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04 - How to Get Started as a Christian Creative

Joel Moutray Clive Coutet

Description

In this episode, Clive Coutet shares practical information about how to use media as a unique tool to spread the gospel. He also has advice on how to avoid the temptations and pitfalls that are often associated with media and shares candidly about his own experiences working in the media industry. Clive has had extensive involvement in videography in both the corporate world and his own ministry.

After working for the BBC and the secular world in the media industry, Clive realized the timeless opportunity available in serving God. In this episode, learn how you can use media to reach thousands of people while avoiding some of the pitfalls often associated with it.

Recorded

  • April 14, 2019
    9:00 AM
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Copyright ©2019 Generation of Youth for Christ.

Free sharing permitted under the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 (US) license.

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In today's media saturated how can we use media to advance the gospel. Train and you're listening to the Lawrence our podcast in today's episode I talked with Clive who today who shares his powerful testimony of how we follow God's call in his life to leave his job at B.B.C. to start full time media ministry. Welcome cliver it's awesome to have you on the show on this podcast episode and today I'm excited as we're talking about media digital media and how young people can spread the gospel through that traditionally we think of preaching of Angeles tick series being a doctor or a missionary but so often nowadays there are just great opportunities the attention of the people is really going to our cell phones and tablets and videos and Youtube and and whatnot and so there's also this conflict of is social media bad should I be doing it sort of so I'm excited to talk to you about this today but to begin what is what is your passion obviously media but why is your passion how do you get into it so. I grew up as a have interest in the church. And I will share a little bit about my testimony later but in the early seventy's I was he wasn't born but my dad was and people weren't really doing media back then but my dad had this old camera and it was like a you know had the wheel on tape for the recording and he would stand up in church and he would film the sermons each week and he'd go home and he would manually copy those tapes and give them to anybody he wanted them and without charging them you know just to try as his little ministry are spreading the gospel and so he really got me on this path of media but as we got into the early ninety's. Basically everything switched from analog to digital so we now have the D.V.D. era you know you're editing on a computer you know doing things manually and my dad was computer literate so I was a about 1112 at the time and I knew how to use a computer and he basically. Forced me in a nice way to start editing the sermons and get them on to D.V.D.'s for people so that was sort of the journey in being a young person you know being interested in technology and computers you know I start to like you know work out how to do things and enjoy it and then in 2003 the tsunami happened in Indonesia it was quite devastating tsunami then if anyone remembers a lot of people died and we've recently just had one again but. My dad was hosting a concert at church and my church holds 600 members so it's quite a big church in London and basically he he basically packed up the whole church with people from the community so mayors professionals doctors nurses lawyers and basically told the members decide this isn't for you and he told me. I want you to and by the way all of this was for agita raise money for the people in Indonesia and he told me I want to create this video where we're going to play it right before the offering and you need to make it emotional and that way you know people see in the clips people seem very different things that taken place in Indonesia and then people you know give lots of money it's obviously going to help the cause. Quite a long story short they did the offering and I made it I made the video backtrack I made the video and I really enjoyed it 1st of all it was a 1st of creative thing I did outside of a vent production which I'm going to go into into a look at later. As the 1st thing that are sort of in production and creative thing I really enjoyed it I still really young so a lot to learn but anyway they did the offering and it was the highest amount of money that ever received for an offering for something for. Actually in the audience happened to be a B.B.C. producer which I didn't know and this person approached members at church was asking who made the video and then they she introduced herself to me to find it was me I was. 11 years or 11 or 12 at the time and. She she was really impressed with the work and she invited me to come to work experience at the young age at the B.B.C. to basically shadow how they do things professionally and I watched how they did it and after I left the work experience I was like in my mind I had that's my career path this is what I'm going to do and that's sort of how I go on this journey of action that's really awesome that's exciting now there might be somebody here that you know like they're like I don't know how to use a camera I don't know how to I'm not a part caster you know I don't I'm not a photographer etc We're talking about digital missions here what is something that they can do to be involved in digital missions or maybe even how to figure out if you like it how do they you know How can everyone be additional missionary Oh I say with with anything you get into the has to be small investment whether that's money the money that time has to be some kind of small investment so the 1st and I need to do is if they're really interested about it need to go study it and