Today I had the opportunity to interview Gary Vaynerchuk. Truth be told, I have been on the hunt for this interview for awhile and it met all my expectations. Gary is a social media icon, business man, wine aficionado, and future owner of the NY Jets, sans Tebow.

Three questions, 10 minutes, and lots of gems…but no F-Bombs…(the most commmon question I have received since doing the interview). Tomorrow, Gary will be on CNN with Wolf Blitzer, today he is talking church, social media, and what he would do if he was a pastor.


1. When it comes to non-profits using social media, there seems to be a lack of traction, what is being done wrong and who is doing it right?

  • “The first thing is, just like any twitter account, nonprofits are not thinking things through. What’s the finish line? Everyone wants to “go viral”, add a bunch of Twitter followers and get a bunch of Facebook likes, and gain exposure. But they are not asking the right question. When I launched Wine Library I was not trying to pedal wine, I was looking to change how people communicate about wine. Nonprofits need to identify their purpose, create steps 1,2,3 to achieve that purpose, and then map out the actions it takes to get there. Nonprofits, like a lot of other people, are trying to close on the first move rather than building relationships.”
  • “Honestly, there are no nonprofits crushing it right now but the two that I think are doing the best are Pencils Of Promise and Charity Water. Scott Harrison has done a good job leveraging his platform and profile for people to support his cause. The idea of cashing in your birthday to collect money for a well is great. Scott was an event promoter, he gets it. Adam Braun at Pencils Of Promise, the brother of Scooter Braun, has leveraged Justin Beiber and they are doing some cool things. They are telling good stories and the throw really good events. Their end of the year event was amazing. “

2. As a church, we tell essentially the same story every week for years and years. As a communicator, how do we keep the story interesting?

  • “The greatest stories connect when we prep the audience to hear them. So the best way to be a great storyteller is to make sure people have context for the story you are telling. The best books, movies, songs don’t mean anything if people are not prepped to hear them. We have this gift in social media to help people be prepped in advance and to have context for their stories. We need to use it to prep and to give. When we give we get…”

3. If you were a pastor and you were planting a church in a local community, what would your first hire look like?

  • “When I started working with my dad in the store I told him we needed to focus on March – September. He thought I was crazy. Our holidays were big, Christmas, 4th of July, but I knew those holiday would stay big, if we focused on crushing March – September we would dominate. So if I was a pastor the first thing I would do is hire a Director of Monday – Saturday Operations. This person would be an extrovert. Someone who was super iconic in town and very entrenched in the community. Someone with DEEP ROOTS. They can’t be bashful. I would try to find people who look like me and not obnoxious. This person would hustle and promote. A newscaster type person who knew how to sell.”
  • “In order to communicate about this church i would remind everyone that communications live everywhere. At first I would go big on the core. I would do some research, and based on what that told me, I would go after that audience first. If they are 40-70 year olds, based on what my gut is and what I see, I would be taking out newspaper ads…I would go where this audience lives and capture those who are “church goers”. Then, I would create a plan to attract young people and families. I would focus on storytelling and tell them why this church matters. I would search for what age kids start pushing back on their parents and telling them they don’t want to go to church and I would go after families before they got to that age. I would market to parent websites. I would create something cool for teenage kids, something they wanted to be apart of. And I would probably start a campaign, “2 Sundays a year”. A date in June & October. I would tell families, I am not looking for you to make a commitment, I am looking for you to try 1 of 2 days at my church this year. I would put LOTS of energy into this day and make it a great experience. When you do that you gain equity around this day because it is a win and then a few families continue to come and you start to increase. Actually, this is a really good idea.”


  • Effort is in short supply. If you can learn to scale, you will win.
  • I don’t care how many followers you have on your blog, I care because you give. When you give you get.

It is always great to hear someone approach our world, the church world, from a different angle. Thanks Gary for taking the time to chat today and for allowing me to pester you. It is much appreciated.

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