Communications

Digital Parish: Building influence through TikTok

Joseph Yoo is a church planter whose plans were upset by the pandemic. Instead of planting a church in a traditional model, he found himself building influence through TikTok. Several of his videos have garnered hundreds of thousands of views.

In this session, Joseph talks about the influence of TikTok: the good, the bad, the in-between. The lessons the platform has taught Joseph about influence. And how this kind of medium has impacted his experience in planting a new church during a pandemic.

The Episode

Listen on Apple Podcasts logo, light. Listen on Google Podcasts logo small, light. Listen on Spotify small, light button. Listen on Amazon, small, light button

Show Notes

Find Joseph on TikTok. Host Ryan Dunn is there as well, but far less active.

In the episode, Joseph mentions that he was inspired by the "Hot Priest Summer" video.

Joseph also mentioned Jeremy Coleman's project: The Speakeasy Project, which is a conversational gathering on YouTube.

Joseph Yoo:

There's clearly a need amongst the people that are online or a deeper sense of community and connection with God. And so like, how do I lean into that also? And

Ryan Dunn:

That was the voice of Joseph Yoo, who is our adjunct professor on this session of pastoring in the digital parish. My name is Ryan Dunn, Joseph and I got into a number of different topics during this session. But the prime reason for hosting this conversation was to talk about TikTok, because right now, Joseph is gaining quite a following on take dot. Despite the fact that he's a pastor without a congregation, really, you see Joseph is a church planter who was supposed to launch a new congregation a year ago, but you know, COVID changed those plans. So instead of being able to reach and shepherd people through a traditional church plant model, Joseph found himself scrambling for alternative ways to build influence. In the midst of that, he found some of the videos he made for his new TikTok profile were hits. At this point, he has a number of videos that have garnered several hundred thousands of views, not bad for a person who started with very little platform.

Ryan Dunn:

So in this session, we're going to talk about the influence of TikTok, the good, the bad, the in between the lessons, the platform has taught Joseph about influence and how this kind of medium has impacted his experience in planting a new church during a pandemic, let's meet our adjunct professor, Reverend Joseph. You said Joseph, you're just like a few weeks into the launch of mosaic church. I guess the in-person launch of mosaic church. So let's start there at the beginning of mosaic. Like what's the vision for the congregation at this point,

Joseph Yoo:

We are in the suburb of Houston and it's very conservative part. And before the pandemic, we had like a non-denominational new church plant popping up every like month because it's a fast growing part of Houston.

Ryan Dunn:

Yeah. It's kind of the sprawling suburb type area. Yeah.

Joseph Yoo:

And once houses build up churches come right along with it. And like at one point, uh, one of the favorite coffee shops, I visit every single person in there doing work were church planners. And I was like, I need to find a different place to hang out because I don't want to hang out with other pastors. That's the whole, that's not the point of not being in the office talking to other Christians. But, um, the one thing that I've been learning is just how this place, this place is. It's a very strong word, but how there's no community for the people who are doesn't fit in the conservative Serber type of family or lifestyle or, or whatever. So our goal, our non-negotiable vision is that we are unabashedly inclusive and not just like not one of those, uh, bait and switch things where we say, you're welcome here, but don't talk about who you are.

Joseph Yoo:

Like, no, if you are a member of the LGBTQ community, you are fully welcomed here and we affirm you and we, we call you to work. And if we ever get to a place where we are able to hire other staff members, you know, we're, we're going to, if there's a good candidate that might not be, you're a heterosexual person, you know, we're going to go ahead and do that. So we are, we're going to be affirming and welcoming in our hiring practices and all that stuff too. So, and I harp on that because that's the one thing that differentiates us from all the churches nearby, like we're in a storefront and a place called pear land. And this west Pearland, there's two other churches meeting out of a storefront as well. And that was really annoying because I thought we had, we had one thing on, but I just walked right next door to the next, uh, strips strip mall center. And then there's a church there and they're bigger. And then I'm across the street from there is, there's a huge church in Houston called second Baptist. And, uh, their parallel campus is right there. So we have these three churches within walking distance. And the one thing that differentiates us from both of the churches is that we are intentionally inclusive, welcoming, and affirming. So that is one of the visions of mosaic that we started out with and that we're going to be living out

Ryan Dunn:

Well, when were you supposed to launch and when did you actually really launch?

