The Seminary of Hard Knocks podcast with Seth Muse

Church Communications and Social Media with a chuckle or two.

Show Notes for this episode can be found at 

In this week's episode, I'm helping you get past writer's block for when you have to write a clever article for the bulletin or social media caption and you've just. got. nothing.

Links from the Show:

Blog: Chopping the Writer's Block

Join the Seminary of Hard Knocks Facebook group at

88 Ideas for Church Social Media Posts
Follow Seth on Instagram


The Seminary of Hard Knocks podcast is about getting stuff done in the world of church communications and social media. 

Episode show notes can be found at 

My guest today is me and I'll be talking to myself for an abbreviated time about trends in the church communications world that bother me. These are things I see many communicators doing that I can't wait to see go away. Now it's time for the dang kids to get off my lawn while I ramble like Old Man Humphry down the street.


The Seminary of Hard Knocks with Seth Muse

Show notes can be found at 

Alex Johnston is a church communicator with a background in news journalism. Find out how she digs up stories like a reporter to keep her church's vision and mission front and center on social media and their website! 


The Seminary of Hard Knocks Podcast w/ Seth Muse

Show notes available 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!


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!


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


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.)



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)


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!


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.


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.


Numbers matter, but sometimes actually limit our ministry reach. No matter how large or small your church is, these four systems are vital and necessary for any ministry to be successful!


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