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Justin Dean, Former Communications Director of Mars Hill Church

Communications and PR Guru Justin Dean shares his story, truths he has learned, and what he is doing today

It is a true privilege to have had the chance to spend an hour chatting with Justin Dean. I have known about Justin for a while now having benefited from his ministry work at Mars Hill Church and now today as he works diligently to equip church leaders and churches to effectively communicate their message in a digital age.

For years, Justin led the communications department at Mars Hill Church, through an unprecedented season of growth in the Pacific Northwest. Justin leveraged social media and video to increase the impact of Mars Hill – that was what got me hooked. For years I listened to Pastor Mark Driscoll and other leaders in the Seattle megachurch. I even signed up for a year of studies through their leadership training program known as Re:Train. I am a better husband, father, man, pastor and leader because of this program.

As many of us know, Mars Hill Church closed its doors a few years back after much controversy and the resignation of the founding pastor, Mark Driscoll. Justin was on the front lines of this most difficult season. He shares his story at length with the pain, challenges but also some of the redemption stories that emerged out of this church.

Today, Justin has emerged with a strong voice in the church communication world, particularly in the PR and Social media department. You will not want to miss some of the insights he shares about working hard before a crisis hits to prepare for the inevitable one that is coming your way.

Also, at the end, we discuss some social media strategy that is timely for those who want to leverage their influence and advance the mission of their organization or business. 

Justin is a fantastic man of God and a true servant of us church leaders. I wholeheartedly endorse everything that he is offering and would encourage you to support him in any way you feel led.

Here are some links we talked about:

(This podcast is by Jon Morrison. Discovered by Christian Podcast Central and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Christian Podcast Central, and audio is streamed directly from their servers.)

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This week in the “Shed” is our tool of the week – Jean Luc Tshishimbi.

Jean Luc has an amazing life story but even better than his story is the way he tells it! J.L. as we call him, is a master story teller. Although by trade he is a communications and wireless sales executive (TPX Communications), his true passion is making changes in other people’s lives through his story telling and hospitality as he invites you into his life and his lessons learned!

In this episode Jean Luc shares a couple stories from his youth in the war torn Democratic Republic of Congo. The purpose of his stories are two-fold; first because stories are a tool in and of themselves, so learning how to tell stories and bring them alive is a critical part of us bringing change and impact to the people around us. Second, Hospitality is the tool that Jean Luc presents to us in this episode through his story and the story allows us to enter in to the powerful imagery and lasting impact that hospitality can have on people in our lives whether they “need” it or not.

Specifically you will hear us zero in on a couple stories when J.L. was just a small boy. In the first story J.L. was playing with his friend from down the street. When play time was over his friend invited him to stay for dinner. The awkward part of the invitation for dinner was that this little boy and his family had close to nothing and yet J.L. was the child of a prominent government leader with plenty of food, clothes, etc. J.L. was faced with a decision, insult the invitation of the family or stay and eat what little food they had. You’ll have to tune in to hear how this story finishes but journey with us as we take a peak inside the world of the DRC through Jean Luc’s eyes and the life change that was and is happening in all corners of the world.

Jean Luc closes this episode with a challenge for us to pick up this tool of hospitality and utilize it in a way that may be initially costly to us but worth the long term investment in others’ lives.

This episode is loaded with tools we hope equip you to build stronger relationships. Hope you enjoy!

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Daren Streblow

Kicking of the show this week, I am joined by my good friend Chris Rossetti, as he hides from his wife in his car. Why is he hiding? Well, dating back to their wedding day, Chris has a terrible problem with opening his mouth and saying things he shouldn’t say.

Obviously, he is the first married man to ever encounter such an ailment!

Starting at their wedding reception, Chris was expected to offer a toast. He was completely unprepared, so he simply uttered the first thing that entered his mind… or maybe it didn’t filter through his mind, which goes back to the origin of the problem. With 300 of their closest Christian friends, Chris lifted his glass and proclaimed:

“Food and drink for my men and horses, for tonight we ride!”

