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Why Content and Culture Drives Growth - Mike MacDonald with BibleProject

In episode 23 of the Ministry at Scale Podcast, we speak with Mike McDonald, Chief Global Focus Officer, at the Bible Project. Mike has a fantastic story, he started with owning and operating restaurants and felt called into serving the Church in some capacity, but wasn’t raised in the church and didn’t really know what that meant. His entry into the Church world and nonprofit world was starting a nonprofit focused on mentoring children. From there he helped found and worked with several other nonprofits before joining the Bible Project. His work with nonprofits gave him a real strong sense of taking both global and local approaches. Knowing that so many go on short-term mission trips and want to continue with mission work but think it means they have to move to Africa or some distant place, but it’s important to know that mission can continue right where you are.

Creating Content is Not One Way Communication
Keeping an open feedback loop is critical for creators, most start out by creating content and just hoping it will be something their audience likes, but as you grow and improve you really have to listen to your audience and speak with them to find out what resonates for them. It can be a tough balancing act however because often your audience won’t know what they like until they get it, so it is a constant cycle of creating and listening, then at the end of the day, you have to be able to say that’s OK if no one liked this content, we’ll set it aside and take a different approach. Especially when it comes to faith-based content, it is important to know who you are and what you are doing, this will allow you to take that feedback and still know how to draw the line and not lose sight of the vision.

Numbers are important even if they don’t drive your ministry.
Mike shares that at the Bible project their end goal is to bring people to know Jesus better. While they aren’t driven by metrics such as how many Instagram followers they have, or how many YouTube views, they do measure things that matter, such as how many people enroll in daily Bible study, or how many enroll in their classes, from those metrics they can tell if they are accomplishing their mission of getting people into God’s word as opposed to people just watching one video and then never engaging further. So while metrics don’t drive their ministry in the sense that they are not chasing numbers, the data is critical to help them know if the content they are creating actually helps fulfill their mission.

Find a creative outlet
Many of us are so focused on producing, that we don’t slow down and blow off steam. Mike, shares how photography does that for him. In addition to being a creative outlet that helps him refresh, there are many lessons that can be learned about life and business when you start with a blank canvas and create something new.

Listen to the full episode to hear all of the tips and details Mike shares. It sounds simple to keep your vision first and foremost and listen to your audience, but the reality can be much more challenging. Mike shares a wealth of wisdom on how to make that a reality.