I'm not talking about go up 800-010-0010 extension 00 pounds Me myself I had a different career path as I became later on in life. My goal was to work for Hollywood so I went and studied a film a video production degree. As a young man I sort of left the church in my mind but to those people out there who want to do this I would say you choose your best friend you know 95 percent of what I learn these days even at my age I'm still learning you know because new technologies coming out is a few cheap most of my degree apart from the theory side. I learnt on You Tube or you can learn on You Tube now sorry so I would say like find videos speak to people network find people at conferences or find them on Facebook Connect with them and get advice from them I think it's really really important now to get advice from from older people because the technology is going so far now where the entry level isn't new so when. I was younger like we just switch from manual to digital we just switched from S.L.R. cameras to disallow cameras with video stuff and it was all still very new so if I was to go to an older person and say hey can you teach me how to use a camera. That's not what we used to use S.L.R. cameras are very different so for me now people have got so much older and the technologies go up today where where some of them come to be and I could teach them how to do it so as they get advice from all the people. Let's continue talking about developing skills as a digital missionary and one thing that a lot of people have this mentality is that they need that you know traditional educations goes like your full education and then you go out and work whereas with creatives it's a little bit differently explain you know should somebody wait to do that or I know you talk about asking people go to You Tube etc How do you know what other ways they can develop and so they wait until they know everything or they go out and try or which is for me you got to learn on the job I say I speak to young kids now and they're like you know what should I do should I start just what you're saying and I'm like the 1st thing I say is don't be afraid to make mistakes just learn from those mistakes because those mistakes is what's going to help you better in the future so I would say get a small camera. Get a small or your device if it's put costing you know whatever it is you want to do with a photography audiovisual graphic design just stop the key is to step out in faith and style and people might say well I don't have I have an equipment well bio says those with little affair and much which is look 1610 so be faithful in what you have and even if that's a phone these phones these days can do so much stuff and as you step out in faith and do this and start mission stories or start doing small pot cost with the phone or start doing this and start doing that then God will bless you if your heart is in it and. And you're doing this for the Lord and the talent and talent God will guide your part and to help you grow and some prove it if you put him at the center I love it I love it now when it comes to media like you said you work for B.B.C. in England and then you also had a career path working for Hollywood talk to us about. As a Christian how should you be careful not only in consuming media because that is part of the job in many ways but also learning and is there work as a Christian as a videographer already have to go out and do a secular way. Things and all that kind of stuff tell us a little bit about the challenges and your convictions and your journey when I was being a Christian in the media realm OK so my conviction happened when I was in my 3rd year of uni as I mentioned before I sort of lost my way growing up in the church where church eventual became just a building for me and my experience wasn't there with Christ himself so as I entered university to study a film a video degree. We were learning a lot of stuff in the early years that would go against my Christian beliefs creating things as well that go against my Christian beliefs but at that point in my life I wasn't I wasn't I would call myself I was a Christian you know I was very far from that and my 3rd year of university someone invited me to listen to him preach and. I said OK I'll come and I listen to a sermon and. He confessed or someone convicted me and it made me think about my life and want to change things around but it start a seed in my mind and cut a long story short Eventually I gave my heart back back to Christ. And then I went to church and I heard another sermon another time it musta been a couple of months later and I couldn't tell you what that someone's about right now but I had a huge conviction. Whatever I did I want to do for God and I went home I got down on my hands and knees and I said Lord I've got a media degree what I'm about to graduate with a film a video production degree I have no idea what I can do with my talent that you've given me but I want to commit this talent to you and I heard a very distinctive voice say I want you to start a media ministry and I was like I don't have any equipment the 1st thing is the No S S That's always you know you sort of disqualify yourself straight away you start to find excuses why you shouldn't do it so I was like well I don't have an equipment I'm not I'm not I've got no experience doing this the voice happened again I want to start a media ministry and again deliberate because I want you to start I mean even if he didn't tell me anything else apart from I want to start a media ministry and I was like eventually end of the conversation I said OK I'll do it I had no money I had no camera nothing personal nothing. The very next morning a friend of mine. His mother who had not spoken to me she received a text from me for quite a substantial amount of money we hadn't had this conversation I hadn't told anybody about my conviction or the conversation I had she found in a heart to approach me my friend said hey take this money if I come. And get the money