Digital Parish: Becoming a microfamous minister with Matt Johnson

Matt Johnson, author of Microfamous: Becoming Famously Influential with the Right People is our adjunct professor in this episode of Pastoring in the Digital Parish. Matt helps us envision practices for building influence, community and engagement around our digital content.

How do we get the right people seeing the stuff that we produce? Then how do we get them to interact with that content and with us? Matt and host Ryan Dunn address those questions. We'll get tips on reaching new people online, bringing new people into our audiences, building real influence with them, and nurturing them through digital discipleship.

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Matt Johnson:

Like everything in the world, the more choice you have, it trends towards specialization. People want stuff that's tailored to them. And the church has really fought that trend for a long time. And it just, it creates all these other downstream effects where you end up trying to go, Hey, well, I can't do this because that'll mess at this group of people. But if I cater to them, then it means I'm not catering to this other group. And we're always trying to find these solutions that like bridge the gaps between all the different constituencies that we have to satisfy. My advice would be choose who to serve and let the chips fall where they may.

Ryan Dunn:

That was the voice of Matt Johnson, who is our adjunct professor for this session of pastoring in the digital parish. This may come across as a bit of bragging, but my team generates some really quality content. There's some great stuff going up on the website. The challenge for us really is not so much in getting good content, but the challenge is reaching people with that content. How do we get the right people? Seeing the stuff that we produce, then how do we get them to interact with that content? And with us, I needed help with those questions. And in my search for understanding, I stumbled across the book, micro famous by Matt Johnson. That book was geared towards helping introverts like me succeed in getting noticed in an extroverted marketplace. I'm super excited that I get to have and record a conversation with Matt. I'm also super excited to share it with you in this session. Matt takes some marketing principles and helps us see how we can use them with our ministries to reach new people online, to bring people into our audiences, to build real influence with them, and then to nurture them in discipleship sound like important stuff. I think it definitely is. I learned a lot. You're going to as well. So let's meet our adjunct professor, Matt Johnson.

Thanks. First of all, for joining us, I want to kind of work out a working definition of micro famous. So when you drop that phrase, microfamous, what do you mean?

Matt Johnson:

Well, first it's an honor to be here by the way. Thanks. I appreciate it. I appreciate it. I jumped right in. So micro famous to me means to be famously influential to just the right people. Uh, you know, I'm, I come from, uh, a church background. My dad started, you know, three churches over the time, uh, you know, between me being a kid and early adult. Uh, but then I jumped into the world of marketing and that's kind of where I run. You know, I run in the world of like business coaches and consultants who are kind of also on there they're mission driven, right? They want to teach, train and lead people. So I draw a lot of parallels between the world of pastors and churches and the world that I run in every day with coaches and consultants, because they have a lot of similarities.

The differences, all of my people are building communities almost exclusively online versus off. And so they run into a lot of the same things that you deal with in the, in the church, but they don't really have the background of, of solutions. And they're kind of struggling to apply that to the online world. And so they do what most people do, which is they try to serve everybody. And if that's not working, they go, okay, well, I must not be speaking to enough different types of people. Let's dilute the message down even further, make it even more general because I must not be reaching everyone. And to me, micro famous is going the exact opposite. So if you want to grow faster, you get even more focused. You choose an even smaller group of people to serve and you get even sharper and clear and more compelling and maybe even controversial and polarizing with your message so that you give a certain group of people, a reason to absolutely fall in love with you. Even while you give most of the rest of the world, a reason to ignore you or completely walk away and reject you, which is by the way, the ultimate of what Jesus and Paul's apol and all those guys did. Right? Yeah. Although I'll tell you what,

Ryan Dunn:

It's not an idea that we jump on to or embrace in church world because very much. So we think about trying to be all things for all people. We want to reach everybody with, with our message. And yet in building, I guess, a consistent online platform that may not actually be the best practice. How is it a limiting mindset to try to be everything for everybody or to reach everybody? Well, I think it

Matt Johnson:

Comes down to messaging because it affects what you say, right? Just choosing to serve everybody. It automatically gets you into a frame of mind where you're trying to say something that would attract everybody. And just the world is very noisy place right now. So I think in, in an environment where, you know, if you, if you're on the 19th century and you're building a Methodist church in a small town, you know, a few thousand people, you're the only game in town. It's like, Hey, if you're a Methodist, come on down. It's like, great, fantastic. Would you like to be a Methodist? Great. We're the only church where we do that. So come, come on over. And, and that's just not the reality we live in. So I mean, that, that has changed just with, just with cities, right? But when you step into the digital world, now you're competing against everyone and you're competing against every other form of distraction.

