Five years ago today, I achieved a dream: to become a full-time storyteller.

When I was 25 years old, I got tricked into a job interview at the state office for the Illinois Assemblies of God.

As the conversation went on, I realized that the dream God laid on my heart earlier that year was coming true.

So of course, I said yes & they replied the same.

But just because God calls you to something, doesn’t mean you get to do it perfect from the get-go.

You still have much to learn.

After five years of making memes & documenting everything from

church wins,

minister biographies,

missions fundraisers,

summer and winter camps,

leadership conferences,

and more….

Here are 5 lessons I’ve learned after 5 years of being a Storyteller/Online Pastor.

1. Let the numbers inform you, not define you.

We use several different numbers to define ministry growth.

Attendance and monthly offerings are the most common.

But now with online ministry being a thing, we got a whole new set of numbers to think about.

Likes. Views. Shares. Comments. Subscribers.

And when the numbers aren’t quite what we want them to be, it’s tempting to let that define our worth.

We can’t pretend numbers don’t matter. If the numbers are never good or aren’t growing, it’s time to shake things up.

The trick is letting the metrics simply inform you of what’s happening.

Then talk to God & trusted voices about it.

And make a spirit-led decision from there.

Rinse and repeat.

Never let a low-performing post stop you from communicating the Gospel online.

2. Your creativity is not your only contribution to the Kingdom

Some of you may be more gifted than I am.

If I’m working a church service, I cannot fully receive what God has for me while shooting & editing content.

And it’s hard to be present and be Jesus to the people around me if I’m thinking about the post I need to create.

Online ministry is great. But if I fail to love God and others in pursuit of social media excellence, then I’m missing the point of it all.

So if you’re a Kingdom Creative like me, create space to put the camera down.

Evangelize and disciple with your voice and other gifts the Lord has given you.

Your creativity is not your only contribution.

3. Learn what lights your leaders up & fan the flame

God has called your leadership to the ministry you serve for this season.

So create content that furthers the vision God has given them.

Give your leadership a platform. Serve them with your gifts. Help them understand what it is you do. Invite them into the creation process.

It’s much more fulfilling and fun that way.

4. Fame is Fleeting

To one degree or another, we desire to be known.

Why? Because we desire to be loved.

While being loved is what’s actually fulfilling, it’s riskier.

That’s why whether it’s by the dozens or the millions, we’ll settle for being known.

And if they only know of you and your work, they can’t hurt you.

At least, that’s what it seems like.

Then they turn on you or simply forget about you.

And if you don’t have a foundation of love built up, you’ll crumble.

Whatever size platform God graces you, love & serve those people.

Be thankful for what you have while not confusing being known for being loved.

Fame flees and it’ll always run faster than you.

So capture what actually matters.

5. Life will hurt you. Don’t numb the pain. Feel it & Heal it.

Ministry requires love. And to love at all is to accept the reality that life will hurt you one day.

Beloved ones will die. People you thought would be with you long-term will leave you. And you will have dreams which never come to pass.

Refuse to become bitter and cynical.

Allow God and the trusted voices He’s surrounded you with to speak life into you.

Heal until you are able to dream again.