she had with the exact amount of money coming that we had actually been looking at previous So we bought this camera and that was my journey and so it immediately and then I said Lord whatever I do I'm doing it for you tell us a little bit about the challenges of doing that because I mean it's almost like going to start a company and at this point if you have a family and kids at all you know I don't have a family at that point and this was in 2011. But because of the ministry that got started I ended up with a family. I found my wife through the ministry. So that's a blessing So guys if you want to get married start going to. But no there was huge challenges. But I can tell you how it all started 1st of all I have a friend and he had recently become an Adventist and his his wife now but was his girlfriend at the time she had moved back to Brazil and. Dean had just been baptized and he asked to do his 1st sermon to preach his 1st sermon and he was living with me at the time he said Clive can you can you fill my sermon so that. His wife could watch it online because he wanted to experience the 1st summer so this was back when like ministries weren't really big there wasn't really much sermons online there was stuff really going on so. I went and film the sermon and we put it on online and we shared it with her she was able to watch it praise God but within a week we noticed that the sermon had 250 views and we hadn't shared it with anybody apart from her it just like stacked up views I guess maybe Dean's friends or you know other people who knew that were feeling they've watched it maybe shared it so after a week coming 250 views in these days and a week isn't that much but for us as really young kids we're like wow why don't we do this all the time you know that's 250 extra people that have seen a sermon that would've have not come to church so we should have little time so we started filming sermons on a regular basis you know as a group of guys in London that we would follow around them or film our film or some of the Dean then we start from a music videos we started filming testimonies. And sort of this ministry organically just grew you know we were trying to find a name for the ministry and after the 1st sermon a group of friends were like well you know and then it initially we were going to sermons so we were like. Well he's preaching so why don't we call it preaching place so we called the summit called the ministry preaching place and that's literally how the ministry grew and the goal was to sort of be like a video version of order of us which was which was just growing back then so before you know this thing you know grew really big by the end of the year we had 100000 views across the multiple things that were doing we start to discover that people were really really sharing and listening to testimonies when they were filmed and you put some good music in the background make them really short and punchy and this thing just really really just took off and. Before you know it the ministry starts supporting us you know people giving donations and you know would get called to do things abroad in different countries here and there and literally the ministry just grew me start to support us I was that way but you know as people get older we start again family families you know. Donations is enough I guess support one person but when you start having kids and have a family stuff did start getting really really tough and. I remember. I was at a crossroads one time and I said to myself. I'm going to go back and work at Sky and I did I went back and I worked to shift because I find it really tough financially to support a family and survive I went back and worked 2 shifts and. In my mind I was just a burden and a conviction that this just wasn't for me anymore I couldn't I couldn't have my minds on God's work and try and do stuff on the side which goes against those Christian beliefs so I left sky again and it's really when I started to push my I said my freelance business and that was where I was just filming people's weddings I was doing corporate work as well but I was doing my short documentaries and adverts but when you're working for yourself you can pick and choose you know I had someone phoned me one time who'd seen my videos in my websites and they were like you know we're about to start this club and you know really want to promotional video and they tried to sell it to me and I was like sorry you know that goes against my beliefs I can't do that but when it when you're now working for yourself you have the power to do those things so I was very selective I was doing adverts for you know all kinds of companies a British land for example they own basically all the land in England so they were doing some internal videos you know various other different bits and pieces documentaries here and there but as I started to grow in my in my work people within the church you know start to notice the sort of things that I was doing and as you as you build you make contacts of people. But I would say this it takes sacrifice. I'm here at U.S.C. doing the media and I've been doing the media here for the last 5 years and that 1st started because I did the media for Free Europe and you know there's a few econ members that were there and they liked what we were doing and they asked me to come over to America and it was for sacrifice and doing stuff for free and taking risks. That you know the minister was able to grow and be enough to support us over the last you know a few years and that's awesome one thing that I want to talk about Clive is maybe taking a step back and briefly met talk about digital evangelism in a bird's eye view because we think of there's 3 ways to communicate written audio visual you know you have the traditional newspaper and books written then you have the visual which is T.V. as well as the audio which is traditionally radio even before that like you know speech is the Colosseum higher glyph Ric's you know like there's always been