't do that. It's like, well, number one in the group is respect everybody and be kind well, they need to know when they need honesty and I'm like, no, no, no, no, they do need honesty. You're absolutely right. But the way you're giving them honesty is not in a tiny way.
And that's where you're losing them. And all you do is you're just looking argumentative. He called me an authoritarian and he blocked me and left the group. But. I've took people out of that, out of that group like that, because I want to keep the culture, the easiest way to keep the culture is to make an example of someone breaking the rules, um, and show what happens whenever those rules are broken and you can't come along, you can't be in this group.
If you can't be kind of, you can respect other people. Um, and I don't, I don't let those people stick around for long because what they'll do is they'll start to. A road, the culture that I've been working to build, or the one that I've been working to make, they'll start turning it into a message board for venting about your pastor, which we kind of talked about a little bit before.
Uh there's no, there's some vintage stuff. Your pastor and leadership group. Um, we, we just don't tolerate anybody in there to fuss about your pastor or your leadership. Because that's not really something that you need to go to a group of 10,000 creatives to talk about. Uh, you can go to your friends, you go to your wife, you can go to your dog, but you can't go to our group and talk about it because whenever you start doing that, all you're trying to do is rally people to your side so that you can say, well, I know better than him.
And that's just going to continue a discord between you and your leadership. And I don't support. Yeah. If you can't respect your leadership and that way I, you know, I don't, I don't want you talking about it in your group and, you know, building a case against him as to why he's wrong. Whenever we don't know his side of the story, and we're not your meat eaters for that.
So venting in the group is off limits and not being respectful, but yeah. So just keep facilitating that culture to grow people, to understand that this is what we want to see in the group. And then once they, the community.
Yeah, I love that. Well, and that helps. I mean, as just like with any, any job or any, any places you go to work, I mean, you have your one bad Apple and if somebody doesn't deal with that or it doesn't really coach them out.
Um, a lot of times like you'll lose good people. And I've seen that in other groups where people just like. Tired of this, you know? And so you don't hear about all the, kind of the passives of the people that are in the middle, who are white watching these things go down and, uh, um, kudos to you for doing that.
Because I mean, that is, that is really hard because again, especially in something where it is tied to, you know, Christianity and the church and all promoting that same thing, you would think that we're all in this together, but I mean, everybody has opinions and, and it's hard to some, you know, be self-aware sometimes.
And so, uh, you do earn their respect from other people by doing them
. I'll say this it's it's, uh, you know, cause I helped plant churches. That was kind of what I grew up cutting my teeth, doing. Uh, my parents helped a bunch churches. I helped punch churches. Uh, and I watched pastors beat themselves up when they got a volunteer who was good at their skill level.
Right. And it's might be off subject really audience I'll go down this rabbit. I'll go this rabbit shell, but beat themselves up because they were good at the skill level. They showed up the wrong time, but bandit were a toxic person. Like sucked. They were just a bad personality. Right? And so they keep them around because they showed up.
And I learned from watching them that if only if I'm only keeping a person around, because they're doing something for me, that is not what the loving thing to do is to say, Hey, you can't be a part of this volunteer team. You can't be part of this team. You can't be part of this community because your attitude sucks.
So you need to go sit down. It takes some time away from what we're doing and learn to help fix your attitude. Then we can come back when you're a healthier person. Um, I don't like keeping people around just because they add to my number count or, you know, they they're influential in the group. Attitude sucks.
We, and we've had a conversation about it and I've given you grace to try and fix it. And we just keep coming back to the same thing. Then it's time for you to go ahead and move on to another group because. It's just not going to work for you. It's not going to work out for anybody. It's, you're just creating a hostile environment for me.
First off. It's all about me really at the end of the day, like you're painting my side, so no, I'm kidding. I'm kidding. But you know, you're creating a hostile environment for the rest of the group. Like people who are in this group, you are making it uncomfortable for them to be a part of this. And that shouldn't be the case.
I mean, I'm all for being a little bit uncomfortable while we're growing, but. To be uncomfortable because somebody is going to yell at me because I didn't do design right. Is not something I want the group.
Yeah. No, that's a, that's very true. Yeah. And I'm just thinking about too. Cause like, if somebody is leaving your group, you guys have done specifically a great job of promoting other groups as well.
