Use the tool, don’t let it use you.
July 25, 2019
Yellowbox Creative

Creativity fosters better leadership, problem solving and promotes teamwork.

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

The Journal

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Our short-term memory can’t handle everything that you throw at it. Writing things down keeps you from losing ideas forever.

We love to follow the next big thing, but are we trying to hard to be the next big thing? Is there a place for self-promotion? Kevin and Trés sit down to talk about the dangers leaders face when using the tools of social media.

The following is an edited transcript.

Trés: Hey guys, welcome to the Yellowbox podcast where we're all about developing creativity in the local church and, we believe, that you are created for more. Today, we want to talk about the tool, how you use the tool, and how you don't let it use you. Where's your self worth? Where's your identity? And we want to understand—in this world of changing technologies—how do we position ourself so that Christ shines and that we are in a position of serving. Kevin Daughtry.

Kevin: Hey, glad to be here.

Trés: He's gonna help lead this conversation today as we talk about using the tool and don't let it use you.

Kevin: So I'm old enough to remember the age before social media and chat rooms, right? Like I remember the majesty of Windows 95. I mean, it really wasn't that majestic compared to our standards today but it was like: “wow, this is neat.” You know, we had, I think, it was a Gateway 2000? Like, you know, white computer that weighed about 87 pounds. It was a brick. You know, and the ugly two monitor thing and I remember you could played videos! Like it had little CD-ROM and you can put it in and it had an encyclopedia on it. You can play videos and stuff. We'd arrived, you know, like our lives. This is the pinnacle of computing.

Trés: I remember using a chat room and thinking like this is it.

Kevin: For real! And we had that dial up modem. Oh yeah. I'm talking: we had one line in the house. And so if you dialed up, anybody calling got the busy signal. If you picked up the phone you just heard like a fax signal sounds and this was life, right? You're going to do this: “Hey, we're going to schedule going online, right? You're not expecting any phone calls, right?”

Trés: It felt more futuristic because there was so much work going on to just getting online. It felt like you were launching a ship or something.

Kevin: Yeah, and the sound effects of the modem was, like, incredible. And then you had one number wrong cause your dial up thing, you typed it in wrong, you go through that whole thing and (Kevin sounds) systemic and they'd be like, “oh I had had the asterisk in the wrong place” or something. Yeah. But that was life. I mean that was life back in the day. And I do remember the first iteration of a chat room. And I remember thinking, “you know what, I can connect to these people.” Obviously you had to know who you were like inviting, you had to know someone's email into like a screen name. Oh, screen name. Wow. Yeah. Just like we call him usernames.

Trés: You want to know how old I was when I was in an AOL chat room? Pokemonmaster9391.

Kevin:That was your screen name?

Trés: Oh yeah. Or it might have been something like PokemonMastered,.

Kevin: Wait so you were hardcore into Pokémon?

Trés: Oh yeah. Also I was like 10 or something like that. So I was like loving it.

Kevin: Do you remember when we played Pokémon Go, like everyday when it first came out, here ? And right outside of our studio, there's a gym. Yeah. Like we were special. We need to do that again. Anyway, back to it. I remember connecting with people and thinking: “This is incredible. Like these people could be on the other side of the world and we're connecting in real time.” And, I mean, things like this was before cell phones. And cell phones, at that time, were literally car phones or, like the big backpack, like mobile phones that were the size of that speaker— sitting over there on the desk. it was just massive. And I remember my sister had a car phone and like you plugged it into the car.

it was not going to go anywhere else—besides that car. That was it. And this is the way we connected with people before. Text messages didn't exist yet so it was interesting to watch how things have changed. Prior to that: immediate connectivity was rare. It really was. We've moved so quickly in technological changes and a lot of people talk about how it's directly impacted generational development. There's even a branch of millennials that came out right around that age. when technology shifted so quickly, that they talk about how social sciences has changed. And the generation has changed because of that.

Trés: There is this funny conversation that I had with my wife the other day—and this is going to show you something: I am not a really great speller. So there, I'll put that out on the table for you. But what's funny is that I was learning— like going through the heavy learning to spell (5th-6th grade). And at the exact same time, I also had a cell phone. I realized that there are words that I learned to spell with my thumbs before I learned to spell them with a pencil. So: I'll write a word and be like “that's not right” and I can do it right if I take my phone out because I had the muscle memory to do it, but not the typing memory to do it. I had a sidekick, so I had a full keyboard. But I have that muscle memory to type on a keyboard with my thumbs before I writing them by hand. I just thought it was like, man, what, what a trippy time we live in.