already written visual Now talk to us about where media is at now and how and why it's important for the Christian to be involved in digital missions and the impact it has on people you mention You Tube and how if you preach one sermon and then all of a sudden it multiplied to hundreds and then thousands why is it different than regular T.V. and radio and and with the digital and social age how are things changed so I think people these days the trend is I want to listen to this now on my times I want to watch this now on my time I don't want to sit in front of a T.V. I don't want to sit in front of a T.V. and basically have to wait for my program to come on I want to now if we live in this immediate generation you buy something on Amazon it comes the next day you know and if it comes in 3 days or 5 days you like you know we lost that we've lost patience in the. Now why that why is this important because everyone has a smartphone most people in the western world say have a smart phone in fact most people in other countries not even the Western world have a smartphone these days and everything is so immediate and so instant and so straight directly in front of you if you want to do something you can do it right now all jokes aside most people take the smartphones in the toilet with them you know this is this this thing goes with you everywhere so the reason why is so in. What's in it because people want things and I want now so when you record a part cos when you quote a video and put it on the Web It's now available indefinitely infinitely forever so you could record something now and you know. We're here in 20 years but if we all still hear some of my stumble across in 20 years and the same piece of content that you've created is still going to be the end of May impact them and bring them to Christ. So this is why it's so important because it's timeless put it that way it's timeless I love that too and I think it's a great idea because like you said it's literally makes it immortal and what's beautiful even with my own personal podcast you know people message me way later and they say oh I randomly found this this episode of yours thank you so much like all had been radio it had disappeared forever and I think it just disappears also like it because it's social what's what's beautiful even though social media can be a curse if you if you let it control you the phone in the social media not only does it now but it also creates a buyer ality which is beautiful because if you like something you don't have to be like oh I wish you to listen to that radio station that one program at 3 o'clock you literally say hey let me share this with you expect and so when it comes to evangelism many times we think of sharing as I pass out tracks and preaching etc but literally sharing a podcast episode sharing a youtube video sharing an Instagram graphic or our post with somebody it's like sharing pamphlets It's like sharing glow tracks or Digital Globe tracks digital sermons what I think is such a great great way of doing it now is transition into a testimony let's talk about how you seem to actually raise that we just talked about how vital it is for people to be involved in digital mission and missions it's really the old school missionary work been transformed and made more effective through the Internet can share some stories maybe even from your personal experiences or that you heard digital missions your videos or your partners have actually been a blessing and changed people's lives so the 1st thing that springs to mind is we start a ministry about 2 years ago called lineage where we you know we create historical videos but we make them. I would say in a dynamic cinematic appear appealing to young people and not necessarily adventurous people. And trying to teach them about about history so at 1st it was the Reformation we created 40 episodes 3 to 5 minutes long really short on different performers on different things that took place in history but that was season one season 2 was 52 episodes and we transitioned in how the Reformation didn't just pop in Europe but you know the Mayflower came over here in America and we had the birth of the puritan movement and then you know out of that came the advent movement and said the event isn't came today so we followed this journey of how it came to America and then for America then spread back around the world to the circle so the gospel soul went full circle now I share this because. We create these videos and we put them online. And was available to most people in the western world free of charge but we had. Been blocked in China for example. But we had found out that someone had been ripping our videos a few cheap and put them on what's up and distributing them across what's up to people in China so so why this is impactful because hey I don't know how many people of an impact impacted but that's most amazing I can tell you hey one person has been impacted by by my lady's videos actually this is so timeless this is so infinite this media is so out there that you will never know how many people you've impacted and so you get to heaven and I find that like amazing because for some reason God always gives you the testimony of that media or a small snippet of how that has impacted people at the right time so there may be a time when I'm discouraged and all of a sudden I hear bam. I heard from my father he received a message that someone had just been baptized and part of the conversion experience in the journey was to be watching me for years like you know what you know when you do interventions and campaign you know you do an appeal and people come up and and they come for baptism or you don't Bible study and that person and says Hey I'm ready to be baptized baptized you can put physical numbers on those things with me you can't do that so like I said God gives you those testimonies at the right time but you just have no idea he impacting I love that there's a quote and spirit prophecy that says thousands will be converted