Joseph Yoo:

Right? We were supposed to launch back to school day, August, 2020, which was like maybe August 18th is in my mind that I don't know, but like the second to the last Sunday of August and around February, January and February was when I was reaching out to people to be part of the launch team and, you know, be the founding members of the church and whatnot. And then March of 2020 is when school shut down, Texas was slow to everything, right. And the people that I've been connecting with are, they're not, they're not like ever angelical. They didn't grow up in a church. They're not Baba bumpers. They trust and science more than anything else, you know? So once the pandemic was hitting this level that no one ever imagined all of my people that I was reaching out and say, we're not going to do anything.

Joseph Yoo:

You know, we're going to just hold out to see where it goes. So I, we put everything on hold and I didn't know what I was supposed to do because we hadn't launched yet. So we had a, we hired a musician who was the boyfriend of a really close friend of ours from our other church. And he's a full-time musician. And he lost all of his gigs because of the pandemic. And, um, I wanted to find a way to help them out. Like our contract began in August, you know, like our agreement. So I was trying to figure out how to work it out. And my boss at the time said, Hey, why don't you go ahead and start just doing online services that way. I think if familiar to the way of doing church in a liturgical manner and Nick who hasn't been to church for 10 to 15 years can get used to singing CCM songs and whatnot. So we just dropped everything, nothing was happening. I was getting envious about, uh, of my friends doing these YouTube worships. So I started making like little devotional videos here and there. When Nick, I found out Nick had lost all his jobs, we put everything together and we launched our first digital service online service on Pentecost of 2020. And in doing that until weeks ago. So every Sunday we still had an online liturgy, which was really weird because that was our first introduction to Mosaic to the world without ever ever gathering in person. Okay.

Ryan Dunn:

On the meantime you launched your personal TikTok channel and that gets into, oh, I've seen that there's a tie together between that and kind of the growth of, of mosaic. And we're going to get into that. But when you launched this TikTok channel, personally, did you have a plan of like using that as a platform for your ministry as well?

Joseph Yoo:

No. Um, when I was in youth ministry, I would always start doing the things that the kids are talking about just to make sure that I get in the know. And so many of these, of my former youth students and all these quote unquote young people were on Tik TOK. And I was like, what is going on? And then my real curious curiosity became, uh, came forth in the all star game and NBA of 2020, because the halftime show where like these dancers that I never heard of, but, you know, they're like all TikTok stars and whatnot. And I was like, who are these people? How are they performing at the halftime show of the all-star game? So then I download Tik TOK and started realizing how addictive it was. And then a pastor came up on my page, pastor. We talked about before recording a pastor from Oklahoma.

Joseph Yoo:

And I was like, oh, that's interesting. But I also, my colleague David Peters went viral in 2019 as the hot summer priest. And he's the one that like changed liturgical where, and that went like super viral. And so I knew, I knew that there was a Christian presence on tick-tock, but I didn't know that there was that kind of Christian presence on Tik TOK, both progressive Christians and evangelicals and decongestant, Christians and post-Christian. And so I started, uh, you know, my four U pages now, all those kinds of things. And I was like, you know what, maybe I could start making some content to see what it's like to make these one minute videos to convey some kind of really short message about Jesus and me and church and whatnot. And so I started messing around and stuff. The first video I made was myself just skateboarding around town.

Joseph Yoo:

And then the second video I made was a compilation video of my boy, my son, enjoying watching trains and whatnot. And then, um, I had this experience at a grocery store and I made that video and then they went like semi viral. And I was like, what is going, why did that thing happen? And then I made a kind of snarkey video of a young Christian boy that got a lot of views. And then, um, my wife was like, you know what, you're wasting your time stop. And I was like, you know, that's true. So let's just really like, I can't stop now because now I'm addicted to the, to the lights and to the things, to the, to the, like it was growing. And it is a dopamine hit, you know, like, like I'm, I'm obsessed with checking all the followers and all the comments and whatnot.