Kevin: Yeah, like my kids were playing, Xbox Live with their cousins who were in like Cambodia. It's like this is a whole new world, right? And it's happening in real time. Not just like a chat where you had to wait on some response. Like you're actually playing a video game as if you're in the same room, but you're not. You're on the other side of the world. It's a different, it's crazy. Fast forward to 2019, we've seen behavioral changes in society grow steadily (actually) because of these technological changes. The things that I had problems with growing up aren't the things that this new generation deals with. It is completely different. And I'm seeing this in my kids. I'm seeing the patterns in my own children. I'm a millennial Xer, like I'm the beginning of the millennials, the end of the Xers, whatever you want to call that. Some weird mutants in the middle—

Trés: Well, we knew that.

Kevin: Yeah, exactly. And I remember there's a certain thing that is kind of traditional in Xers and you see traditions in millennials. A lot of people were talking about how a certain percentage of millennials would go back and move in with their parents after they got out of college. Like that was completely opposite of what an Xer would've wanted. Would have done. And you have millennials that, traditionally speaking, would get into professional life a little bit slower. They kind of grow up more moderated. And you look at the new generation, like Ava, my 13 year old's generation, and they're jumping head first. They're going to jump right into a professional career.

It's weird how that technological shift in the millennial generation did change a little bit of how we've used society, how we view each other, how we view life; and it's interesting to look back how it impacts us.You know, as believers—as creatives who are developing creativity in local church—it's interesting to see what has that affected us: How that's affected how we present ourselves; how's it affected how we talk about the gospel; how's it affected how we create things; and, how's it affected how we view leadership.

Trés: I think it has and yeah, I definitely think it has.

Kevin: One of our questions that we want to ask you, for you to ask yourself, for as to ask kind of society in general: What are some of the bigger things that our current culture is struggling with? Like is it over connectivity, lack of connectivity? It's interesting how you can see people who say they feel alone and yet they have in their hand a tool that allows them to connect immediately with someone on the other side of the world.Even someone who's on the ISS in outer space, floating around, right?

Trés: Yeah. I think that there's this plug-in unplugged kind of feel where—your relationships are immediate when you want them to be there, and they are just connected when you want to be there. There's kind of this thing that I say when I was talking to my sister. One of the things that she would always bring up would be, “Oh man, I'm so awkward,“ or ”this is so awkward.”

And I—like an older brother—got annoyed really quickly with that and my response was, “you're not awkward. You just have never done it before. Like there's a difference between you have not experienced this thing and then you don't know how to be around people. And even then, you just maybe haven't been around those types of people before.” And so anytime that you feel there's this incident, relate this back to this conversation and this ability to plug in and unplug whenever you want. I feel like it's removed this experience. People aren't allowed to experience something that they haven't experienced before. Awkwardness becomes this curse that you run away from; it's this pain that you run from at all costs and, therefore, you're only interested whenever, you know that, the best benefit for you is going to be there. And you disengage when you know, or rather, you don't know if there's any benefit.

Personally, I'm not afraid to sit, stand right next to somebody, and not say anything. I don't have to have a conversation going on. I don't think it's awkward if I say something and they have nothing to say back. And if they say “I have nothing to say to that,” I'd be like, “great!” So maybe because I've been in awkward situations so many times, I don't know what it is, but that kind of element, that technological edge—that's given us to be able to connect with anyone anytime, anywhere—we've chosen to do it when we want, where we want and how we want.

Kevin: That's good. I know there's, there's entire groups of people who have seen the hills in connectivity. They've seen some of the problems with connectivity. Like, are we overly connected for the wrong reasons, right? Like, what is our motive, do we need that connectivity or is it something that we just enjoy? Is it something we use as a tool or are we actually being affected negatively by it? Are we letting it use us? Are we becoming something else because we have become so needy and reliant on this technology.

Trés: Yeah. And there is really no answer here. I mean we have data that we can pull from the past 10 years, but like Kevin said, so much has changed over the past 10, 15 years, 20 years and, I feel like, we'll really know in 20 years from now.

Kevin: Yeah, I think that's right. I know, people in ministry —friends of ours—that have actually launched sub-ministries out of their church that are based around this idea of forming connectivity again. It's because you go to a restaurant and you see an entire family with their iPads and phones out with their headphones in and no one's sitting there talking to each other. And we're all guilty of that for some level. I need a constant stream of information. I need a constant this, or I need to see if someone liked my post, or I need to check on this email, or there's always something. We have notifications going all the time on our devices and hitting us in the face.