Oddly enough, this wasn’t well received.

Now, at the moment, he thought he was quoting a valiant scene from a classic western movie. When, in actuality, the quote came from an episode of the Andy Griffith show when Otis, the town drunk, rides into the jail cell on a cow!otis-riding-a-cow

Then there was Chris and his new bride’s move from Pennsylvania to Florida. As a new husband, about to embark on their first adventure together, he laid down the law:

“We are going to drive until the tank is dry. We will not stop for bathroom breaks. We will not stop for souvenirs. Nothing. Do you understand, woman?!”

Predictably, not thirty minutes down the road, Chris had to go to the bathroom like nobody’s business! Finally succumbing to his basest needs, he also lost every ounce of authority and credibility in his marriage.

Flash forward a couple years and they had their first child. Chris was working at a local grocery store, and one night, his wife asked him to go with her back to the store so that she could grocery shop and have his help with the baby. Now, for nine hours straight, Chris had just witnessed one mom after another juggle their cart, grocery list and children. He simply didn’t understand why he needed to accompany her back to the place that he just stood at for nine hours. Yet, she begged. She pleaded. “Chris, I just need a little help! Please come with me and the baby to the grocery store!”

Calmly, without the “need” of a mental filter, Chris replied:

“Well, what do other mothers do?”

With an equal amount of calm and a double heaping of cold, his wife fired back:

“Some of them shoot their husbands.”

All this brings us to Chris’ current problem.

Flash forward 25 years. Without thinking (surprise, surprise), Chris had promised his bride a while back that he would take her to Italy for their 30th wedding anniversary.

Image: The Savage and Starbuck Show

Image: The Savage and Starbuck Show

What a guy!

(What a guy with two dollars to his name!!)

Dude needs a gofundme campaign, STAT!

But, Chris thinks he has a way out. As he came home the other night, some door-to-door marketer had left a placard dangling from his doorknob. Typically, he just throws these away, but he quickly noticed that printed on it was a menu for a new Venice Italian Restaurant in town. Chris’ idea is to take his bride to this new restaurant and tell her that he was just kidding about Europe… in his mental image, they’d share a good laugh and celebrate 30 years of marital bliss over a plate of spaghetti and meatballs.

Then again… some women shoot their husbands.

After all this, Chris thinks he has learned the secret to his problem of saying the wrong thing. He needs to follow his father’s example, and instead of talking, he should just begin grunting all the time. That’s why married men in their 60’s are so inarticulate and just walk around mumbling and grunting… it’s not that they can’t speak, it’s just that they’ve learned that they are better off when they don’t!

Next up, veteran stand up comedian, song writer extraordinaire, and communications studies college graduate Rik Roberts joins the show from his hot tub, as I utilize my own communications degree for the first time in 25 years!rik-roberts-guitar

Rik, on the other hand, performs at corporate events all around the country, and has his own podcast where he helps comedians learn to communicate more effectively.

Rik’s latest CD, Half Fool, is hilarious! I love one of the tracks in particular. It’s titled “I Love You”, yet it’s not your typical love song. Rik (and his pre-teen son) actually wrote the first version of the song together for Rik’s wife a couple years ago in an attempt to compare things they saw in everyday life to their love for his wife.

Some of the lyrics that Rik and his son came up with include:

I like unbuttered popcorn,

And fingernails on chalkboards,

And root canals, too.

But I love you!

 

I love you.

There is no doubt,

Like a tiny parasite I can’t live without

Some say you are my better half,

And, I half-way agree with half of that.

I love you!

Rik is now taking his comedy in a more purposeful direction, with the goal to not only entertain people, but to help make the people he encounters better… even drawing them closer to God. The key is that he does this, sometimes at the sake of his own reputation, or according to his new mantra: Impact over Image.

When he was younger and striving to hard to be noticed, release CD’s, and be accepted, Rik realized that he was operating with blinders on – unaware of his opportunities to make a difference in people’s lives. So, now, the world is blessed with not only Rik’s comedy, but wisdom as well!

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