61 episodes

Viral Jesus is a podcast from Christianity Today about digital communication and the power of social connections. Join author and communication scholar Heather Thompson Day as she dives deep with ministry leaders, content creators, and social media influencers to find out how they're starting important conversations, building community, and sharing their faith in digital spaces.

Viral Jesus Christianity Today

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.9 • 73 Ratings

Viral Jesus is a podcast from Christianity Today about digital communication and the power of social connections. Join author and communication scholar Heather Thompson Day as she dives deep with ministry leaders, content creators, and social media influencers to find out how they're starting important conversations, building community, and sharing their faith in digital spaces.

    What You May Be Getting Wrong About the Character of God

    What You May Be Getting Wrong About the Character of God

    In today’s episode Heather sits down with her friends Ty Gibson and David Asscherick to discuss what we may be getting wrong about the character of God. David and Ty walk us through Scripture and show us what has been there all along: God is love. What would happen to our evangelism and conversations if we, as a church body, truly started believing that this statement is true? You won’t want to miss this third and final conversation in our “What You May Be Getting Wrong About God” pod-class series.
    Also, in a first for Viral Jesus, Heather chats with Christian comedienne Ellen Skrmetti about using comedy as a tool for life-changing communication. Ellen, whose Instagram Reels and TikTok accounts are bursting with clever and hilarious videos, has amassed nearly 100,000 followers and millions of views. The Second City alum reflects on the delicate balance between faith and humor, and she explains why “going viral” comes in many shapes and sizes.
    Here are links to a few of the sermons that were referenced in this episode:
    David Asscherick, This Is My Church?
    Ty Gibson, Reimagining God
    David Asscherick, Gospel Tribe
    Guest Bios
    Ty Gibson is a speaker/director for Light Bearers and pastor of Storyline Adventist Church. A passionate communicator with a message that opens minds and moves hearts, Ty teaches on a variety of topics, emphasizing God’s unfailing love as the central theme of the Bible. Ty and his wife Sue have three adult children and two grandsons.David Asscherick is a speaker/director for Light Bearers and ARISE co-founder and instructor. Since his baptism in 1999, David has traveled the globe preaching and teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He and his wife Violeta are the happy parents of two boys, Landon and Jabel.
    Host Bio
    Heather Thompson Day is an associate professor of communication at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. She is the author of eight books, including I’ll See You Tomorrow and It’s Not Your Turn. Reach out to Heather on Twitter @HeatherTDay and on Instagram @heatherthompsonday.
    Viral Jesus is a production of Christianity Today
    Host and creator: Heather Thompson Day
    Executive Producer: Ed Gilbreath
    Producer: Loren Joseph
    Associate Producer: Azurae Phelps
    Mix Engineer: Alex Carter
    Director of CT Podcasts: Mike Cosper
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 8 min
    What You May Be Getting Wrong About God’s Vision for the Church

    What You May Be Getting Wrong About God’s Vision for the Church

    In today’s episode Heather visits with one of her favorite theologians, Joel Muddamalle, for an energetic and insightful conversation about God’s original vision for the church and how we often miss it. Joel unpacks what it means to be ambassadors for Christ in a fragmented world; he cautions us against letting social media divide our souls; and he reminds us that ethnic and cultural diversity in the church is a feature, not a bug. One of the big points Joel touches on is what he calls our commitment to “the sacred-and-secular divide.” What does it mean to be set apart as Christians, and what is our role in secular spaces? Joel’s biblically rooted perspectives will inform, surprise, and challenge you to delve deeper into God’s Word. (This is the second conversation in a three-part series that began with “What You May Be Getting Wrong About Biblical Womanhood.”)
    We also visit with our favorite social media whiz Brady Shearer for this week’s #Blessed. He gives us a breakdown of the difference between the social graph algorithm vs. the discovery algorithm and why he believes we all need to ride whatever wave social platforms present us with. Brady is the director of Pro Church Tools and the church-software platform Nucleus. His work focuses on helping churches navigate the biggest communication shift in 500 years. Make sure to let us know your thoughts about this segment by typing in ViralJesusPod on Instagram or Twitter and including #Blessed with your comment.
    Guest Bio
    Joel Muddamalle serves as the director of theology and research for Proverbs 31 Ministries and Lysa TerKeurst. He’s also a member of the preaching team at Transformation Church with Pastor Derwin Gray. Joel earned a PhD in theology under professors Patrick Schreiner (NT) and Michael Heiser (OT) with an emphasis on Paul’s household language in Ephesians as it relates to the Old Testament. He loves studying and teaching the brilliant truths found in Scripture and unpacking how they relate to our everyday lives.
    Host Bio
    Heather Thompson Day is an associate professor of communication at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. She is the author of eight books, including, I’ll See You Tomorrow, and It’s Not Your Turn. Reach out to Heather on Twitter @HeatherTDay and on Instagram @heatherthompsonday.
    Viral Jesus is a production of Christianity Today
    Host and creator: Heather Thompson Day
    Executive Producer: Ed Gilbreath
    Producer: Loren Joseph
    Associate Producer: Azurae Phelps
    Mix Engineer: Alex Carter
    Director of CT Podcasts: Mike Cosper
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 46 min
    What You May Be Getting Wrong About Biblical Womanhood