And so, there are definitely negative impacts of that we're seeing. But, , I think we have to explore for ourselves as believers, what are the motives behind why we feel we need to do that. This is a powerful tool that we can use. But, if we're not careful, we end up getting sucked in. You know, even marketers today who are professional marketers—who have been in the marketing world since before this digital age—have seen the changes come. They're looking at the very shallow depth of the metrics where you're looking at. We're looking at metrics, we're looking at likes, we're looking at comments, we're looking at subscriptions, we're looking at all these things to judge how we're forming online communities. Yet, the reality of that is, we're noticing that it's actually a very shallow metric.

It actually doesn't form a community and there's not much to truly back it up. And now I know a while back everybody was going ham on Facebook groups for this and that. And they were building entire like ministry track journeys with Facebook groups. And that's great. I mean it's great to see that, but the tool is gonna change. It will shift, it will change. And the algorithms which it uses will shift. And even those Facebook groups have been harder for people to truly connect in because of the change of the technology.

Trés: Yeah. And it's one of the things we talk with Gavin—who helps lead our social media engagement and marketing side about. And we talk about how whenever you plan on launching a church as a lead pastor—you're never really called to be running a Facebook page, but it always becomes part of the job. You end up having to become a marketer, become some sort of influencer and help engage and bring that community there. And that's really difficult to do.

Kevin: Yeah. I think that if done right, using social media becomes an extension of evangelism for your community. You're telling the greatest story ever told in the most creative ways possible, directly targeting those who are in your backyards and using it responsibly. If you're doing it the wrong way, then it becomes a form of shameless self-promotion. And I think that there's a danger there. Think about all of the multilevel marketers that are on your friends list on Facebook, on Instagram. You lose trust. You see, time after time, this post after this post, try my product, they're hitting everybody up: “Hey, I'm about to place an order. iIf you don't order today, you're not gonna get it.”

And it's like, I don't need whatever like face cream that is, I don't need whatever drink that is going to help me lose weight. You know, I think that we looked at those multilevel marketings and we lose trust. And the same can happen to us as believers, right? Consistently using it for evangelism without the connectivity of relationship, without the actual genuine care for that person on the other end of the keyboard. We can end up looking just as untrustworthy as, a multilevel marketer. And, I think, we have to define for ourselves as believers, who are using this tool to further the gospel: What does it take to succeed? So, in business, what is it?

What are we comfortable with doing to succeed in business—as an influencer, as a pastor, as a marketer, as a believer in all of those subjects—what are we willing to do to become successful? And where's the line? How far will we go to prove our point and make the impact we feel we need to make? And so when, I think about what the last 20 years of connectivity have taught us, it's that we're supposed to be shameless self-promoters. Those who have reached the highest points, those who have the most followers, those who have the biggest subscriptions, , those who are the biggest influences that are paid by brands, they are shameless self promoters. Literally, they have someone always taking pictures.

I'm like, “You had a crew like your arm and ain't that long. Do you always have a friend with you? Like how does that work? I need that in my life, apparently.” It's what the last 20 years have taught us to be, you know, shameless self-promoters. But the last three years of Jesus' life taught us that the first will be last and the last will be first, right? This is an antithetical teaching. This is like completely world upside-down. flip-the-table mindset of what it means to be successful and what it means to be an influencer. And I think that we have to be willing to explore that and dive into it and look into it and really say, “okay God, why do I want to do this?” Are we promoting ourselves or are we promoting Him?

Trés: It's the why. And it's also the gauge for success that you brought up a second ago. Is your gauge for success that people know you? I think that there's kind of that mentality where some of these influencers are working really hard and it's not about the hard work. It's rather do you want to go as far as you can or do you want to go as far as he can.

Kevin: That's a great point. And you know, the past few weeks on the podcast we had a two part series prior to this about creative culture. How does culture impact creativity? And we introduced the idea of a roundtable leadership model. In Luke, Jesus laid out servant leadership as a direct model to follow for all of us. This is Passover right before Jesus is crucified. And he's having the last supper. He's at the table with his disciples and he's talking to them, they're just hanging out and having dinner and he's like, “Hey, do you realize that the one who's going to betray me is sitting here with us at the table?” And they're all like, “What?’”

This is a complete disruption to your social dinner, right? You're hanging out and someone just dropped the bomb. “You got a new dog. That's cool. Oh, well, you know, Jesus, me and you are cool.” “Hey, one of you is going to betray me.”

And so the disciples, immediately, become suspicious of each other. And they're wondering who it might be.And then they were bickering over who of them would end up the greatest. So they took this conversation that Jesus had started to say, “Hey, this is what's gonna happen. I'm painting a picture. I'm about to be betrayed. I'm going to be handed over. I'm going to be crucified. I'm going to die for all of you and all of mankind.”

