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On today’s show, I am talking with Brent Silkey. Brent and his wife serve college students in St. Paul, Minnesota through the ministry of Chi Alpha and they started a program called 30 for Freedom. The idea is 30 for Freedom exists to end sex trafficking in our lifetime. We engage college students in biblical justice initiatives like ending sex trafficking through runs, fundraising, and the like.
What is your take on raising support through social media?
When it comes to my philosophy in life, is life is all about relationships. So I try to be a good friend and invest in the value of people. Social media can help us to have continued touchpoints with people. We set a goal to raise an entire director’s salary in four months. We used social media to share our goals and as a launchpad for the campaign.
How did you launch out on social media?
We did a huge social media life announcement, which was informative, but also, if you’d like to be involved in our ministry updates, drop your email below or send us a message. Our commitment was to do 10 updates a year that would include pictures, videos, stories, and share what God is doing in the ministry. We also had small gatherings at our house where we invited people to hear more about what we were doing and how they could get involved. Social media was the front door that then led to the kitchen table conversations.
Do you think this same approach can work with someone who isn’t as outgoing as you?
I think it can. Passion expresses itself differently for different personalities.
Tell us about how you make choices about your brand as it relates to your posts on social media.
I’m a big fan of Justin Lathrop and he talks about being a likeable Christian. There are certain things you will never see with me across any of my social media posting – politics, anything controversial, etc. Even as we train our student leaders and our team, we talk about how they have their own thing but you represent the bigger picture of what we’re doing here so take that into consideration as you post, comment, and like because it touches a lot more people than you realize on social media.
How do you gauge on the topic of poverty vs. the abundance mindset?
When I train my team, I tell them that we are not going to have that poverty mentality. We’re going to be great stewards with what God puts in our hands, we’re going to be responsible with the things we do and share with people. I’m not in the begging business and I don’t want people to have that perception.
Share with us what you did on Giving Tuesday.
I was looking through my inbox where all of these organizations were asking to consider a gift on Giving Tuesday. And I’m the kind of person who likes to go against the grain in a positive way, so I sent everyone on my email list a Starbucks gift card thanking them for all they’ve done and how we couldn’t do what we do without their support.
What have you seen on social media that drives you crazy?
People want to be a part of a winning team. So rather than sounding desperate about things, you need to reframe it and invite people in to celebrate with you.
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