in one day most of whom will trace their 1st convictions back to our publications and always stay publications ments books tracks and pamphlets this today it also can be digital videos and whatnot and that's really when a lot of rain is poured out there's so many seeds thousands and millions of seeds planted through hope channel 3 A.B.N. all the youtube channels that people are making and really crank content where people are really spending their time and we will only know and praise God because God. Does pull back the curtain sometimes and let us see the fruits of our labor but I think digital missions in many ways is a see planting ministry even though there are immediate effects as well I have a friend who's a You Tuber and he really is the church for many people around the world and you know the spiritual videos that he produces on a weekly basis are church because they don't live in a country where there's a church they don't live in a family that supports them going to church and they don't know in church but they watch spiritual videos every week and it is church for them and when when they're ready they will come to the truth which is beautiful just touching on that quickly. A few years ago I put put together this presentation about digital evangelism and I was trying to get some statistics of how effective media ministries are you know within the church and I managed to get some statistics. As well radio and actually they were the highest downloadable Pod costs come from in the world they were so high that someone from. Invited to Apple's headquarters to speak to them you know to Austin you know how how is this so effective what you guys doing etc cetera et cetera so this has the power to go to the corporate world you know have the power to go anywhere so you know that's really powerful and before we do a closing testimony talking about the importance of excellence and you know there's a verse about us as we should be the head not the tail in the obviously there's an immediate context application for that that's in the Bible but I think that principle can also be translated into. What we do as digital missionaries and that many times the world is always advancing they're always setting the standard for what is normal that they're the one inventing the new cameras they're the one creating You Tube and Twitter and snatch etc Why should Christians strive to not just follow the trends but to create trends not to become famous necessarily but to make an impact for them so I think the 1st thing is excellence. Media within our church is apart from recent years has been events based so as a as an Adventist we're really really really good at covering the events so we have every year you know we have a size we have you know we have sessions you know we have camp meetings most people and you know we. Each week we're not so good haven't been so good should I say doing stuff outside of the church setting and if we have been to a pretty low standard at times you know we've had new things come out recently tell the world and different part cos like yourself lineage for example. So I think excellence is really important because what I've noticed is when when stuff is excellent the world watch it when it's done so poor standard they're like well we've got Hollywood you know we've got. Familiar with your broadcast channels here but you know we've got Fox or whoever is that you guys have over here we've got B.B.C. in England so why would that be appealing to me if it's if the sound is really bad if I can't hear what they're saying if the cameras or shaky or or if the order quality is bad you know excellence is really really important you know God has called us to be X. and what we do you know he's not calling us to be sloppy as many quotes many Bible techs about being sloppy and about doing your best and if you did it for a lot especially doing your best. So I think excellence is a very important one because we're doing stuff for God This is not enough for me this is for God and if it's for God It has to be to the best of my ability that does not mean that you have to be amazing before you can release stuff that's not what I'm saying I'm saying you have to be the best of your ability and then when you do something you need to grow need to learn and to need to watch back your videos and be like I wouldn't do that again but I should try doing it this way I do that to myself I watch back some of the lineage I suppose I've created and I'm like I didn't really do that and this is 2 years on you know so I'm very critical of myself but also that criticism can just come from me I have to be like hey my friend Marco my friend Jasper or or other people who are. Good filmmakers within the Adventist church I've got a hey can you watch my stuff and let me know how I can improve this we got to be accountable to each other and understand that we are brothers and all have the same goal excellence has got to be one of those. I want to ask you to comment on a potential objection that many young people and many especially older adults will say because people say that social media is absolutely horrid it's bad it destroys our young people which is true but one thing that I realize is that we're not going to get our generation off of our phones are very dependent on just us is where our system is and we should rather produce great content for our young people and to dilute some of the negative influences that are on social media for them now becoming a digital missionary involves creating content but you also need to promote it and in this day and age you do that through Instagram Twitter Facebook etc But there also is the trap of not only when you're promoting that you can get sucked in to be a consumer of bad content yourself give us some tips and maybe meet that objection and some guidelines on how young person can guard their heart and soul to not we caught up in the world by being on social media but the same time using it as a tool in a platform to promote Christian