Joseph Yoo:

And so then I was like, I have to make use of this. So then, uh, that's when I started using it, as I started this series called things that church people have said kind of, uh, garnering experiences that my, myself and the other colleagues have shared with me and kind of, you know, talk about how, like the crazy stuff that people have said to us within our work mat setting. And then that one. And then, um, just things that we don't talk about. And Sunday school was the other thing I started where we just talk about Bible stories in a way that I didn't learn as a Sunday school growing up. And that we definitely didn't talk about in adult Sunday schools as I was pastoring. So that's where, uh, my platform actually that the followers and whatever I hate using their platform. Uh, but that's when I found my niche, you know, like that's where I was like, okay, this is where people are tuning into it.

Joseph Yoo:

And so let's dig into that and then started introducing things that we're doing here slowly. And sure like announced the launch of the church and whatnot and, and things like that. So it's, it never started for the purpose of highlighting mosaic or anytime that it just started out of curiosity. And then I just wanted to see if I can make a little dent, you know, I, if I had gotten like 500 followers out of, in a static and then a couple of things just went weirdly wild and I've learned that deconstructing is a very, very, uh, view honoring topic on Christian tick-tock platforms. Like people who are deconstructing, that's a big, big topic that people tune into.

Ryan Dunn:

Yeah. Well, like your fifth video hit, like something like 124,000 views, which is mindblowing to most of us in kind of the pastoral space. Right? I mean, we think about touching people with 124,000 people with, with a message that's huge. You've had a few that have hit like that. What do you think that people are specifically responding to in those videos? Like, are you seeing a thread from the ones that really kind of take off versus the ones that just kind of lay out there in space?

Joseph Yoo:

Yeah. So the two biggest ones right now is one where I talked about. I end the video, I'd say it was one lady, but it was many, many people who've said that competition. We used to, in one of my churches, we used to do the Lord's prayer in the different language and a small sector that people will complain because you know, this is why we're speaking different language. And one lady actually was three different people came up to me and kind of alluded that we should only speak English in the churches because Jesus spoke English that right now has like 890,000 views. Unfortunately, what gathers a lot of views on my videos is Christians living up to the, uh, the negative stereotypes that people have of Christians and the comments have been, you know, like this is why I've left church. These, these, this is why throughout all my videos, the most common comment is there is no hate, like Christian Love, different people that have come and said, there's no hate, like Christian Love. And like that hurts every time we done. I'm like, ah, so, um, those kinds of things for, for my channel tends to get a lot of, a lot of views. Hmm.

Ryan Dunn:

Is it therapeutic, do you think for people to, to then kind of have that conversation? So do you feel like when they're saying like there's no hate, like Christian Love, like is a door opening where people are maybe being like, okay, maybe, maybe there is something to, um, this faith or, or I'm willing to kind of walk alongside these quote unquote, these people, Christian people.

Joseph Yoo:

I think I have done a disservice to my Christian sisters and brothers, because I think I have confirmed their biases that, or I have validated their reasons of why they have left the church or why God no longer works for them. I've had quite a bit of personal conversations that people reached out and we talked about that, but you know, most of the times it doesn't go beyond what they commented. And then after certain time I just can't go through all the comments because there's just too much for me to handle with my add, you know? And so I, I missed a lot of them, but a few people have the MD and even the, uh, fear of people have emailed me and I've been able to have even more of a personal conversation with those people, but for the most part, um, I just think I have confirmed their biases against us.

Ryan Dunn:

Um, okay. But it hasn't all been fruitless as we're recording this mosaic started meeting in person a few weeks ago. And you noted after the first mosaic meeting that a few people showed up because of your expressions on, on TikTok. Is that true? Yeah.

Joseph Yoo:

Yeah. We had, we had one family show up and I didn't know where they were from, but my, uh, they spoke to my wife and they live kind of far from us too. But, um, and, and they had a little toddler, but we don't have any nursery workers or a nursery space. So right now we're not very children friendly, young children friendly because everyone is in the room worshiping. We are masked though, but like, you know, a lot of parents come with their babies and they want their babies and nurses that they can, we don't have that. So we, it was a very, very weird humbling and like filled with gratitude experiences. Like it was, I walked away feeling weird about it, like, oh, they actually found me, um, they went and saw that video that we're watching and saw that website went to it, saw the address and came, you know, and I was like, yeah, it's kind of scary, but also very flattering, but also like, wow, they actually get like humbling. It was, it was a weird mix. And that's the only story I have about meeting someone from tick-tock in real time. Yeah.