So Facebook, Instagram, you might be creating content for those places, but your content is right next to all the other content. That's been like scientifically designed to be distracting to the max. And so you're competing against everything. You're competing against all the noise. And so when you go into that kind of environment, we way underestimate how clear we need to be to actually cut through any of that stuff and actually grab anybody's attention. And if they don't feel like on the receiving end, that that's a message that's been tailored for them. It's very easy to tune out. It's not that they want to do it. It's not that they want to offend you. It's not that they don't believe you have something of value, but if they don't feel like it's tailored to them, it's like moving on. I'm gonna, I'm gonna look through all the other content that was perfectly tailored to me by companies that make billions of dollars online doing exactly that. So that's the competition. That's the landscape.

Ryan Dunn:

Yeah. Well, when we talk about visibility, it's good to kind of niche down. A lot of us have grabbed onto the idea of visibility by over producing content. Meaning, you know, maybe it's not the highest quality production, but we do a whole lot of it. A lot of us feel like we're on a mill of just trying to generate more content. We want to post to our social several times a day. Like we want to be constantly present. Is that a reasonable expectation or is there a better way to kind of up our visibility game?

Matt Johnson:

Well, I think if you're a pastor, that's a, that's a hard sell, you know, asking you to take a lot of selfies and do a lot of the things that work on social media right now. It's just a tough sell for a lot of reasons. But I mean time, even if you like it, it's still time. It's still a distraction. What I help my clients do like in the business world is they're creating one kind of signature piece of content a week. Uh, I mean, to me, I think of, you know, when we, when we help people launch podcasts and they're doing like a weekly episode, I think of it as their sermon. And then we're kind of taking chunks of that and sharing it on social media. So obviously it's, it's easy for pastors to do the same thing. You know, if you're in a church environment, you know, Russell up an intern, that's a musician and let them figure out how to launch a podcast and get that content up online.

And rather than you creating content from scratch every day, think about how you can just point to that one signature piece of content you already created. So that might be pulling out some quotes. It might be just announcing that, Hey, the latest episode is up. Here's what we talked about. Here's the points we covered. Like there's some simple things like that to do, but to me that's a much better way to be visible, just a candle, just the basic baseline of just being visible and kind of showing up in people's feeds. So you're kind of there digitally is don't create a bunch of new content, create one signature piece of content a week, and then point people to it throughout the week. It is compelling because

Ryan Dunn:

We are already in the business of putting together that one single piece of content, right? For most of us that comes across in the form of a Sunday sermon and that can then provide the content through the week. And there's a second value to keeping consistent like that because you talk about having a clear and concise message. And when we get caught up in that idea of needing to post every day, a lot of times we're just kind of pulling from all over the place. We're just looking for whatever it is that's going to hit on this day. But you're suggesting that then drills back into that idea of just having one consistent, clear, and concise message.

Matt Johnson:

I mean, ultimately it goes into leadership and this is what's so fascinating to me. And it's why I choose to work with the types of people that I do even in the business world, because I'm fascinated by leadership and helping people lead others to a certain destination. And really it's all the same thing. If you're the pastor of a church you're trying to lead a group of people to maturity, right? You're trying to lead them to become better disciples. So it's a leadership challenge, which means that your, your weekly content, which in this case is your sermon. Like that needs to be the message that your people need to hear in that week, in that moment to like take the next step in their journey. So why would you just randomly pull a whole bunch of content throughout the week that just serves no other purpose other than to attract attention and just kind of be visible when you've got this piece of content that with theoretically was designed with a very specific purpose in mind, which is to lead them to the next step and give them the content they need in that moment that you think God has given you for that group of people.