So I know like James, uh, visual media church, uh, just of their products and what they're, I mean, it's just a phenomenal service and accompany and a, but you do a great job of you guys cross promoting each other and stuff. So I'm thinking like if somebody actually left that left your group and jumped into his ground, like James wouldn't tolerate that stuff either.
It's so funny. You guys are just really well connected because it's like, That that is what's needed. And this silo of like, we're right, and you're wrong, just doesn't help anybody. And so, um, I think you guys have actually promoted, um, like stream yard as well was one of your posts I believe. And so we started using stream yard and so there's other products
or stream yard.
Oh, I'm so sorry. Stream Yankee. Oh,
you messed up the sponsor saying I talk to them. I get upset. I'm down. Didn't know what he was talking about. Well,
part out it's totally fine. Um, but no, I just, you guys have done a great job of that and really, I mean, it is one of the things that you don't see that a lot, you don't see others say, Hey, why don't we talk about your group and why don't, you know, and again, not that this may be a better place for you, a better fit, but a lot of times it is that, and that's something that is, uh, has been a great resource too.
But, uh, so just kind of wrapping up here, um, Nick tell us really, you know, what is next for you? What's next for creative church. What's next for the group. What's next for all the things that you guys are doing?
Yeah. So what's next for us. We we've got a lot of stuff that got pushed aside because of, okay.
Um, so we, I have a podcast that we used to have, we're bringing a bag, um, and it should be dropping sometime in July. And then we also have YouTube videos that we've been working on. And again, because of COVID, it just didn't seem appropriate to launch that stuff yet because it just. It was taking away from the conversation at the time and we didn't want to be about that.
So we held onto it. So I think probably, you know, we're, it just depends on when we're going to started releasing that stuff. But the next big thing that we have is something called a creative church, 24 or creative 24 or CRTP 24. Um, just remember anytime I say creative, I'm taking the bowels out, uh, So CRTV 24 is a conference that we're doing in October on October 23rd.
And it'll be the first of its kind. It's a global 24 hour creative conference, live streams. And, uh, we're gonna have guests from hopefully all around the world and we're going to be up for 24 hours and we'll have breakouts with. You know, zoom sessions and, uh, just times to talk as a community, walk through some things, and then we'll have some sessions led by at least 36 creatives.
Cause that's how many you need to fill a 24 hour time slot. Um, so, uh, we're really, really excited about that. And tickets, if we're on the podcast is now, uh, whenever we're in August, uh, take a scholarly, be on cell each set to check out the creative church group or creative church.com. So I get those. Um, and I think they're going to be again, we're recording this three months out, but, uh, so I think they're going to be about $29.
It's not much
you stated it. So that's what they've got to be now. So you can't go up on the brakes,
be at least $29.
I love it. Love it, man. That's awesome. Well, and it's even different. I have. So I'm thinking about this because I've seen other, other live streaming events in different conferences, but.
You're doing it in a different way. We, again, we love doing marketing differently and you're doing it a different way in the sense of like, it is a, it's a 24 hour thing. So it almost makes me, I'm like, Oh cool. It's something that I get to, like, we're going to stand for 24 hours and see how long we last.
And I mean, that's really, that's a great concept.
Here's what you need to know. The ticket comes with a restrained pass. So even if you falsely. You still got the content, so you're not going to miss anything. Um, and we set it up for that. Uh, I liked it because I learned very quickly watching other people do live events, uh, for digital, uh, four days for a conference like you normally would do.
And people get bored with that. Even when we did couch Fest, it was like 5,000 people. The first day, 3000 people, the next day. 200 people the third year, like people just get bored. Like, they're just like, I don't want to do this anymore. And I understand, like I get bored. One of our, see things multiple days online.
So I thought, well, Hey. 24 hours. I mean, it's done in one day and if you miss anything, you can just restream it.
Yeah. I love it. Excited. Fantastic. That's so that's so awesome. Um, all right. So any, any kind of last words, any encouragement that you want to, I mean, we've got, we've got listeners who obviously are in different areas of marketing, but also within the church world as well.
Um, anything you want to say to them?