Kevin: And they thought he was here to institute a kingdom on earth and take over the Romans and he's telling him—he's going to die. They're completely baffled. And so with, within minutes, literally bickering over who of them would be the greatest. So the conversation isn't even “which one of us is going to betray Jesus” as much as “which one of them is going to be the greatest.” They're immediately thinking about who's going to be at the top of this ladder, how they're going to climb it. And then Jesus intervened. He said, “kings like to throw their weight around and people in authority like to give themselves fancy titles. It's not going to be that way with you. Let the senior among you become like the junior, let the leader act the part of the servant and he says, who would you rather be?

The one who eats the dinner or the one who serves the dinner? You'd rather eat and be served. Right? But I've taken my place among you as the one who serves and you've stuck with me through thick and thin. Now I confer on you the royal authority. My father conferred on me so that you can eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and be strengthened as you take up responsibilities among the congregations of God's people.” Basically saying, “hey, this is the model you should follow that you are going to serve. I set myself up as a servant. That's what he's saying to them and you followed me. You saw what happened when I did that. You saw what can happen in a culture, what can happen in leadership, what can happen in an organization when I do that.”

Trés: No, that's, that is a really great point and I love, I mean I think that's really wonderful. I think pastor Kevin just came out and I love it. I want you to tell us a little bit into what we are talking about: “using the tool and don't let it use you.” How does that position, that Jesus puts in front of us, relate to that? How do we make that?

Kevin: Well, I think it's the filter by which we decide how to behave, how to be influenced ourselves, how to be motivated, right? We're going to search your heart in all of these things and determine in that moment, am I doing this for me to promote myself? Am I doing this because it is needed? I'm going to take the position that I have been given and the favor, the which I have and I'm going to use it.

I'm going to flip it and I'm going to serve somebody. And I think that there is a difference there. You know? I mean, and it even starts with the small things. When we're walking around, going through a restaurant and you get up to leave, and you see the busboy come in. Most people don't even give him the time of day, right? I think Jesus would ask, “hey, how are you doing?” For us to really put this into perspective, it's all about how we see ourselves, right? And he points out something here that we all want. That society, again, in the last 20 years has taught us if we're going to climb a ladder, we're going to make a name for ourselves. We're going to get somewhere.

If you're willing to climb over everybody on this ladder, literally using their bodies as rungs on the ladder to get to where you want to go, then you're not leading or focusing or seeking after the things of God. You're not even being influenced by his kingdom.

And this is the struggle. This is the great American dream, right? I'm going to climb from the bottom to the top and I'm going to be well known; well-liked; I'm going to have fame. I'm not saying that those things, in themselves, are wrong. It's about the why. Why are you doing this? Why are you seeking these things? Right? Because, if someone's already there, who has fame and they're using it for him, it's a different. It's a different story altogether. If you're willing to climb over everybody on this ladder, literally using their bodies as rungs on the ladder to get to where you want to go, then you're not leading or focusing or seeking after the things of God. You're not even being influenced by his kingdom.

And I think there's it's easy for us to lose sight of that. It's easy for us to think out there and say, “Hey, I'm really good at this. I'm going to promote myself.” I think sharing what you've done, sharing what you created, that's great. Do it. Let the world know and let the world see you. Be confident. We talked about that. Be confident in what your talent and your calling is.

Trés: There is a fine line and, I think that you can definitely see that, whenever someone jumps into it, what their heart is behind it. And even asking them what their heart is behind that is a good kind of next step.

Yet the principles that guide us, shouldn't be forged by the things that are changing around us.

Kevin: Yeah. So explore for yourself really what is, what is my passion in this? You know, I do, I want to build a giant following for myself? Do I want to make a name for myself or do I want to make a name for Him? Right? And so, you know, people change culture changes, right? Generations shift like we've talked about. Yet the principles that guide us, shouldn't be forged by the things that are changing around us.

Trés: Hey guys, if you liked this episode, we'd love to get your feedback. We'd love you to share it. We'd love for you to send us other topics that you'd like to hear about. I think that this was a really great example of how we can, in our leadership, lift up and serve the others next to us so that we can really shine through our God-given platforms. I think that in the creative field and in the creative culture, it is very dog eat dog. And, at the same time, everyone wants to celebrate each other's work because, I think, that everyone is truly inspired when they see people working really hard. So don't feel like you need to hold back from showing your work, but really understand your identity and the why: why you're doing what you're doing and who you're doing it for. Thanks again for listening and we hope to meet you here next week.