So I'm trying to get people to do that in the business world, because everybody wants to plan their content out and they want to do things is sometimes a little bit too far in advance. Are they because it's easier on them? It's like, well, this isn't about you. It's about your people and what they need to hear from you in that week, in that moment. And sometimes, yeah, that's going to mean more work on you to produce things in the moment. But like you said, pastors are already kind of confronting that challenge every week. So I think what probably people in the church world need to understand about social media and can just kind of pushing back against all this pressure to be everywhere and kind of be visible all the time is there's a couple of things that has happened. I would say just within the last year, year and a half in social media.

So the first thing is social media companies have started to really shift to heavily reward real-time content. So lives reels, you know, when Snapchat got big, then Instagram stole essentially the format and created stories. So, and then as, um, you know, clubhouse has gotten big. Now Facebook is going to jump into like live podcasting. Like there's just, whatever new thing comes along, Facebook and Instagram and stuff are going to essentially steal it and kind of build it into their platform. But all these new features and all these new platforms kind of have the same thing in common. It's all in real time. So that's number one real time content creation. The second thing that they're shifting to reward is then real-time engagement off of that real-time content. So you on your phone creating the content, but then engaging with people, chatting with them, commenting, responding, messaging, yada yada, you know, having these conversations.

That's the only thing that social media is actually putting actively in people's feeds. Otherwise, all the other stuff is essentially getting squashed in the algorithm. Meaning if you have 5,000 friends on Facebook, I mean, I've got 5,000 friends, another 4,000 followers. So I'm ahead of most people on Facebook, I'll put a post up and it's probably the same hundred and 50 people that see it, unless I do something that's based on real time content, real time engagement. And then Facebook goes, okay, that's what we want. We're going to show it to more people. And maybe some people that are even outside of your network, but if you don't do the things we want, I'm not going to promote you. So in the church world, because I think you guys are just a little bit further behind the very cutting edge of social media, where people are selling stuff and figuring out what works, the pressure that's now coming into the church to be everywhere.

You have to understand that's two or three years behind coaches and consultants have been dealing with ever since Gary V came out with his first book, crush it or whatever the heck that was. You know, we're talking about 10 years of pressure of this. The problem is it doesn't work anymore. So just recognize that if people are pressuring you like as a pastor now, like you need to be on Instagram more. You need to be in all the places where the teams and the twenties are, and you need to be all into all these new platforms. Just recognize that pressure is already two or three years old and the coaching and consulting world. And it doesn't work anymore, especially if you're on the introverted side and that's a whole other conversation, but that's what I deal a lot with. I'm an introvert. A lot of my clients are introverts. They have the message. They have amazing content, but they're not, they're not a social butterfly. I was like, well, that's not going to win right now on social media. Don't give into the pressure and just be visible for its own sake because your parishioners are asking for it because you gotta remember they're two or three or four or five years behind in their expectations of what you should be doing on social media.

Ryan Dunn:

I'm glad that you brought up being an introvert because pastoring is an extroverted mode of employment, but a lot of introverts become pastors. I'm one of them and said, that's why maybe what drew me to so much of your content was that you do approach this from an introvert's perspective and you go live on social media as an introvert. That is intimidating. I'm sure. So what are some of the, I guess, ideas that you have in doing your live events? Like what is the platform that you're jumping off of to do your live social media posts?

Matt Johnson:

Well, so a couple of things, um, I'm the type of introvert that I can turn it on when I need it. And if you didn't know me and you didn't, you didn't know that I was an introvert, I could fool you. And a lot of people are like that. You know, a lot of introverts. I mean, my dad is one of them. He was the type that he ran his church with virtually no staff. My mom was the assistant. He would get up and preach. He didn't do a lot of counseling in between. I mean, it was basically like, Hey, I get up and preach. I lead worship. And then I'm out. And then my dad was taking a nap. I'm the exact same way. And I think if you're that type of introvert, it's going to be easier for you because it's not a, it's not a fear thing.