Yeah, just cheap. You know, we talked a little bit about finding your voice and how easy it was for me to find my voice, keep striving for that. If you're not very good at it, or you want to put up the mask, learn to have the self realization in yourself and the honesty in yourself to be a person who is yourself all the time, because social media has, it's very easy to put up a mass and be the person we think you should be.
And all that does is lead to a lot of grief, a lot of sadness because you start, you start portraying a, a, a duplicate of yourself and, um, then you suddenly have to work harder to keep up this mask and you start losing your true intent and your true purpose. I believe God has called each and every one of us with a unique purpose.
And I believe in finding that and letting that guide your life, um, and. Remaining true to it, as you, as you're developing on social media and marketing and such.
That's awesome. I love that. That's a good word. Thank you so much, Nick. Well, and thank you so much for being on, on our podcast. Um, so, uh, obviously you guys can find, uh, Nick creative church.com.
Uh, make sure you guys reach out to him. If you have any questions, where can they follow you?
You can follow me at Nick Gardner and that's in, I Hey, and gob and me are, um, so seeing even I spell my name weird and that's on all also social media platforms, it's naked gooder. Um, and then creative church, you can find, um, C R T V church.
Uh, if you search the group's going to pop up, the Facebook page is going to pop up on Facebook. And then of course on Instagram, it's going to pop up. If you. That'd be look for us on Twitter. You'll be disappointed. So yeah,
we're the same way
I'm Twittering her.
Yeah. Oh yeah,
absolutely. It's a good place to go to for like, Trending events that are happening right now. If I need need some information. They're great. But other than that, we've yeah, we've traded weight, but yeah. Anyway, Hey, uh, also if you guys have missed anything, um, during this episode, we didn't take the notes or whatever.
We have them all for you email@example.com. Everything's there everything Nick talked about and that we talked about, it will be there. So make sure you check that out as well. Well, as the, uh, video and stuff yeah. Of his awesome background and everything, um, that we've, we've got going on as well is going to be there.
So. Make sure you check that out and we will see you guys next time. Thanks.
Nick. Are you ready for? Rapid-fire my friend.
lauren. Are you ready?
I am ready.
Let's do this.
Okay. What was your first job?
First off, I worked as a condo cleaner in Destin, Florida with my grandparents at the age of 10.
There's so many questions I have about that. That's interesting.
I then went, I started selling candy at school at age 11 and future sent me down, shut down.
And then, uh, then I went on to mow lawns for summer for two summers and 13 to 14,
you know, I'm, I'm a formerly licensed teacher. And so you don't know how many kids we had to shut down for that. Like him selling out of their locker.
Aye. Aye. Aye. I blame that experience as to why I hate school, the school system, because
it eroded, it took away.
A natural, uh, spirited me to sell. And like I was, I was making, I was making close to a hundred dollars a week and as an 11 year old crap, I mean, like, and I had the system, like I knew what people liked and, uh, you know, I don't know where I could have been today. Had teachers just let me, yeah.
I understand. I understand why, but.
I love it. I love it. Alright, Lauren, what about you first job
as a barista at 12th.
Oh yeah, because your parents owned a coffee shop.
Yeah. So I was pulling shots.
Goodness. The first, the first one I thought about was that I, when I was 16 or I guess 15, I worked at Sonic.
Oh, there you go. Did you roller skate?
I did not actually I did, at one point they were paying me Cook's salary and I was car hopping. I was like, this is the best of both worlds. Like I guess the money and also get a tenant and get to go outside, which is nice
. It's the most controversial D you tip at phonic,
right? People used to, and now you can't.
I mean, it's so hard to tip now.
Wait, what do you mean? Like, just throw it at him
of not tipping anyone. I think that every employee should be paid a proper wage. And I should not have to do the math at the end of my,
yeah, that is true. That is, Oh, well it's okay. Oh man, we're coming full circle here because I was, I did car hop. I could count change quickly. So I actually got to where I could round up.
And know what a tip is. And maybe Nick, you should go car hop that would help you at the end of your meals. There you go.
You got really good at math. And I was like, wait a second.
Yeah, no, that'd be ideal.
I have a standard tip that is it's over the 20%. Don't, you know, it's over the twine. I just have a standard tip.
