The Seminary of Hard Knocks with Seth Muse

Show notes are at 

 In this episode, I give you a few ideas for your pastor to post on his/her personal social media accounts that can help get them started engaging online. See the full blog of ideas here.


The Seminary of Hard Knocks podcast with Seth Muse!

The most fun you'll have learning about church communications and social media!

Show notes available at 

In this extended episode, Rob Laughter dives deep into website trends to watch in 2018 and how it plays with the rest of your digital strategy at your church. Get to a place where you can take some notes!


The Seminary of Hard Knocks Podcast with Seth Muse

Helping church communicators navigate the ever-changing landscape of social media to feel successful every day!

Show Notes are at 

In this episode, I talk with Lauren McAllister, the communications director at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL about how to read YouTube analytics. Reading these numbers can help you create content for your church YouTube that works and takes a lot of guesswork out of it. She's so much fun to talk to, so I know you'll enjoy it. It also gets super real around the 30min mark, just sayin...


The Seminary of Hard Knocks with Seth Muse

A fine place to expand your knowledge of church communications and social media!

Get the show notes with all the links discussed in this episode at 


The Seminary of Hard Knocks podcast with Seth Muse

Show notes available at 

In this episode, I talk with Robert Carnes of Orange Leaders about telling better stories in the church as well as his new book The Original Storyteller. This is a fun conversation full of wise insight on how you can communicate the Gospel more clearly than ever before!

I'm Speaking at Some Free Conferences Soon

Catch me at  or at along with over 30 other church communication and marketing experts!


The Seminary of Hard Knocks Podcast with Seth Muse

Show Notes available at 


Show notes can be found at 

Travis Walser talks with me about branding in the church, a branded house vs. house of brands, and more on this episode of The Seminary of Hard Knocks podcast with Seth Muse!


Church Communications from a Loveable Troll.

Show Notes available at

Follow me on Instagram at @theseminaryofhardknocks now!


Get the show notes at 


This week, I went to the best church communications conference. Yep, it's That Church Conference in Atlanta and I thought I'd capture audio clips of people's biggest takeaways from the sessions in this episode of The Seminary of Hard Knocks podcast with Seth Muse (and friends)!


Welcome to The Seminary of Hard Knocks Podcast! It's church communications from a loveable troll.

The show notes for this episode are found at so check those out.

Meghan Howard is the associate pastor at Fairborn United Methodist in Fairborn, OH. She takes "wears multiple hats" to a new level and you'll hear her story in this episode about how she has battled burnout.

Learn to recognize burnout and combat it from a veteran who has been there! Thanks for listening!


Church Announcements Done Right w/ Adam McLaughlin

Get 88 Ideas for Church Social Media Posts now!

Adam is the Communications Director at Life Church in Ft. Meyers, FL. He has had a lot of success at his church with both live announcements and video announcements, and he shares what has worked for them both on this episode of The Seminary of Hard Knocks Podcast and in the eBook, SnorkleFork. You'll have to listen to the show to find out what the title means.

Show Notes at


Creating Personas for Your Church's Digital Strategy w/ Barbara Carniero

Show Notes can be found at

Barbara started an agency that helps businesses, non-profits, and churches connect their message with their communities and customers. In this episode, we discuss the often forgotten or overlooked first stage of crafting great websites, social media posts, and ads: Personas.

Personas are a fictional character based on what you think the center of your target audience is. Find out how to create personas that help you make better digital decisions in this episode!

Get 88 Ideas for Church Social Media Posts now!


The Art of Digital Listening with Kevin Fontenot

Show Notes for this episode can be found at

If you want to deliver compelling messages to your followers, you will need to do a little research at first. You'll have to practice the art of listening online to see what your people care about and struggle with most. Only then will you be able to learn how to minister to them properly via your church's social media channels.

Kevin is a marketing professional for Trained Up and helps churches all over to focus their message and reach new people. 


Harnessing the Power of Instagram for your Church, Episode 33

Show notes are at

The most powerful tool in a church communicator's tool belt these days is the little app that could, Instagram. Sure, they stole the best features from Snapchat and assimilated them, but we got a really powerful app out of it with an audience that already existed! (if you already had an Instagram account for your church, that is).

This episode is all about why Insta is so great, how it works, and I give you several content ideas for posts at the end that you can use at your church easily.



Leading Church Communications when You're not in Charge w/ Katie Allred, Ep. 32

Show Notes for this episode are found at

On this episode of The Seminary of Hard Knocks podcast...

Katie Allred stops by to talk about how church communicators can lead when they aren't in charge. It's one more way we're helping you win back your day and enjoy what you do!

Katie Allred is Digital Communications Associate at Brentwood Baptist Church in Tennessee and the co-founder of the Church Communications Facebook Group. 