    What You May Be Getting Wrong About Biblical Womanhood

    In this episode Heather begins our three-part series of conversations with evangelical thought leaders who are challenging us to reconsider some of our long-held beliefs about God. We’re calling this pod-class series “Things You May Be Getting Wrong About God.” If you missed last week’s episode, you may want to go back to hear Heather’s personal reflections on the theme and why she hopes you’ll join her on this journey. But be forewarned: As its title suggests, this pod-class series is designed to challenge and stretch you. 
    This week Heather sits down with Beth Allison Barr, the bestselling author of The Making of Biblical Womanhood. With a proven record of sparking intense but important conversations about the role of women in the church, Professor Barr is here to talk about what we may be getting wrong about how God sees women. 
    We also visit with social media expert Brady Shearer for this week’s #Blessed segment. He gives us three things we need to know before starting an online platform and explains why we shouldn’t try to go viral. Make sure to let us know your thoughts about this segment by typing in ViralJesusPod on Instagram or Twitter and including #Blessed with your comment.
    Guest Bios
    Beth Allison Barr (PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is associate professor of history and associate dean of the Graduate School at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where she specializes in medieval history, women’s history, and church history. She is the president of the Conference on Faith and History and is a member of Christians for Biblical Equality. Barr has written for Christianity Today, The Washington Post, and Religion News Service, and is a regular contributor to The Anxious Bench, the popular Patheos website on Christian history.
    Brady Shearer is the director of Pro Church Tools and the church-software platform Nucleus. His work focuses on helping churches navigate the biggest communication shift in 500 years.
    Host Bio
    Heather Thompson Day is an associate professor of communication at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. She is the author of eight books, including I’ll See You Tomorrow and It’s Not Your Turn. Reach out to Heather on Twitter @HeatherTDay and on Instagram @heatherthompsonday.

    Viral Jesus is a production of Christianity Today
    Host and creator: Heather Thompson Day
    Executive Producer: Ed Gilbreath
    Producer: Loren Joseph
    Associate Producer: Azurae Phelps
    Mix Engineer: Alex Carter
    Director of CT Podcasts: Mike Cosper
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 58 min
    What You May Be Getting Wrong About God

    What You May Be Getting Wrong About God

    It’s our first new episode of 2023, and Heather opens the new year by introducing our latest pod-class series, “Things You May Be Getting Wrong About God.” She shares thoughts from Isaiah 30, a passage of Scripture she’d been reading in worship that prompted her to confront some of her shortsighted ideas about how God was moving in her life. In addition to her own personal reflections, over the next few episodes Heather will talk to three different evangelical theologians about God’s active role in the world and in our lives.
    In this episode, we also visit with Brady Shearer for this week’s #Blessed. Heather and Brady discuss a trend in social media that signals what Brady calls “the collapse of curation on digital platforms.” Brady is the director of Pro Church Tools and church software platform Nucleus. His work focuses on helping churches navigate digital media—“the biggest communication shift in 500 years.” (BTW, make sure to let us know your “#Blessed or #Mess?” thoughts by typing in ViralJesusPod on Instagram or Twitter and including #Blessed with your comments.)
    Host Bio
    Heather Thompson Day is an associate professor of communication at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. She is the author of eight books, including I’ll See You Tomorrow, releasing in October, and It’s Not Your Turn. Reach out to Heather on Twitter @HeatherTDay and on Instagram @heatherthompsonday.

