For Christians, faith is everything. They turn to their faith in good times and in bad. They entrust everything they do to God. However, there are people who either do not have faith or are not sure what they believe in, a common phenomenon in the age of social media. Today we should remember that faith is personal; it’s something you seek and not forced to come to you.
In this episode, we talk to Rashawn Copeland, a minister and the author of Start Where You Are. He shares the traumatic experiences he went through growing up and how they led to him writing his book. Rashawn also talks about his stint as Soulja Boy’s hype man and how to grow your social media following to help get your message across. Finally, he shares his ultimate goal of making love go viral and what that entails.
If you want to be a grace-driven follower of Christ, this episode is for you.
Rashawn Copeland is a writer for the God’s Not Dead blog and the co-founder of Without Walls Ministries. He is also the host of the Scripture and Stories Podcast and a co-author of the I’m So Blessed Daily. Every week, he shares the Gospel with his followers to help them with spiritual growth.
- Learn about the different types of Christians.
- How can you let the Lord use you through social media?
- Discover how meeting God during the darkest moment in his life has significantly influenced Rashawn’s life.
[04:01] Rashawn’s Elevator Pitch
- Rashawn is a minister who writes and a writer who preaches.
[05:01] Making Love Go Viral
- Rashawn thinks love is what we need most.
- He wants to be someone who helps forward God’s mission.
[06:32] Pastoring Online
- Rashawn wants God to use him the way He has made an impact on his life.
- He was about to take his own life when he read a Bible verse on social media.
- Since then, Rashawn became passionate about spreading messages of hope, life, and grace.
- Rashawn met God when his life was a mess. Now he hopes to do the same for other people.
[11:16] Meeting God Unexpectedly
- Rashawn believes he was already in the direction of success when he was in college.
- One night he was gunned down by the ex-boyfriend of a woman he was hanging out with.
- That experience has humbled him and urged him to take life seriously.
- Rashawn thinks Jesus has been trying to enter his life, but he only allowed Jesus on that fateful night.
[13:26] The Church Around Rashawn
- Rashawn used to be surrounded by devoted followers of Jesus.
- When he moved from Oklahoma to Los Angeles, Rashawn believed he was around Satan worshippers.
- However, God always sends a man or a woman of faith to educate him.
[15:54] The Different Types of Christians
- Hedonist Christians follow Christ if it benefits them.
- Fault-finding, judgmental Christians compare themselves to other people.
- Legalist Christians think they do not need God because they can get by on their own.
- Grace-driven Christians entrust themselves wholly to Christ.
[18:13] Which Type Is the Most Attractive?
- Rashawn believes grace-driven Christians are the most attractive.
- Recognize the things Jesus has done for you and act upon them out of love.
- It is exhausting to live life all by yourself.
[21:27] Being Soulja Boy’s Hype Man
- Rashawn signed up with an agency in New York to be Soulja Boy’s hype man
- A hype man works to connect the artists or DJ and the crowd, making sure the people do not lose interest.
- It was a crazy time for Rashawn, being in a place where people have a flashy lifestyle.
- He thought he lost himself in the process. Rashawn is glad he met God during that time.
[24:41] Being in the Spotlight
- During his stint as a hype man, he felt as if he was being worshipped. Consequently, he felt like he was in the right place.
- There was something that did not sit right with Rashawn when he felt miserable and anxious. He did not like that he was being worshipped.
- He realized his heart was made to worship God and God alone.
[27:07] Is There Fortune in Fame?
- Most people Rashawn met in Los Angeles who have millions of followers were barely making it through the week.
- He says these influencers go to events for the sole purpose of seeking career opportunities.
- The mentality was to “fake it ‘til you make it.”
[30:23] Things Rashawn Learned from His Experiences
- Rashawn needed the discipline of the military.
- Being an athlete and a military guy has helped him understand the Gospel and his faith more.
- God has placed him strategically in those places to meet different people from all walks of life and relate to them.
[33:24] On the Issue of Race
- Rashawn thinks we live in a very messy time. He believes it all boils down to the human heart.
- On the one hand, we should speak up when there is injustice. But on the other hand, we must also have the compassion to hear other people’s perspectives.
- We should find a way to honor people we disagree with, pray for them, and still love them.
- We were made in God’s image; therefore, we should see deeper than people’s skin color.
[36:49] Social Media as a Double-Edged Sword
- We should remember our mission: to spread the word of God.
- Rashawn believes that if we are to be faithful followers of Christ, we need to allow the Lord to use us.
[39:34] On Being Discriminated
- You need to have a heightened awareness of your frailty first.
- Rashawn has experienced being discriminated against by white people and people of color. Listen to the full episode to hear his stories.
[45:12] Tips for Social Media Influencers
- Show up every day and serve people.
- Content is king, but consistency is vital.
- Publish something value-adding consistently.
- Build your network and enter into partnerships.
- Most importantly, be real.
[49:21] Social Media Addiction
- Rashawn feels like he is becoming dependent on his cellphone, to the point of bringing it with him everywhere.
- John Mark Comer gave Rashawn practical advice to help him.
- Do not attach your identity to your desires. Instead, draw your identity from Christ.
[51:29] Rashawn’s Definition of Success
- Rashawn defines success as knowing God, loving God, and obeying God.
- The more we know God, the more we love Him.
[54:08] Getting Endorsements for His Book
- Rashawn loves Manny Pacquiao, a man of God from the Philippines. He is thankful that Manny wrote his book’s foreword.
- Rashawn is also thankful to Greg Laurie for helping him get the message out there.
- He also thanks Eric Metaxas, Emily Freeman, and Bobby Grunewald for helping him endorse his book.
[59:20] Rashawn’s Book, Start Where You Are
- Rashawn is thankful that we are not too unworthy for God’s love.
- The message he wants to get across is that you do not need to clean yourself up before coming to God. God’s love is available for you right where you are.
[1:03:16] Rashawn’s Writing Process
- The writing process had been painful. He had to revisit the memories that crippled him.
- He feared the process; however, he believed that he needed to share his mess.
- Rashawn has a friend he considers his literary therapist. It helped to have a community of people surrounding you as you go through the writing process.
[1:08:43] What’s Next for Rashawn
- Rashawn wants to become the best father and husband in the world.
- He wants to work from acceptance and not for it.
- Ultimately, Rashawn wants to spread the grace of God into the world.
5 Powerful Quotes from This Episode
[16:43] “I looked at so many different people’s perspectives—people who failed, people who succeeded. I looked at multiple people who had succeeded and saw what they did, and molded what I did and what I liked. And after a while, things started to finally click.”
[20:29] “I didn’t necessarily learn everything. It’s just that I failed so many times that I happen to know the wrong way to do everything. So, by nature, I know the right way to do a lot of stuff.”
[30:16] “Look, once you start helping people get what they want, they don’t care if you’re purple, or green, or orange.”
[33:34] “If you show up more times than anybody else, then you’re gonna eventually become a consistent figure in whatever niche that you decide to jump in. You just have to show up; you just have to be there.”
[1:03:40] “Sometimes it’s better to just keep something out there and refine it over time versus trying to get it perfect. Because sometimes people will get stuck in the ready, in the aim, and then they never shoot. So, ready, shoot, aim. Seek, go, create. Go, go, and go.”
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