Understanding Google and Facebook Analytics w/ Lauren McAllister

Show Notes available at


Many of us in church communications are tempted to make online decisions based on something other than data. We heard a few people talking about an event, so we full on advertise that event because it must be important. We feel like attendance was up, so the Facebook ad worked well.

But great online decisions are not made this way. Data-driven decisions are the best decisions a church communicator can make and Lauren McAllister has a ton of insight in this area. 

You may want to get a pen and paper out for this one folks, because there's a LOT to digest!


How to Get Hired in Church Communications with Holly Tate of Vanderbloemen Search Group

Holly is the Director of Business Development at Vanderbloemen, a pastor search firm that knows what churches are looking for when it comes to hiring staff. She shares a lot of great insights for those looking for a job as well as those who already have a job and just need some direction. 

She's a ton of fun, so don't miss this episode of The Seminary of Hard Knocks podcast with Seth Muse!


Show Notes are available at


Sign up for Seth's super crazy awesome cool fun email list!


The Power of Networking with Jeanette Yates

Jeanette is the Communications Director at Southside United Methodist in Florida and has become a pro in a very short time. How? Because she networks like a boss!

Find out her secrets in another exciting episode of The Seminary of Hard Knocks!

Show Notes at


Show notes and links (plus a special bonus "behind the scenes" track for this episode) can be found at

In this episode:

You approach a large door. Do you go in? Y or N

You open the door and find a huge troll? Do you (A)ttack, (R)un or use (M)agic?

If you've been in charge of social media of a company or church, you've likely encountered internet trolls before. What do you do? 

Out of nowhere, they bash your pastor, call your church a cult, and pray God sends plagues! 

Justin Dean has been through it all and stops by the podcast to talk about how we should handle trolls and other magical beasts as we manage our church's social media.


Every church has an all-church email.

How can you live without it? However, most emails are deleted before they are even opened and you have to listen to the same old tired response when they don't show up for things:

"I didn't know about it!"

What if I told you that you could increase the chance your people would open and read your emails?

In this podcast, I talk in depth about the theory behind church email marketing and the three phases to writing a great church email that gets opened. Check it out!

The show notes for this episode can be found at



Communicating Vision During a Capital Campaign

Adam McLaughlin of and his pastor at Life Church in Ft. Meyers, FL, Ryan Deaton stop by to discuss how they communicated their vision to their church during a capital campaign.

Capital campaigns are the WORST! But these guys managed to bring their church through it smiling and giving as much as or more than they were beforehand! Hear their success story in this episode and connect with them using the links below.

Show Notes at


Adam on Twitter // Ryan on Twitter

Life Church

Advancing the Kingdom Magazine

Isn't the Name of Jesus by Covenant Worship

Armed and Ready by Sweet Comfort Band (full disclosure, I chose this song because of the epic album cover alone.)



Ben Stapley from Liquid Church stops by to give us a LOT of practical insight on how to capture those really great video testimonies and baptism stories. He even talks about how to collect stories in your church for videos!

From the pre-interview stage to places to find music tracks for post editing, this podcast has information well worth the hundreds of dollars you would have to spend to learn it elsewhere!

Show notes for this episode can be found at

Links in this Episode:

Ben on Twitter & Instagram

Amusing Yourself to Death by Neil Postman

Where to find music bed tracks:

Seth's addition:


Be Known for Something with Mark MacDonald

If you feel like your church is being ignored by your community despite your best efforts to wave your arms and make loud noises to get their attention, this podcast is for you.

It's possible that they actually see you, but just don't resonate with what you're saying. Mark is the visionary behind the company Be Known For Something and helps churches figure out what their message thread to the community should be. 

The show notes for this show can be found at


Be Known for Something Book

Mark on Twitter

The Seminary of Hard Knocks on Instagram

Easter Social Graphics pack from Ministry Downloads



You have about 10 minutes to convince visitors to come back once they set foot on your church property.

So make the most of it! A solid Guest Connections strategy helps, so here's how to start...

A Clear Guest Connections Strategy will have a: 

Clear assimilation funnel that takes visitors from casual observers to champions of the vision.
Clear coordinator of volunteers/teams
Clear vision for every stage 
Clear best practices for every stage
Clear Call to Action for every stage to the next stage
Clear number of volunteers necessary
Clear follow-up plan
Links from this episode:

The Seminary of Hard Knocks helps pastors lead and communicate with confidence and clarity.

Van Baird is a co-founder of That Church Conference for church communicators and creative directors. He and I talk about how discipleship could or should work on social media and other online platforms. 

Check out That Church Conference and join the community here!


Other Links in this Episode:

Van on Twitter

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk

Ministry Downloads Easter Pack ($49 until March 31st)


The Seminary of Hard Knocks can help you make better ministry leadership decisions with confidence and clarity!

This week, Lucas Kitchen, of, stops by to talk with me about how the church can reach non-believers with the Gospel online. That may sound like an impossibility, but Lucas has had some success and shares his ideas with us.