principles I think you have to be very careful and the 1st thing that you go to do is set yourself boundaries so for me. The 1st ministry I have around I. Basically try to do everything and that became a problem so I would do the videos you know some of the website I do social media so basically trying to do everything now there may be a stage where you have to do that OK but as your ministry grows what can happen is you can get sucked in and you can start losing a mind because you're trying to do everything that either you start turning back and doing things you shouldn't turn back into the world for experience or you know you fall off and you think ah can't do this anymore because SO STRESSED OUT of how things are going so God in myself from not. You have to get other people to help you know you have to be a team and like I said it's not always feasible someone might have the same wavelength as you but if you're sincere any pray about GOD will put the right people within your sphere where when lineage got started there was just myself and Adam who does the speaking and it was it was really tough but before you knew it this team had evolved from 2 to like 8 and then we had a sort of someone running social media so I don't have to worry about that we had someone else you know doing the graphics and doing the photography I don't have to say nothing of my plate as someone else marketing thing off my plate so you can really then focus on what your called to do we're not we're not called to do everything you know we're cool to. To work in a team to be unified to share things out to distribute things out so now I can focus on my actual talent is my talents not graphic design my talents not social media my talent is videography and editing and that's really what I want to focus on but in terms of getting sucked into the whole social media thing I think setting time frames to say OK I'm going to spend an hour or I'm going to spend half an hour a day and this is the time I'm going to do it and this is the only time that I'm going to do it on on sharing on getting post ready or you know there's various tools out there where you can schedule posts over a week or a month so you can just do all in one day if you wanted to so I think Time management is key because otherwise you 1st of all like you said you have to guard your guard your heart so you need to make sure that none of these things are leading you down the wrong path but if you identify that they are that he take a take a step back I'll give you real and be really personal I found myself on Facebook and Instagram and just scrolling and before you know and I was gone you know so the 1st thing you want to do right I'm really in these apps you want to do a job as if you were to run from the problem you know and then over time if the Lord is conviction you that you're ready enough to go back then what you can do is you know slowly start introducing stop a sense of boundaries and again if you find yourself losing your way run and start again it's just like any temptation and he said you know you have to you have to run like Joseph Absolutely I believe that God is not going to call you to do something that's going to be compromising to exactly your salvation exam so be wise and ask God for help seek accountability ask people to help you out so you don't have to do everything and then there's beautiful. Clive in closing Can you share with us an appeal for the young people we want to be activated we want to be mobilized and empowered to be a great or a witness for Jesus why should people consider being a digital missionary I think people should consider being it has to missionary because like you said previously we were not the tail with the head and. We are living in a generation right now where this is all people consuming I know you said this over and over again and there is a need you know there's a need. In this field right now for quality media produced so that young people old people older folk new generations this timeless material could be spread from the world this is the gospel just like there's a need for missionaries to go to China India America everyone knows that missionaries and needed in all countries all around the world I say that because Jesus didn't come yet if it was the case would need to be missionaries but there's missionaries and he did in America missions in England's mission is I mean Asia India Australia or every year whatever country you live in missionaries are needed right there and then but guess what the Internet is its own country and you can find someone on the Internet just like you're handing out the truck to someone you give someone a glow truck they go home they read it and they may find have a seed into the the word into the gospel the same thing on the internet this is planting a seed put a call to convicts who are called to plant seeds and these a seed a time there's a glow tracked on my watch it I read it so in the bin you know but whatever they do with it you know it's totally up to them but Michael Vick back same thing with with media I mean watch it I mean listen to it it could be a conviction but guess what it can't disappear it's not like literature where you can just throw away this is here forever they can't delete my You Tube account they can't believe my podcast so it's timeless so if that person doesn't like it you know I could go and do something else in 5 years time and that's still there like you said previously so someone else might find so my pretty young people as go out and be brave Don't be afraid to make mistakes go out create content get it online get counsel from other people you need to get some accountability from all the people you. Work as a team but most of all make your get in the toilet no matter what it is Christ pray about it and just let. Thanks for listening don't forget to have subscribe and share this episode with your friends to learn more check us out at learn and share podcast dot com.

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