Faith, Calling, and Sparking Connections, with Misty Phillip

Faith, Calling, and Sparking Connections, with Misty Phillip

Misty Phillip is using her gifts and her calling to bring people together.

Misty Phillip - Episode 58

Misty Phillip is using her gifts and her calling to bring people together. In 2020, she hosted two events–one live, right before the lockdown–and the second as a virtual event. We talked about the differences and similarities between live and virtual events, Misty’s personal journey of faith, and cultivating community.

About Misty

Misty is a dreamer and a doer who believes we are all here for a reason and that we are created for a purpose. She encourages people to use their story to give God glory. Misty Phillip is a podcaster, speaker, author, and entrepreneur who is passionate about helping you spark your soul message.

Founder of Spark Media which consists of the Spark Christian Podcast Conference, Spark Now Summit, and the Spark Collective. She is the host of the popular By His Grace podcast. Misty inspires others through her leadership, speaking, and mastermind groups. She currently serves as the Houston Connect Leader for Christian Women In Media. Misty is the author of the best-selling Bible Study, The Struggle is Real: But So is God and Spark Podcast Planner 2020. and SparkMedia.Ventures

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Lessons for Life and Ministry with Tom Lane

Lessons for Life and Ministry with Tom Lane

Tom Lane is the apostolic senior pastor at Gateway Church and author of Tested and Approved: 21 Lessons for Life and Ministry

Tom Lane


Tom Lane is the apostolic senior pastor at Gateway Church in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. As an elder, he provides spiritual governance for Gateway’s ministries. As a pastor to pastors, Tom is a long-term, trusted Christian leader. Tom has written many books including Heritage: A Father’s Influence to the Generations, Foundations of Healthy Church Government, and he coauthored Strong Women and the Men Who Love Them with his wife, Jan.

Get the book and the guide:

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Looking up at the end of 2020

Looking up at the end of 2020

Some thoughts on the hope of Christmas, and I share shorts from my friends in the Christian Podcasters Association.

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” Luke 2:10

Several friends eager to run into the New Year have asked me, “Do you have your word for 2021?” Actually, I don’t have a single word. I have a phrase from the song O Holy Night. The soaring, triumphant anthem for a world so drained and exhausted that it knows our only hope is to look up.

I imagine us all on our knees, weak and heavy, turning just enough to catch a furtive glance of someone moving. Emmanuel, our Savior. God with us. But He’s not what we expected! What is this? He’s just a baby! We need a king! We run after the tangible but fleeting hope of humans and human systems that can only offer the illusion of security. The promise of rest never realized.


One night in a small town, a lonely couple with nowhere to go settles among the animals and lays their newborn in a manger. As the baby cries his first breaths, the sky grows bright over the hill country. Startled shepherds rise to investigate, then fall back to the ground in awe and wonder. The light and the sound of the angels’ song is nearly too much to bear. With their heads still pressed to the ground, they turn just enough to glimpse the heavenly choir. Gasping for breath, overwhelmed. Praises tumble from their lips as a thrill of hope invigorates their souls.

Through the years, the angels’ praise continues. But our jaded, impatient world, discontent and numb, marches on from season to season. Have we lost enough strength to fall to our knees? It’s the weary world that rejoices. The weary world suspects we were meant for more. The rest of Bethlehem went about its business that night. But the baby’s exhausted parents and the shepherds; they were the ones who noticed. It was the weary ones on their knees that gained that thrill of hope.

The truth of Christmas is that we cannot save ourselves.
The promise of Christmas is that God loved us so completely that He sent His son to save us.

“The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.” – O Holy Night

He wrapped us in a starry sky, calling us to look up. He gave His only son to us. Wonderful Counselor. Prince of Peace. The government shall be upon His shoulders, and of His kingdom, there shall be no end.

This year has been challenging, but not without hope. Weary ones, may this week of in-between be filled with the wonder of Christ’s birth and the thrill of hope that only He can bring.


I’m sharing short takes from my friends in the Christian Podcasters Association. Here are the links to their podcasts:

Letters from Home Podcast, by Meg Glesener

Life, Repurposed Podcast, by Michelle Rayburn

Truce Podcast, by Chris Staron

Moments with Moni Podcast, by Monika Hardy

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Replay: Chickening IN with JJ Gutierrez

Replay: Chickening IN with JJ Gutierrez

We recorded this episode back in February 2020, and first published it in March. In just those few weeks, the entire world changed. I thought we could all use a reminder of JJ’s timely message to an uncertain world.

How many times have you “chickened out”? Chickening IN is an invitation to a lifestyle of courage and faith.

Sometimes a single word or phrase has the power to change the course of our lives, and “Chickening IN” is that word for JJ Gutierrez. This little twist on a familiar phrase launched JJ into a transformational journey from fear to faith. Her book, Chickening IN: From Fear to Courageous Faith, 8 Pillars of Transformation, is a practical guide to defeating fear and doubt. I spoke with JJ in February, but we especially need her message today.