Find Questions from Atheists online:






The Seminary of Hard Knocks helps pastors and ministry leaders make better decisions with confidence and clarity!

In This Show:

- How coaches can help leaders lead well.

- What makes a good coach?


Seth Muse Coaching

That Church Conference Coaching

Seth's eBook at Download Youth Ministry


Kenny Jahng is an entrepreneur, former church staffer, and church social media guru. He now spearheads a "done for you" church social media company called Church Butler and helps churches understand and utilize online giving at

My conversation with Kenny today is about nine ways you can involve your people in church growth. Show notes are available at

Visit for more on church leadership and communications. Make better decisions with confidence and clarity!


In this episode, I talk with Josh Blankenship about how to continue learning without school. Many leaders are thrown into situations where they must quickly learn something new or it's a bust! 

Josh has worked in high-demand churches and some slower-paced ones and he has learned the number one thing they have in common: Leaders must always be bettering themselves.

We talk bout a few hacks that can help you continue learning new tricks, even if you're an old dog! 

Get the show notes for today's episode HERE.


If something like the whistling theme from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly plays in your head when you go into “spiritual discussion mode,” then you probably are doing more damage than good.

Unfortunately, many spiritual conversations end up in arguments over dinosaurs on the ark or whether or not Jonah was really swallowed by a fish instead of the real issue of sin and our need for Jesus.

But it’s not just because Christians are bad at civil conversation. It’s because everyone is bad at civil conversation.

The next time you’re headed into a creation vs. evolution argument, give my (non-Buddhist) 8-fold path to a great spiritual conversation a shot.

The blog this episode is based on can be found here.

The show notes for this episode can be found here.

Click here for your free ebook!


Churches with limited budget often find themselves in a difficult spot. They want to upgrade technology to reach an ever-changing and upwardly mobile community, but the money just isn't there.

Brandon is the tech director at FBC Porter and assists other churches with tech and media budget issues. He gives us a few hacks to keep money in your pocket while still reaching the tech-savvy people in our churches!

Show Notes: 


Dave Shrein hosts the Church Marketing Podcast and runs Shrein Media, an online company that helps businesses and churches reach their people with clear messaging. Dave has been in the marketing game for a while, so his insights on this episode are very valuable to church leaders! The Seminary of Hard Knocks Podcast wants to see you make more confident decisions with clear purpose!


Justin Bass  helps us to answer those who have objections to a few aspects of Christianity. In this episode, we talk about how to answer those who say the Bible is written too late and was changed over time, those who say Jesus never rose from the dead, and those who say Jesus never claimed to be God. Dr. Bass has debated publically on these topics and carries a doctorate in New Testament Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary, where he is an adjunct professor. Go to for show notes and links discussed in the podcast.


Marguerite Andrews is a content strategist at Word Revolution, a global creative group dedicated to helping churches and businesses connect their message to their target audience.  Marguerite talks with me about good writing practices, how to know what type of content goes where on a website, and bulletins. Get the show notes at


Katie Allred is the digital communications director at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, TN. Katie talks to us about the different ways to use digital platforms to enhance relationships so that the Gospel can be preached online as well as offline! We also talk about style guides, a day in the life of a communications director, and tips on how to work with a team of social media volunteers.


Tom Pounder has been in youth ministry for almost 20 years. Just recently he began a transition out of youth ministry and into church communications.  Transitions are a part of ministry life and how you handle them can make or break you. My conversation with Tom gives great insight to how pastors should look at transitions and some good and bad ways to handle it. Tom is the host of the YM Sidekick podcast and blogs at


Today on the podcast Wes Gay stops by to talk about Millennials, great feedback systems for organizations, and how to cook a perfect steak! Wes is passionate about equipping his generation to become the greatest generation of leaders. Through a process called the Millennial Pipeline, he helps organizations build cultures that create leaders worth following. He's an executive coach, consultant, and contributor, or he finds out what companies do to find and keep great millennial talent. Show Notes can be found at


One of the most common questions I hear from ministry leaders is how to recruit, train, lead, and even dismiss volunteers. In this episode, I hang out with an old friend to talk about how to go about leading a team of volunteers well. Michael Wallace has been in student ministry for almost 17 years and has led large volunteer teams with excellence during that time. Catch his Creative Student Ministry podcast on iTunes!


This week my guest is Adam McLaughlin, Communications and Marketing Director at Life Church in Ft. Meyers, FL. Adam specializes in building trust with first time guests at churches through the initial experiences, and has written an incredible eBook called "Trust Glue" on the subject. We talk about why churches are afraid of the word "marketing," and I introduce a new segment called "5 on the spot," where I asked Adam 5 random questions for a good laugh! Find out how he REALLY feels about puppies in this episode! Follow Adam on Twitter here and follow his company Church Marketing Ideas here. Get the eBook, Trust Glue, here at Connect with me at if you want to read more about how to lead your ministry with confidence and clarity.


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