It's just a, Hey, what works? Right? You can turn on the extrovertedness and when you need to, now, if you're on the quiet and shy side, there may be some fears or, or discomfort. You may not like the way you look or you would like the way you sound and you kind of have to just kind of push through that and realize that people know what you look like. People know what you sound like, whether you like it or not. I think you kind of have to look at yourself as a vessel for a message and be okay with the fact that you're always going to critique yourself. That's okay. If Paul can preach with scales on his eyes, you know, like a, I think he would probably grossed out the people that were in the same room with them. I think we'll all be okay.

So the people that have the ability to kind of turn that on when they need to it's, it's, it's going to be a lot easier. The only question is just what works the best for you. And that's why live podcasting or live video is always really good for me because we started out on Google Hangouts and then we moved to Facebook and now we use a platform called stream yard. And once you're on that platform, you can stream to and Facebook simultaneously. And so you can get up on multiple platforms, right? So there's a lot of leverage there. My same hour goes up on multiple platforms and then we just rip the audio out of that broadcast and turn it into a podcast. So I get, you know, it's like three for the price of one. So it's great for time, right? Great. For someone that's busy and when you're live, there's a certain energy there and you can interact with people.

You can answer their questions live, you can interact, you can chat with them, or you can verbally answer the questions on the broadcast. So there's a lot of advantages to that type of content. And you can spend all week pointing people to that thing. So if I were a pastor and I wanted to do a live broadcast, you could do it a couple of ways. Number one, you could do a setup to your sermon. So let's say you do a Thursday or Friday, live on social media. Don't give away the sermon before you preach it. And what you do is you solve the problem that comes before the problem you solve in the sermon. So you set up the sermon, right, by talking about the thing that comes before, what you're going to talk about on Sunday morning, that way, if they listen to you and they like what you heard, they're going to want that next step, which is to show up on Sunday, or maybe go listen to your podcasts where they repackage your sermons into episodes, right? So you kind of set it up and talk about the problem that comes before. The one you're going to talk about on Sunday morning,

Ryan Dunn:

Is that similar to what you do on your platform? Because there are so many similarities.

Like I think we just, we use different words. So, you know, you call it coaching, we call it discipleship. You're in client acquisition. We're kind of in congregational growth, but in a sense, they're very much the same thing. So as you talk about your, I guess, your flow and having the, the one single content thing I'm guessing for you, that would probably be a podcast episode is your, your main content concept. Do you go live then with this same idea that you're going to kind of pre-sell the podcast episode before you do it?

Matt Johnson:

Yeah. So you can, you can do one or two things. So I've done both I've experimented with both. You can also do like a piggyback, right? Which is if you deliver a Sunday morning sermon, if you, and you want to do maybe something on a Tuesday, then you piggyback off of the sermon and you elaborate, go deeper or maybe give some more practical application stuff. You can do either one, you can do one before your sermon and kind of point to that signature content. Or you can do one after the fact and point back to the signature content. So you can do either one, but I've experimented with both. I don't think there's any one right way. It's really about what is most comfortable and what makes the content easier for you to produce. And then just finding the forum, the mechanism, or the app that you use, where your people, your particular congregation is active.

I think this goes to the bigger point of kind of trying to be all things to all people. I just don't think every church needs to try to appeal to everyone within a certain area, or even with any certain congregation, especially if you're in cities, there's plenty of churches to choose from. And they might be right down the street from you. You know, there's a lot of churches that bend over backwards to try to please everyone. And what they end up with is they've got to do two services, one with contemporary worship, one with traditional, you end up with all this stuff split. You've got half the congregation that doesn't give a crap about what you do on social media, because they're not there or at best they're on Facebook looking at pictures of the grandchildren. And you're trying to serve all these different demographics.

If you, if you look at your church differently, as like, if you imagine a statement for a church that was gonna start a church today, I would start a church that was the only church for X type of person in San Diego. Like, Hey, if you're in your thirties and you're a busy professional, this is the church for you. And everything in the church is structured for that one type of person. Now you'll get their kids, their parents, their grandparents, but most likely they might find they might like your church, but it's going to, it's going to be a lot easier to grow if you specialize that way. Or maybe the grandparents go to the more traditional service at the church down the street, who cares if we're really all concerned with the overall body, that shouldn't matter, right? If there's, if there's an ego element in there, that's where it starts to really get into your own ego.

