3 Things the Church Can Learn From Mr. Beast

In CPR Connects by Jim KeatLeave a Comment

by: Rev. Jim Keat

Try something new. Learn as you go. Don’t do it alone.

Jimmy Donaldson, more commonly known as Mr. Beast, is a 26 year old YouTuber, entrepreneur, and philanthropist from Greenville, North Carolina. In fact, he is currently the most subscribed to YouTuber on the internet, approaching 300 million people subscribed to his main channel (myself included!).

Often known for sensational videos with an incredibly high production budget (he famously reinvests every dollar he makes from a video into the next video), his journey has taken him from cutting through tables with plastic knives in his childhood bedroom to videos filmed around the world with the biggest ideas ever captured on camera. His videos range from being buried alive for 50 hours to comparing the cheapest and most expensive plane ticket and everything in between to raising $20,000,000 to plant 20,000,000 trees to removing over 30,000,000 pounds of trash from the ocean and more.

(If you’ve never seen a Mr. Beast or Beast Philanthropy video, you should probably clear your schedule for the rest of the day and start watching.)

But what exactly can the church learn from this Gen Z content creator? Much more than this simple article has time to cover, but here are three specific things that faith leaders can integrate into our lives and ministries:

1. Try Something New.

Churches often gravitate towards what we’ve done before. Tradition tends to win, especially against the risk of trying something new. But when it comes to Mr. Beast, it seems he is not afraid to try a new concept or idea, often exploring ideas most people didn’t think possible for a YouTube video. Rather than fearing failure, faith leaders must embrace the unknown. Yes, we should learn from where we’ve been but it should never anchor us in the past but rather propel us into the future. Embrace failure, not as a defeat but as an indication that you are still trying, open to how God might be moving in and through and in spite of you. In fact, we should aim to fail fast, so that we can learn even faster.

2. Learn As You Go.

It is always a good idea to learn before you begin, to anticipate potential pitfalls and prepare in advance. Only in the church it seems that this is where our learning too often begins and ends. Instead, we must learn as we go, open to shift and pivot along the way and pausing occasionally to see where we have been. Rather than moving from Sunday to Sunday, take a moment to pause and reflect on what worked and what didn’t: replicate the former, remove or repair the latter. This “learn as you go” approach is key to Mr. Beast’s success, as he intensely analyzes the data form each video in order to improve the next one. He is driven by his goal to make the best possible video, finding ways to make small, incremental improvements over time that compound in significant shifts and improvements. And even now, with seemingly unlimited access and production budgets, he is still learning as he goes. There is no “arrived” moment when you are a perpetual student. Each weeks is an opportunity to create the most meaningful and intentional worship service. Each season is an invitation to take the next step in your pastoral ministry. There is no finish line but just an ongoing ultra marathon. Only this is a race that you do not run alone.

3. Don’t Do It Alone.

While Jimmy is the one known as Mr. Beast, he is far from the only person in front of or behind the camera. His friends are regulars on his channel, a cast of characters offering humor and drama and everything in between. And he has a growing team of over nearly 500 people working on his various channels and projects, making it far from a one person show. But when it comes to the church, we tend to default to doing it all ourselves, or else with the same small group of volunteers, praying no one burns out too quickly. Going alone might be quicker, but it rarely lasts as long or leads as far. Working together, with all the inevitable conflicts it will bring, is almost always the better choice. This means working together with other clergy, working together with congregants, and being intentional about creating and maintaining systems for this “togetherness” to continue to happen. Whether that’s regular check ins with key leaders in your congregation, getting to know new members of your church, spending intentional time with other pastors and faith leaders in your community, or signing up for coaching and consulting with our team at Convergence, the invitation is clear: don’t do it alone.

As I said, there are many more things we could (and should) learn from Mr. Beast, but this is more than enough to get us started. And you need all the extra time you can get to go watch as many of his videos as you can fit in before your next meeting.

Leave a Comment