    Viral Jesus is a production of Christianity Today
    Host and creator: Heather Thompson Day
    Executive Producer: Ed Gilbreath
    Producer: Loren Joseph
    Associate Producer: Azurae Phelps
    Mix Engineer: Alex Carter
    Director of CT Podcasts: Mike Cosper
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 40 min
    Jonathan Evans: When Misery Becomes Ministry

    Jonathan Evans: When Misery Becomes Ministry

    In today’s episode Heather sits down with Jonathan Evans to talk about his latest book, Fighting Your Battles: Every Christian’s Playbook for Victory. In this conversation Jonathan describes a God who has often “unsettled” him. What do we do when life brings us conflict and disappointment instead of comfort and security? It starts, Jonathan says, by realizing that Christian maturity is not independence but dependence.
    Jonathan, the son of Tony Evans and his late wife Lois, shares openly about his mother’s long battle with terminal illness and his family’s struggle with grief. He reflects on how he’s witnessed the truth of his mother’s words to him before she passed. She told him, “Your greatest ministry will come out of your greatest misery.”
    In this episode, we also visit with college student and Viral Jesus intern Haley Hoskins for this week’s #Blessed. Heather and Haley talk about a new study from the CDC that says 45 percent of high school students were persistently hopeless in 2021, they were unable to engage in regular activities. Heather asks Haley what role she thinks social media plays in her generation’s increased struggles with depression and anxiety. Make sure to let us know your thoughts by typing in ViralJesusPod on Instagram or Twitter and using #Blessed.
    Guest Bio
    Jonathan Evans is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary with a master’s degree in Christian Leadership. He is a mentor, author, speaker, and former NFL fullback who serves as the chaplain of the Dallas Cowboys and co-chaplain of the Dallas Mavericks. As part of his commitment to developing the next generation of devoted Christian leaders, he travels the country speaking at churches, conferences, men’s events, banquets, and student-athlete events. Follow Jonathan and learn more about his journey on Facebook @JonathanBlakeEvans, and Instagram @JonathanBlakeEvans.
    Host Bio
    Heather Thompson Day is an associate professor of communication at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. She is the author of eight books, including, I’ll See You Tomorrow, and It’s Not Your Turn. Reach out to Heather on Twitter @HeatherTDay and on Instagram @heatherthompsonday.
    Viral Jesus is a production of Christianity Today
    Host and creator: Heather Thompson Day
    Executive Producer: Ed Gilbreath
    Producer: Loren Joseph
    Associate Producer: Azurae Phelps
    Mix Engineer: Alex Carter
    Director of CT Podcasts: Mike Cosper
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 45 min
    Kara Powell: The Spiritual Promise of Generation Z

    Kara Powell: The Spiritual Promise of Generation Z

    In today’s episode Heather is joined by youth ministry expert Kara Powell to talk about Kara’s latest book, 3 Big Questions That Change Every Teenager. Kara will teach us how to connect with Generation Z, what they need in order to thrive spiritually, and how we can help them as they wrestle with questions of identity, purpose, and belonging.
    But first we visit with Mandy Majors, author of Keeping Kids Safe in a Digital World, for this week’s #Blessed. When and how should we give our kids their own screens? Heather and Mandy discuss practical guidelines for monitoring kids’ use of technology. Make sure to let us know your thoughts by typing in ViralJesusPod on Instagram or Twitter and using #Blessed.
    Guest BioDr. Kara Powell is a writer, researcher, and ministry leader who specializes in matters related to the church and youth discipleship. She is the executive director of the Fuller Youth Institute at Fuller Theological Seminary and the author of Growing With and Growing Young. Her most recent book is 3 Big Questions That Change Every Teenager.
    Host Bio
    Heather Thompson Day is an associate professor of communication at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. She is the author of eight books, including, I’ll See You Tomorrow, and It’s Not Your Turn. Reach out to Heather on Twitter @HeatherTDay and on Instagram @heatherthompsonday.
    Viral Jesus is a production of Christianity Today
    Host and creator: Heather Thompson Day
    Executive Producer: Ed Gilbreath
    Producer: Loren Joseph
    Associate Producer: Azurae Phelps
    Mix Engineer: Alex Carter
    Director of CT Podcasts: Mike Cosper
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
73 Ratings

73 Ratings

rs112222 ,

Phenomenal content!

Love the diversity of topics and the mission to spread Gods love and His Word! Keep it up!

flowerbomblift ,

Inspirational

So inspirational ! Found this podcast by hearing Heather speak on Sadie Robertsons podcast and subscribed immediately and am so thankful to have found this page for a resource I will continue coming back to! God bless you Heather 🙌🏻🙌🏻you’re a light and a blessing

Jason James Lemon ,

BEST CHRISTIAN PODCAST EVER

My major regret in life is that I didn’t subscribe sooner

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