Ryan Dunn:

But I think there's still value though, in presenting like your authentic self in that space. And, and I believe that people are connecting through that, that in a way, like when we are starting to engage in digital space, like we're really looking to connect with real people. And I think you're, you're Tik TOK presence thus far has been, you know, kind of like your authentic presentation of yourself, including some of the things that frustrate you. Do you plan on really kind of leaning into that into your ear, Tik TOK presence some more, or what are you trying to cultivate now through Tik TOK? I don't know.

Joseph Yoo:

Oh, you know, yesterday was Sunday. So it was the first time that I went live on Tik TOK for the gospel reading and the servant part of our liturgy. And then I, I, I did not know. So I'm still new to this platform. I didn't know that, uh, when I download the video, I can't see the comments of the live afterwards. I, my brother was telling me, people are asking a lot of questions during that live, but I can't I'm preaching right now. I can't remember. I got my phone. I might not. So I, so I'm, I kind of, I'm kind of trying to figure out what a better way to cultivate that part. But as for Tik TOK really it's, it serves a selfish purpose. It's an outlet for me to, um, to at least, you know, experiment, be creative and, and just waste time, but in a sort of some kind of productive way. And I am, I have, I have the link tree or whatever on my page for people to reach out if they want. And some people have done that. And I do cherish those things where we can actually go deeper into where they're at and whatnot, but I don't really have an end game or goal for four tick talk yet.

Ryan Dunn:

Okay. Like I see a tie in between your TikTok presence and almost like your coffee shop presence. Like you were sharing a story the other day about how you had a conversation in a coffee shop because you were wearing your clerical collar and you probably, I would guess intentionally wear the clerical collar for the opportunity of maybe engaging or being a, like an inviting presence for people to ask some theological questions.

Joseph Yoo:

Well, more than that, um, I just want people to, I also want to normalize what it means to be clergy, because there's this weird thing that, you know, pastors are not people, right. So, and no one else in my area walks around. I haven't ran into a Catholic priest yet, but, um, it's just a way to kind of want to be approachable, but to also to let people know that we're out here and we're not going to be, I don't want them to think that we're going to be like judging them or shaming them because they see us. So, you know, because the coffee shop is about two blocks from the Starbucks is about two blocks where, so I w on a nice day, I ride my skateboard back and forth with my collar on, so that it kinda like, I wanna like upend the stereotypes people have of third year and whatnot. So, um, but yes, it does invite people to ask questions. And, and sometimes because of where I live, uh, questions and the conversations are like kind of intense that I did not expect

Ryan Dunn:

Counted, uh, in an interaction the other day where, I mean, it kind of went unexpectedly negative route where somebody was asking you about Christian persecution and, you know, aren't, we persecuted here. And I felt like you had a great response to that. I think I probably would have bailed on the question altogether. And you were able to share that, you know, maybe we're not being persecuted, but that we are under review, so to speak. That was a really graceful way of handling that. I'm sure that you enter into some of those, um, conflictual conversations on Tik TOK as well. Do you have some coping mechanisms for that?

Joseph Yoo:

I just ignore him. So on that video, someone commented that I'm probably not a Christian because I love Joe Biden and I support murdering a babies, you know, and I'm like,

Ryan Dunn:

That's a deep read into yeah.

Joseph Yoo:

And so I, you know, responded very starkly. And then I just said, you know, I have a thank you for watching and have a blessed day, but like, I have enough ego to just like, I ignore if it's, if, if I feel like it's a troll, like that's clearly either that person's really, really misguided or he's just trying to get a rise out of people, you know, that's trolling. So, uh, you know, uh, but a lot of times it's just especially on online, I just tend to ignore it. I remember one article a while back that I wrote for rethink church, it might've been about sharing about Jesus being homeless or something. And there were some weird comments on Facebook and I'm like, I, I'm kind of glad that you guys don't allow comments on the rethink page. Cause I remember when I used to do something for ministry matters, ministry matters that allows, uh, comments on their actual page.