Are you really okay with the overall body growing? Or do you want more people to come to your church? Because it's your church. If it's really about the body, then you shouldn't care. If you serve kids that are fresh out of college that are lost and looking for guidance. And they want mentorship from people that are in their thirties and forties, they don't want a sermon from somebody that's in their seventies. But if you go to traditional church, maybe they don't want the guy that looks like he's still 25, trying to tell you theology that he just learned in divinity school, like everything in the world, the more choice you have, it trends towards the specialization. People want stuff that's tailored to them. And the church has really fought that trend for a long time. And it just, it creates all these other downstream effects where you end up trying to go, Hey, well, I can't do this cause that'll mess at this group of people. But if I cater to them, then it means I'm not catering to this other group. And we're always trying to find these solutions that like bridge the gaps between all the different constituencies that we have to satisfy. My advice would be choose who to serve and let the chips fall, where they may,

Ryan Dunn:

As you're generating content. Then with the idea that you are connecting with a specific niche, do you find yourself creating from a mindset of you are coming up with the ideas that then you need to present to your niche? Or are you reacting more towards the questions that your niche is asking?

Matt Johnson:

Uh, this is a great question and reminds me of that Henry Ford quote. If I would have asked my customers what they wanted, they would have told me they wanted a faster buggy horse. Um, cause I think there is an element there. Like if you're, if you're a leader, especially in the Christian world, like that is your job, it's your job to have and set the vision of where you're leading this group of people now in the business world. That is what works, right? If you ask your audience what they want, you'll get all kinds of answers. And if you spend your time trying to figure out, trying to answer those questions, you'll actually never lead them anywhere. And the manifestation there is that your business doesn't grow, but in the church world, like that should be kind of an easy, no brainer. Like, Hey, we kind of know where we're supposed to be leading these people that the vision is already set.

The vision is in the Bible. And so we should, as a leader, have a vision of where we want to lead these group of people and how to get there. But then there's an element there that's like the 80, 20 rule, 80% leadership, 20% answering questions, you know, I think, I think that's a good mix. So in that, and I do the same thing in the content that I produce in my email. Follow-up there's one question a month where I asked for feedback from the audience. And so I get, you know, a trickle, like, you know, people are kind of moving through that list at their own rate all the time. So I'm always getting a little bit of feedback, a question that they're struggling with a sticking point, something based on a question that I've asked them in an email, but eight out of the 10 podcast episodes are about the stuff that I think they need to hear, not the stuff that they're asking me.

Ryan Dunn:

Hmm. You, uh, suggest that controversy has a place within developing a niche. Can you expound on that a little bit more for us? Because honestly, number one is an introvert. I don't want to step onto a controversy cause that's just not who I am. And, but then also like in church world, like we're scared of controversy, honestly. So I was

Matt Johnson:

Very comfortable about it earlier on there's a, there's a family legend about my dad writing a letter to the board of a church he was employed at and he immediately got fired. So, so we, I come from a place

Ryan Dunn:

Of a stirring, the nest…

Matt Johnson:

The yes, he was, he was, he's very good at stirring the pot. So controversy here's where controversy fits in, whether you're comfortable with it or not. And it does have to, especially in the church world, not coming from a place of ego in the business world, if you come at it from a place of ego, it can still work because you're dealing with people that maybe you just attract. Other people that are attracted to your ego. Great. In the church world, it has to come from a place of no ego. So when I say controversy, it's not about you and drawing attention to yourself, it's about an idea and a message that is polarizing and anything can be polarizing in a positive way. So I'm not talking about controversial, just in a negative sense. Like, oh, I hate that. I don't agree with that. That sounds terrible.