Overcoming fear is a process. One step follows another, with small, sometimes imperceptible forward movement. That first step of faith, saying “God, I’m terrified,” invites Him into the conversation. As He speaks truth, we can take those practical steps we need to take.


JJ Gutierrez, Courage Challenger and Mentor.
Get the book (affiliate link): Chickening IN: From Fear to Courageous Faith, 8 Pillars of Transformation
Find JJ on Instagram and Facebook

Disclosure: Links may be affiliate links. If you decide to purchase any of these resources, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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The Power of Play: A Year of Playing Catch, with Ethan Bryan

The Power of Play: A Year of Playing Catch, with Ethan Bryan

What happens when you play catch every day for a year? Ethan Bryan played 365 days of catch, and now he’s sharing what he learned about the sacredness of play, finding meaningful connections, and being fully present.

The Power of Play - Interview with Ethan Bryan

Ethan Bryan played catch on New Year’s Day with his daughters. Then they had an idea. “Dad, what if you played catch every day for an entire year?”

That’s 365 days of catch! It’s 500 catch partners, 10 states, and 12,000 miles, rain, wind, and snow. It’s about play, letting our guard down, and connecting with each other.

Do you have a story about how play connected you to something bigger?


A Year of Playing Catch: What a Simple Daily Experiment Taught Me About Life, by Ethan Bryan

Listen to my earlier interview with Ethan, when he was just starting this journey: Baseball and Storytelling

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Start with these Fundraising Resources

Start with these Fundraising Resources

Here are eight of my favorite fundraising resources.

Disclosure: Links may be affiliate links. If you decide to purchase any of these resources, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

In 2006, I helped start two new ministries. We didn’t have a clue how to set up a nonprofit, but we did it. What I typically do, when I face a new challenge, is I try to learn as much as I can about the topic. I dive in deep, and try to identify the most important concepts. And I do this for everything. Probably too much, but if you listen to this podcast as we move into the new year, you’ll benefit from this. 

As an example, I have a friend who told me she was starting to write her memoir. What did I do? I asked friends in the writing world the best books were to read on memoirs. I read three books about memoir writing, and almost every post on Marion Roach Smith’s blog, all so I could help when my friend asked. 

I love to learn, and I have a knack for taking information, distilling it down, and breaking complex things down and simplifying them. That’s one of the things I hope to do going forward with the Life and Mission podcast.

Podcast Update

Our tagline is “Find your voice. Tell your story. Change the world.” But how? I’m going to break those down, and we’ll explore different aspects of each one.

How do you find your voice, anyway? We’re going to look at that from different angles, sometimes looking at practical steps, and at other times, we’ll hear from people sharing their own stories. So we’ll have a combination of solo episodes and interviews. And what I hope to do is to be more focused on really helping you do those three things: Find your voice, your unique voice. Tell your story, whether that’s through media or in the way you live. And what about changing the world? It’s all about impact.  

That’s what we’re doing on this podcast, moving forward. 

My Top 8 Fundraising Resources

Today I’d like to take my 14 years experience managing a nonprofits and offer help for leaders in this area. If you’re in the nonprofit world, or in the ministry world, you are in the business of changing the world. And you’re doing that under a specific set of rules, and usually, a lot of mindset issues!

When we started our organization back in 2006, I dove in. I took a nonprofit management course at the local community college. I bought dozens of books, subscribed to blogs and magazines, and all that stuff. 

So many voices! So many people telling what to do! And over the years, I’ve culled that list down to about a dozen resources that I STILL go back to over and over, because they actually work! They actually help me. I am the wearer of all the hats, like so many of you are. You’re doing the programs; you’re doing the marketing; you’re doing the fundraising.

So this list is to help you with mindset, and strategy for programs, fundraising, and marketing, so you can focus on the activities that can actually move you toward the outcomes you want and need.

If you’re like me, you’re driving while you listen and it’s a little hard to take notes. So I’ve put everything I’m about to talk about here into a PDF you can download from my website (also available at the bottom of this post).

In fact, the download has more resources than the ones I mention here. But for the ones I talk about in this episode, I’ll tell you why they’re on this list and how I use them.

So many people start because of passion, but then run into a wall because fundraising feels like begging.

Kay Helm

Let’s start with the top books. If you only read 2 books, these are the ones.

1) A Spirituality of Fundraising, by Henri J.M. Nouwen

You can read this through in one sitting. It’s only 50-60 pages. And it deals with the most important part of your fundraising–your mind. So many people start because of passion, but then run into a wall because fundraising feels like begging. So we’ve got to change our mindset. This book gives a biblical understanding of the role money and raising money plays in ministry.  We don’t want to miss opportunities for deep and meaningful relationships that make fundraising so rewarding. Most of us need a mindset shift as we examine our relationships with success, comfort, and money.  This is a book that invites us to examine our hearts, motives, and methods and align these with God’s word. 