I'll just leave that. And I'm just like, I know it's over the 20%. I just don't feel like doing the math.
Oh yeah, absolutely. I have to round it out
and I'm sure they appreciate that. Just like, just go.
So you're not the guy that puts a dollar bill or, you know, a hundred dollars on the table. Like every time you mess up, I'll take away.
Gosh, come on.
Just making sure to not say tag David, like who is this guy? Right. Anyway. Okay. Okay.
All right. Knowing our audience. What is your biggest graphic design pet peeve.
Oh, Mmm. Wow. Oh, dang, skip me. Come back to me.
Could you tell me what my graphic design pet peeve is?
So it's really funny that we've talked a lot about like grace and being really respectful, um, because I do a lot of our slides for church announcements and everything.
And so the other day I'm actually the women's director at our church as well. And I did a one and I knew I had broken several design rules. I was just trying to whip it out and I knew. Ryan's going to tell me goes, you rolls over on his office. Jeremy looks that ain't good. I hate it.
I don't think I should.
You're like, okay. You were right though. And all the things I had broken and I fixed the things, the rules I broke and it didn't look right. Perfect.
So I'm very simple, just very simple as like it's crazy. Cause our designs a lot of times are not simple, but that's what I prefer. I'm like, just keep it very, just very simple.
Anyway, you always feel like you have to add to it.
What's yours. Lauren, what's your design pet peeve
. This one's kind of specific. I don't know if it's like graphic designers are all over, so I am not a girly girl. And so I just hate within graphic design that everything dealing with women. The fonts all have to curl.
I hate our logo. I'll be honest. No, no, no, no. This is my women's ministry logo. Cause it's not happening.
We'll do a rebrand at some point.
It was just one of those things. I just say everything without it just, it bugs me and it's going to be flowers and butterflies and curly font. Oh, yeah.
All women love that because yeah, because you know, all women just love flowers, butterflies, and thoughts.
I told, I, I did tell my team the other day, I said, we will never host a mug in muffin. We can have mug so we can have them up and not have them login.
She's going to put that in the group today, by the way. We are an
isolated, you've isolated, a hundred percent of the women audience. That's what you've just done.
I hope you're okay with that. Lauren
men, men, the only way we know how to get women as among some of them
, do you want to Mo
actually one that I thought that was way worse was purses and prayers.
Oh, purses and prayers. What's wrong with that? I mean, you guys regrade your purses and you're going to be praying there.
I mean, it's anyway, that's what matters
. I thought of my, one of my design pet people.
You guys are next cutting us off. That's all right.
You know what enough enough? Um, uh, so. I hate seeing billboards with more than five words on them. Um, especially whenever that's good. If I can't read that thing in five seconds, you've failed.
You failed as a billboard artist. Um, not a, not a billboard top 100, but a billboard, a graphic designer. Um, because I there's, I'm just thinking of one in our town right now that I know has about a hundred words on it.
Oh my goodness
. They literally just threw this thing up and it has really tiny font. I'm like, you're going to cause someone to read your, of your idiocy billboards.
I'm a big proponent of billboards have to be read in five seconds that they can't be right at five seconds. They're not, it's like going on a billboard.
You would think that it's common sense, but there are so many billboards out there that are like, that were just so vague. You don't have, you're like. Or you
like, she's on a call, like, right.
Oh, hold on one second. Let me write that down real quick. Is it four Oh seven? Wow.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Protect people. Hey, keep it five words or less and make sure that you don't put a phone number. Just words of wisdom from their goodness.
I have actually designed a billboard. Wow. I know all those rules.
Yeah. Well actually the company I was designing it for, they want, they kept saying, we need more text on there. And I said, well, we can and everything. And they were like, no, we really want all this stuff on there. And I was like, it's not going to fit. It's not going to look in. And so it was actually very validated because I sent it out to the billboard company and they were like, No, you can't do that because they're like, they can't read that while driving.
It was actually, it was a good moment for me to come back as a designer and say, okay, Actually the billboard companies,
they just thought you're making it up. Then they wanted to blame you. Oh, Hey Nick, this has been great, man. Thanks again. Alright. I've really enjoyed it. That's awesome. We're out. That was good, Lauren.
Thank you. We're out. We're done. We're done. That's it. We're out.