Stop saying that it's more about finding a way to be polarizing, but in a positive way. So you attract one group of people really, really strongly while at the same time, pushing everyone else away, just as strongly. And that's the rub with whatever you want to call it in the business world is marketing in the church world. It's growth and try building. It's all one thing. Anytime you're trying to strongly attract one group of people, you have to be willing to and actively repel everyone else. I look at it as the exact same proportion. So as strongly as you push some people away, that's how strongly you'll attract the ones that you're actually speaking to. If you're not willing to do that, it's going to be hard sledding for you. You know, I mean a great example of just talking about a clear and compelling message, mean you can see the difference.

Christianity absolutely hit the Roman world, like a bolt of lightning. You know, Paul starts going into the Gora and starts preaching. So we lived in a polytheistic world, right? Paula starts preaching in Roman cities and Greek and formerly Greek cities that are now Roman, you know, sub states. Uh, it says, no, there's one true God. And by the way, you're not worshiping him. It's not one of the ones you guys already worship. It's it's this other one over here that you don't know about. And yeah, it just, it was like a neutron bomb. Now, obviously that overall message is already set and in our society that's already understood, like America's a monotheistic society for the most part, either you believe in the one, true God, or for the most part you're atheistic or agnostic or whatever, but we don't live in that society more. So what is, what is a message?

Well, there's all kinds of counter-cultural things that Christians believe that are counter to our culture right now. We just won't talk about them, but that may be the very thing that actually gets us the right kind of attention. Assuming it's not spoken out of ego and a desire for, you know, attention and things like that. So I think the church always should be its own culture and in a culture right now in America, that's going off the deep end. Like the church should be the beacon of that constantly pushing back against that. And our message on social media should absolutely cut through. Instead we've gone the opposite way, which is to try to please everyone, to the point where I messaged us and cut it all because we're just trying to be nice.

Ryan Dunn:

Yeah. You know, we value relationship a lot and that's probably one of the reasons why we are a little shy of the controversy and step foot into that realm. You've laid out kind of the key three elements of, of building a micro, famous platform or authority, visibility and relationships. And since so much of your platform is a digital platform. Your relationships are coming about that way. Yet with church, we, we tend to give like a second class value to digital relationships. A lot of us have felt like, Hey, we're just treading water until we can gather our people again and get back to the real business of being in person. But, uh, research shows us in the church world that a lot of our digitally native folks, um, they're going to place that second class ranking onto in person relationships. And they're going to engage with us digitally first. How are you building some kind of intimacy through your digital interactions?

Matt Johnson:

That's an interesting thing. So podcasting is very similar to radio where it's such an intimate medium, you know, like where people that are listening to this, like were in your ears for 30, 40 minutes, you can't get that kind of intimacy from Facebook and Instagram, that just doesn't exist. So to me, the goal of those other platforms is, is to get people over into a place, into a platform where they do spend lots of time with you because that's the only substitute, the only substitute for you and I meeting in person, shaking, hands, looking each other in the, seeing the body language, building that relationship over coffee in person. If we get the chance to do it, the only substitute for that is something like this, where we get to spend a lot of time with each other and specifically for your listeners, for example, they can, they can spend a lot more time than, than just the 45 minutes I get to spend with you.

They can spend hours with you over the course of time or they can discover you. And then they can listen to your podcast episodes and binge 10, 15, 20 episodes, and spend a week's worth of time with you all, all in one kind of one binge. So to me, that's the only substitute. There is no real substitute for in-person except for digital environments where they can spend a lot of time with you more than you could even spend with them in person, because then they get to consume you on their own terms. And that's why podcasting is so powerful for coaching consulting or churches, because podcasting is one of the only marketing kind of mediums or platforms or whatever, where you can actually convert people to a different belief system because you've got time. You can make your point. You can make an argument. You give examples, you can tell stories.

You know, imagine if Paul had two minutes up on a platform in a marketplace, he's not converting anyone to Christianity in two minutes, he can say something to get somebody's attention and say like, Hey, I'm going to go be preaching at so-and-so's house tonight, come on over. But that's about the best you can do in two minutes. That's not a relationship. That's just enough to grab somebody's attention. You've got to get somebody over to the house where you can actually sit down with them for an hour and expound, and that's when you make converts. Right? So to me, that's one of the few podcasting is just one of those very few places in the online world where you have that much time to spend. And that's why it works so well for both the business and the church world.