If you come to me for fundraising coaching, Session One homework is to read this book. 

2) Fundraising Freedom: 7 Steps to Build and Sustain Your Next Campaign, by Mary Valloni

This book outlines Mary’s FREEDOM Fundraising Framework. Raising funds successfully and consistently requires strategy! The Freedom framework gives you that strategy, from clarifying your mission and message to building and deploying your teams and making your difference! You don’t need to chase after everybody’s tips and tricks – build on this effective framework to engage more donors and volunteers. 

Bonus: I interviewed Mary in episode 42, and Mary has a podcast called Fundraising Freedom.

3) Fully Funded Academy

This resource is specifically for missionaries raising support. Fully Funded Academy is a monthly membership training program that gives you the clarity and confidence to launch, grow, and scale your financial support base. Mike Kim is a marketing genius; Mary Valloni has the fundraising strategy. Put those two together, along with a library of teaching, two monthly live calls, templates for letters and blog posts, all kinds of training for developing your website, emails, and print assets, and an amazing community – you will never be alone and never not know what to do next in your fundraising. The fund-raising strategy is based on Mary’s FREEDOM Fundraising framework. 

There is also a Fully Funded Academy podcast! I’ve been a part of this community now for two years, and I am a Fully Funded Certified Coach, so if you want 1:1 attention as you put this into practice I can help you with that

4) Cairification, from Claire Axelrad

There are really only two blogs you need to follow. The first one is “Clairification” from Claire Axelrad. This blog is a tremendous source of knowledge on all things fundraising and philanthropy. Claire  teaches the CFRE course that certifies professional fundraisers, and her posts are packed with useful, practical how-to’s and why’s for key aspects of fundraising and donor communication.

5) The Storytelling Nonprofit

The next blog is the Storytelling Nonprofit, from Vanessa Chase Lockshin. I interviewed Vanessa in episode 27, and Claire put that interview in her weekly list oof favorite resources – so, there ya go! As the   Storytelling Nonprofit, Vanessa’s focus is on recognizing, collecting and telling stories that help donors connect with our cause. She’s got the blog, YouTube channels and regular, really helpful emails with storytelling techniques you can use immediately. Stories are powerful! You absolutely have to tell stories effectively to raise funds. The Storytelling Nonprofit will help you do that.

I want to include these next resources because I’ve been surprised at how many smaller nonprofits don’t know about them. 

6) GuideStar (now part of Candid)

You need to be sure your organization is listed on GuideStar, and that you keep your listing updated each year. We make sure to update our profile, and put the GuideStar seal on our website to help build trust and confidence with donors. Here’s the thing you need need to know. Listing on GuideStar is free. You need to have all your nonprofit paperwork in order, and take the time to complete your profile with all the details. GuideStar will actually pull your 990s in from the IRS, so funders can see what you’re doing with finances. This is the place where most foundations and funders will look to verify your information, got make sure you are a legit 501c3. So when you apply for a grant, and when you apply to get listed on other nonprofit sites like GlobalGiving, they need to find you here. 

7) TechSoup

This next one will save you TONS of money. Once you’re listed on GuideStar, apply with TechSoup so you can get discounts on software and hardware for your nonprofit. So, no. you do not need to pay $500 for Quickbooks Nonprofit. I think it’s something like $60 through TechSoup. Do NOT go to sketchy discount software stores where you could end up with pirated software, or malware. Get the real deal. Top software packages including Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, anti virus software, and all kinds of tech deals. These are real, licensed agreements for great deals.


For Christian nonprofit organizations, I want to mention ECFA. Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. You’ve seen the blue ECFA seal on materials from Christian organizations. This means they’re accredited by the ECFA, and that they adhere to the ECFA’s  Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship. If you’re a smaller organization, you might think you can’t afford to pursue ECFA accreditation, but take heart! Once you apply, they have people to help walk you through the process. In addition, they produce some of the best resources (books, guides, webinars, and more) to guide your organization in areas of good governance and financial accountability. If you are just beginning the process of starting a nonprofit, start here! Use their resources for building a strong board and organizational structure that will serve you well for many years. You’ll save yourself so much hassle by starting off right!

Those are my eight top nonprofit fundraising resources. I have 11 more in my nonprofit fundraising guide (sign up for emails and I’ll send it to you for free. You can always unsubscribe later).

As always, we’re talking about all of these and more in the Life and Mission Podcast community over on Facebook.

Thanks for listening to the Life and Mission podcast – Find your Voice, Tell your story. Change the world! 

Get the resource list as a PDF download – with more resources and helpful tips!