Joseph Yoo:

And it's like, how do I define myself? Or do I not? So, um, but you read those things and you laugh. And both of them, they're not a personal attack on me right there. They just, because they're behind the screen, they're a little bit more forward than they would be in their criticism of the things I wrote. So, so it's just a matter of less lack on and let's move on and let's just ignore it because no one is going to change. Someone's mind being keyboard warriors, you know, like, but then there, there, there are people who ask genuine. I perceive it as genuine questions about faith. And I try to comment to those and respond to those either in video or whatnot. But for the trolls, you just, you can't the quote of, I think her name was sweet brown. Ain't nobody got time for that.

Ryan Dunn:

What are some examples of some of the, I guess genuine questions or,

Joseph Yoo:

Yeah. So, um, so this person emailed me out of the blue and was up in the Midwest, north Midwest and was really discerning call into ministry. And didn't know if Catholicism being a Catholic priest, was his calling or becoming a Protestant clergy was his calling. And he said that he saw one of my videos and wanted to ask me about what's it like being a pastor? I was like, do you want the real version? Or do you want me to give you the nice version? So we talked about what it means to be administry. And I told him that it's a life affirming job. And the best part about being a pastor is the working with the people. And the worst part about being a pastor is working with the people. You will pick your head against the wall because of the stiff neck people, as Stephen would say, you know, like it's just, it's just, ah, but then when people get it and you're working together and you put all your differences aside and you're working towards building the kingdom of God, there's no other life giving moment than that.

Joseph Yoo:

And then, uh, I knew, I knew a handful of people. So I gave him Methodist pastors that Episcopalian priest and a Presbyterian pastor to go talk to in that area because there'll be willing to, and I don't know if you ever followed up on that. And then another guy who was a part of a Korean church in Hawaii, and we have a lot of mutual friends, but I never met him just one day emailed. He actually reached out to me on Instagram and said, I am burnt out of church. And I don't know if this is a normal feeling and I just want, you know, your videos kind of seem like you've been burned out here and there. And I want to know if this is normal and if this is okay and I was like, it's absolutely okay to feel that way. And part of it is that you're part of a Korean church who tends to just burn people out because there's so much expectations and we as a people, idolized suffering.

Joseph Yoo:

And so it's totally normal that you feel that way. You should not feel ashamed that you feel that way. You should not feel guilty, that you feel that way. And it's okay to take a season of rest. I know your church is not going to like that. But right now, for me as an outsider, your personal sanity and health is far more important than ministry. And I'll tell you what, if you take a season and break that ministry will continue because you're not a pastor you're just a unpaid volunteer that they're overworking. And if that church falls apart, because you're not there, then you weren't the issue like those kinds of conversations. Um, I would've never had if it wasn't for the tech talk video. So those things happen are really, really a blessing, but I don't, they're, they're so far and few between, and I feel like I want to create more of a connection throughout my videos. I'll notice the same amount of a certain same people commenting on every single video. And I want to figure out how to utilize that into a more deeper connection than just a content creator and consumer relationship. Right. And I don't, I haven't figured that out

Ryan Dunn:

Yet. Yeah. Something a little more conversant. Yeah.

Joseph Yoo:

Something more, something more covenantal than transactional.

Ryan Dunn:

That's a good way of looking at it. Well, take me through the process for creating your TikTok videos. Like where do you start in saying like, oh, this is a good idea. This interaction that I just had is like a good idea for a TikTok video.

Joseph Yoo:

Most of them, I, uh, I have, you know, I have all my notes, apps, like things I want to talk about. So collecting stories from colleagues who want to remain anonymous about crazy stuff that they've heard versus data them and stuff like I've heard throughout my career. And also there's just some cool Bible stories that, uh, we don't talk about in a certain way. And so I have all those things in store and then every once in a while, something will happen where I'm like, I need to talk about this right now because, you know, and that was like one of the instance of the Starbucks guy where he thought I was going to think that we're both being persecuted, but really there's no rhyme or reason except for the, I try to limit my post to two to three times a week so that I can, I can have a bank of ideas to draw from, you know, but anything that challenges the perception of who we are as a church, I think that's where I like to dig into whether it's positive or negative.

