[00:00:00] Hi guys. Welcome back to today’s episode of Hear and Now podcast is the bonus episode where I welcome Misti Philip on to talk about her spark podcast conference. I’m so excited. This is just going to be a little fun bonus episode. hi Misty. Thank you so much for coming on today. Hey Sophia, I’m so excited to be here.
Thank you so much. This is going to be awesome. and I’m so excited for you to talk about spark and just kind of chat about what led you to starting this and podcasting and all that stuff. So why don’t you go, how do you introduce yourself to the audience? Yeah. So I’m Misty, Phillip. I am a wife and a mom and author and a speaker and a podcaster and entrepreneur.
So all the things, it’s fun. How, as a woman in this season of my life, you know, I was a stay at home mom. I, before that I was a corporate woman, And then kind of thought God was done with me. but then I started to really pray and seek him about all of the things that were next. And that led me to speaking and writing and writing a Bible [00:01:00] study and starting a podcast and, and all of the things.
And so now here I am on this great adventure with Jesus. That is so amazing. I have to give you credit for that. It’s just so cool how God just leads us in so many different directions when you honestly wouldn’t expect it at all. so what kind of led you to get started in podcasting? Talk a little bit about your podcasts.
Yeah. So actually my podcast was from, writing my Bible study. So my Bible study is the struggle is real, but so is God. And I wanted to have a place where I could build an audience and a platform for that book. So when the book came out, That I had people interested in the topic, but more so than that, I also wanted a place for people to share their stories because having been in a lot of struggles in my life, I know that those struggles, oftentimes people feel really alone in their struggle.
And if we can just have somebody that says I’ve been there, God’s with you. [00:02:00] I don’t know how it’s going to work out, but. God’s still good or whatever the advice is that that they need. And sometimes people just need to hear I’m not alone in this struggle. And, and so that was how the podcast was birthed.
And I had no idea what I was doing. I, w I procrastinated for two years, I moved my microphone around my house because my son, my oldest son was in college at the time. And he had a podcast at Houston Baptist university and he. Would come home all the time. Mom, you need a podcast, mom, you need a podcast.
And I’m a move my microphone around the house. And finally, right before I went to the, she speaks conference in 2018, God gave me that message. People need to know that they’re not alone in their struggle and that’s how by his grace was born. And so I recorded my first 15 episodes at, she speaks in my hotel room.
15 episodes. I can’t even [00:03:00] imagine like doing that. I do one per week. If I can get around to it. That’s amazing. It was exhausting. But I had all of these people who had messages that they wanted to share and we were live and we were in person and. We just in, in the pre-conference and in between sessions, I just made time blocks where I just had like one person come right after the other.
I put a sign on my hotel door that said recording in progress, please be quiet. And I just so happened to like, God positioned me in a good room that was kind of off the beaten path. So that was, that was really helpful. Cause the, it was an atrium style hotel, you know, where the whole thing is open. So.
That can be really loud, but God worked it all out. And I had no idea what I was doing. but everybody was so gracious with me. And then, and then I came home and my son, my youngest son started playing football and I was homeschooling him and I didn’t touch it until December. so that was [00:04:00] in July.
It was December that year before I started too work on it. And I launched on January 1st, 2019. That’s amazing. How cool is that? I mean, I’ve been in atrium style hotels, so that’s like, it’s just so perfect. That’s just how God works. And I love that. And like I said, I can’t imagine recording 15 episodes in one shot.
Like that’s amazing. but I’m sure it’s like really cool to record in person. I mean, it’s so cool. Technology wise to be able to do this from different States too, but in person I’m sure that was just such an amazing story. Experience. so what have been some of the highlights of your podcasting career specifically in reference to by his grace?
Yeah, it is, for me, it has just been all about the people. God, has brought some amazing guests to my show and, and then just the feedback that. That I get, you know, when I hear that the, you know, particular episode really ministers to me, you know, there’s nothing like that. We [00:05:00] have the opportunity and the ability as podcasters to sit in our homes and our comfy little cozy spaces with a microphone and reach people all over the world for Jesus.