Ryan Dunn:

That's great. I love that idea that Paul was a podcaster or in the sense this open air kind of preaching Matt. One final question for you. What is been your most recent discovery or aha, or idea of obsession?

Matt Johnson:

Oh man, that's a good question. It is really thinking about the cultural waves and tapping into the cultural waves. I mean, I could tell you about like the hand drawing sketching and some of the like practical stuff that I'm doing like that. I don't know if that's what you're going for, but, uh, I've really been thinking a lot about in the quest to build an audience of people around an idea or a religion or denomination or something like that. I think we kind of tend to look at ourselves like, am I the right messenger? And do I have the right message? And we lose sight of the people. And we lose sight of the fact that within the people, within society, there's all of these different trends, big waves, little waves, whatever, you know, um, Nirvana's music is a great example of that. It tapped into this eighties generation of latchkey kids that all felt neglected and overlooked.

And Jesus basically did the same thing. He's like, well, I'm not, I'm not here for the, the Pharisees and the Saudis. I'm going to go hang out with all the centers. I'm going to go to the ones that you all neglected. The ones that feel overlooked. If the ones that feel like religion, isn't for them, that's who I'm going to go to. I think we can find those pockets today. And if, if churches go after those pockets of people that feel neglected and overlooked and underserved, we're going to have much better luck and do more for the kingdom. What I think is funny is we end up with a bunch of churches that start in the nicest area of town and they're not serving the homeless and they're not serving the downtrodden and the overlook and neglect there. They're serving the ones that already have 17 churches to choose from with all the have beautiful buildings and facilities and pastors that look like the cover model, you know, and it look like they have their own Instagram feed.

There's a lot of that going on. What's funny about it is that going after the people that are overlooked and underserved and neglected and all that, that's actually a better way to grow fast because once they find something that they feel is for them and nobody else they're going to spread it within their group. That's how you get like genuine, real, authentic word of mouth. And to me, that's the best way to grow a church is not by marketing quote unquote, but by real people talking about it, having other people talk about your church on social media, rather than you having to be on social media, talking about your church. So if I can flip the paradigm around a little bit, if there's pastors or church leaders listening, it isn't about you being on social media, telling others how awesome the church is. And it's about you doing things with the right group of people that makes them want to go on social media and talk about Haas and the churches and pointing other people to you. So we can flip that around. That would do a lot of good,

Ryan Dunn:

There's kind of a deep like model for discipleship in there too, but I hope some folks spend some time and thinking about that at VAT Johnson, this has been really fun. It's been super informative. Our listener wants to know more about you. Where is the best spot for them to kind of dive into the world of Matt Johnson immediately?

Matt Johnson:

Go to get All my stuff is there.

Ryan Dunn:

Learn more about Matt Johnson and becoming microfamous or famously influential with the right people at get micro, If you want to touch base with me, send an email to digital perish at [inaudible] dot org. You can also find more points of [email protected]/digitalparish. Big thanks to United Methodist communications and resource for sponsoring this podcast. I had help from Reed gains in editing this episode. If you'd like to offer some thanks you can do so by hitting subscribe to this podcast, then dropping a positive rating or review on your podcast. Listening platform, several episodes of the pastoring in the digital perish podcast or out now. And we'll be posting a new episode each week until the end of season one in August, but here's a pro tip. You don't need to consume these sessions in order. So just click on whatever topic interests you and then start listening and then listen to the next one. Thanks again. My name is Ryan Dunn and I'll talk with you soon.

On this episode

Matt Johnson, author of Microfamous

Matt Johnson is the author of Microfamous: Become Famously Influential with the Right People and has taught scores of clients how to grow their reach and influence through his coaching business. Check out more from Matt at

Ryan Dunn, co-host and producer of the Compass Podcast

Our proctor/host is the Rev. Ryan Dunn, a Minister of Online Engagement for United Methodist Communications. Ryan manages the digital brand presence of Rethink Church, co-hosts and produces the Compass Podcast, manages his personal brand, and obsesses with finding ways to offer new expression of grace.

United Methodist Communications is an agency of The United Methodist Church

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