Joseph Yoo:

And the thing about the Bible stories, I'm trying to find more stories to share where, you know, it's like, I know we've heard Jonah as a kid as a great, great guy. You know, I did four video series on that, but you know, like during this a flat-out like not a good person that, yeah, there's no redeeming arc of Jonah because it just ends. And, um, it's not the story that we've heard in Sunday school growing up where we have the flannel board and flannel graph, whatever, and all that stuff. So, so it's just kind of challenging. The perception of Bible is, is where I really want to lean towards, but people will people and people will give me great material to harp on. And it's a matter of how can I tell the story without dehumanizing the other person. But if it's a person I know, is it worth telling the story, even if I can protect their identity. So there's a lot of things that I have to discern before making a video, unless it's a complete stranger that I have no relationship with. And I don't care.

Ryan Dunn:

Do you find that, are you able to roll, like in one take, are you a one take one?

Joseph Yoo:

Oh no, no, no. I mean, you've listened to the audio is that I sent you for the pros. Like nothing I do is ever had one take

Ryan Dunn:

Within. So you said that you post like two to three times a week. Are you looking at, um, like a balance of posts? So it's like, okay. So if Monday's post is on this topic, I want to make sure that Wednesday's post is on another topic. No, no,

Joseph Yoo:

No. There, there literally is no rhyme or reason. My only thing is again, like I have a couple of drafts rating and so like, I don't want to run out of ideas. So if I don't want to like go through all these things and then be like, I don't know what to do and then stay silent for two weeks because I think that's the worst thing that I can do currently is to lose that momentum. So I won't have at least one video per week posted on, on that channel. Okay.

Ryan Dunn:

And what's next for Mosaic and how is TikTok gonna play a role in it?

Joseph Yoo:

What's next for Mosaic? One, Mosaic, we're still trying to find who we are as a community. You know, we have our vision values, ambition and whatnot, so we know what we are about. And now the big, next thing for us in mosaic is, um, connecting with our community in a meaningful relational way and not just like a project managing or transactional way. We want to be there for our community and the people who've been on this journey with me digitally. I'm starting on Pentecost last year. Um, you know, we know that Sunday is a rest stop on our journey per se. It's not the be all end, all of who we are. In fact, you know, Sunday, isn't the most important day of the week for us. So we want to make sure that Monday through Thursday, uh, Monday through Thursday, Monday through Saturday, that people in this side of the city knows that we are there for them.

Joseph Yoo:

And we haven't, I haven't found that way to be fully present. You know, I've reached out to schools, we're trying to support all of the gay straight Alliance clubs in their high schools and whatnot, and just providing them with whatever they need. We got that kind of thing getting started. So I don't know, we're, we're keeping our hearts and eyes and ears open to see what needs the city needs of how we can meet that need. Um, and how tick-tock plays into that. I really don't know. I don't know if there's ever going to be a crossing of these two things. I know that some, there's a handful of people who live in Houston and reached out and I invited them to come anytime that they want, but you know, like churches grow when people that they personally will drag them to church, invite them to church.

Joseph Yoo:

You know, one of our church churches, Jim Griffith says that 80% of the people of newcomers come on, the elbows of another, you know, like you fight them and whatnot. So as an online invitation to a real in-person life with people that you don't know at all, and the only person we know is the pastor who you only know through one minute videos, that's for me, that's daunting. And if it's not like I wouldn't go, but I was kind of fascinated about the live experience yesterday. Uh, my brother followed the live feed on Tik TOK and was telling me all this people were asking questions and there was no way for me to interact with them. So I'm thinking maybe after this, after lunch, I'll try experiment with the live thing on Tik TOK today and see if there's any possible growth in that sense.

Joseph Yoo:

And also before we recorded, I mentioned that pastor from Oklahoma who started his online digital thing yes. On last Sunday, I'm going to see how he connects with people. And then our mutual friend, James Kang, he's all about digital presence, his online presence right now, I am following him and we're having conversations. And I'm trying to see how he's able to connect with people on a online platform, because dependent, it has taught us that our, our reach can be wide. You know, when we were doing online services, I had all, I reached out to all of my friends and to send in recordings of the prayers of the people or the Lord's prayer, so that we can have a global presence. And, you know, I had friends making videos from South Korea and, uh, one of our friends is in Mozambique and Africa and whatnot. So we had this worldly presence and I realized our reach is wide, but a lot of times there's no debt in that reach.

Joseph Yoo:

Like we just, we were, were prepared with a consumption thing. So like, how can we, how can I really take advantage of this presence that now I stumbled upon and make it meaningful for at least one person. And so I'm trying to figure out how that is. And I don't think it's ever going to be, those people are going to from ticks are going to come to my church. I'm not expecting that. I think that's that that first week was an exception to the rule, but I do think that I still can make online relationships with my quote unquote followers who are there. So that's, that's, it's kind of two different lanes on the same road, I guess.

Ryan Dunn:

Yeah. Okay. So you're not looking at it as a platform for church growth necessarily. And yet I don't know, somehow it still is because I think what we're experiencing right now is maybe a, a redefinition of what it means to be involved in church. Uh, you know, it's no longer defined really by kind of about in a pew on Sunday morning that maybe, maybe the parish flows a little bit wider, especially when you start talking about reaching, you know, a few thousand people on a social media platform, like Tik TOK.

Joseph Yoo:

I mean that John Wesley quote,"the world is my parish" takes on a whole different meaning when it pickups the online presence. Yeah. So I'm trying to see how I can be the pastor to some of these. Oh, that said, I think there's clearly a need amongst the people that are online or a deeper sense of community and connection with God. And so like, how do I lean into that also? And, uh, and also like the people I reached out to, you know, someone we stopped for me from San Antonio and saying if I was in Houston, not come to the church, I was like, Hey, actually I know a great pastor in San Antonio that does think like me, and you should go check out that church. Um, and so I just want people to get connected with a community because being followers of Jesus by yourself, isn't the complete gospel, uh, being myself as long as it's just me and Jesus we're okay.

Joseph Yoo:

Like, eh, that's only half the commandment, the greatest commandment. So eventually whether it's a community that's in their home and I don't know if an online community can provide the sense of community in as a real, I'm sure that they can, but I'm also a little bit older that, um, I, this whole one online community presence is, is kind of like, I don't know if that's viable or if that's, uh, if it's enough. Okay. So, and, and my friend James will turn around and say, it is enough to stop people connected, you know, and I have like a couple of years on James, maybe more than a couple of years on James as H Y. So I just want to find help people connect to a more meaningful community because there certainly are people searching for that. Um,

Ryan Dunn:

Well, thanks for sharing your time, us in a glimpse and cheering so authentically with us and even kind of admitting some of the ways that tell there's still room to grow on this experience. So

Joseph Yoo:

There's always room to grow for any, any stage of our lives. And we get in trouble when we think we've done all the growing up, right. That's when we get into

Ryan Dunn:

Yeah, absolutely. If you'd like to get a hold of me, Ryan Dunn, the best way to do that is [email protected] If you go to the site pastoring in the digital parish.com, you'll find show notes for this episode, which includes links to a few of the popular videos from Joseph use Tik TOK profile, and some of the other influencers he mentioned, we're off into a new season. So check back next week for the newest episode of pastoring in the digital parish, you can help spread the influence simply by listening to another episode. So click that next button and give another episode of listen. I want to thank United Methodist communications for sponsoring this podcast. Also big appreciation to Reed Gaines our audio editor who makes these sometimes interrupted conversations, sound fluid. My name is Ryan Dunn. I'll talk with you again soon.

Peace.

 

 

On this episode

Michael Beck on Fresh Expressions.

Joseph Yoo is a West Coaster who now calls Houston “home,” Joseph is the founding pastor of Mosaic Church in Pearland, Texas--a congregation built on acceptance. He knows what it’s like to be on the “outside” a little bit and what he wants is for all people to know, experience, and be changed by the love of God that is authentically present in a faith community. Joseph has several viral video posts on TikTok.

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.