And there to me is nothing cooler than that. But especially when something. Resonates so much with a person that it inspires them. It changes the course of their day. It causes them to think it makes them want to love Jesus more like there’s nothing better than that. That’s such a cool testimony and I can totally speak to that when, you know, I’ll listen to a theological podcast.
I’m like, Ooh, even I’m from doing dishes, I’m like, okay, I gotta stop. I gotta process that. And I gotta think it through. And just being able to, like you said, connect with people all over the world, is like the coolest thing ever. I mean, I can’t even put that into words, how that’s been so impactful for me over my podcasting career.
So I wanted to ask you a little bit about spark, actually a lot about [00:06:00] spark in that case. How did spark kind of get its start from having your own show as well? Yeah. So I started to see the impact that my show was having and that I was reaching people all over the world. And I thought, how cool is that?
First of all. but actually I was beginning to work on my, my next book and, I was really struggling with it. And my husband came to me and he was very open and very honest, because he saw like how stressful it was for me trying to, to complete this next book. And he said, why are you doing that? He said, Your podcast is where you have the most impact in the most, the most impact.
He said, why are you struggling so much to write this book? He said, I think you’re just flattered because an agent wants to work with you. And it was kind of a rubber meets the road. And I was like, you know, he’s probably right. Like I’m forcing this book into a direction. That, I’m not sure that I want to go in that direction, you know?
And [00:07:00] so once he came to me with that, I went to the Lord just, just in prayer and just, you know, kind of empty. Like if I don’t do that, then what God, you know? And I said, where does my gifting and my calling lineup in this season of my life. So it was my youngest, son’s senior year at homeschooled. All of my kids all the way through was my final year.
Finish that race well, but I was also looking forward to what was next and I love hospitality like that. One of my giftings, I love gathering people. One of my giftings too, is I’m a connector of people. So I’m always connecting people with one another. I love I’m like a. Extrovert. I love to go meet people and do things and I love to throw a party.
And so it kind of had all of those things in my mind. I serve in Houston as the connect leader for the Christian women in media, and I’ve also run a mastermind meeting in my home for four years. So I had sort of all of those things in my, you know, in my brain [00:08:00] as a, as I’m praying. And I just really felt the Lord say a podcast conference for Christians.
And I’m like a podcast conference for Christians. What, and, and I started to think there is no Christian podcast conference. There are large secular conferences that are amazing, that serve the podcasting industry. There are writing and speaking conferences where that’s the main focus and they might talk about podcasting or they have a podcasting track, but you know, Sophia as a podcast or there’s a lot that goes into podcasting.
Oh, yes. A hundred percent. And like you said, I was looking at for conferences when I first started, there was nothing out there that would have achieved what I was looking for from the faith perspective and from being a Christian podcaster. So that’s a really good point. It’s like history making too, that you were able to start that.
So, yeah, go ahead. What else was going into this and your thoughts? Yeah, that was exactly it. I was like, I want to bring the brightest and the [00:09:00] best of what’s happening in the podcast industry, because it is, it’s been around for a while, but it’s sort of entering into its, like its golden days where it’s very exciting.
A lot more people are listening to podcasts are becoming a lot more popular. so I wanted to bring the best of what was happening in the industry. To Christians, because I believe as Christians, we should do everything with excellence. And, and so I wanted to kind of blend the best of both worlds.
And so that’s how spark was born. That’s amazing. So what kind of led you to naming it spark? Yeah, so I sat down with a notebook and a pen and God in prayer and I was like, okay, I need a name. I need speakers. I need a venue. Just started like mentally going through all the things that I would need. And honestly, the Lord gave me the word spark and, was really cool because after I announced it, I had three different.
People who are not [00:10:00] necessarily prophetic people or who necessarily they’re, they don’t lean into prophecy, but three people sent me three different prophetic messages that had to do with the Hebrew new year being the year of the mouth and that, that word, Pay for mouth. That actually means a spark.
And so it was almost just like this amazing confirmation that, because I believe that as podcasters, especially today, our voice is so important on the kingdom calendar and that God can use us in amazing ways. And so that to me was just comfort confirmation that I would start a podcasting conference. Do you inspire people to use their voice for God in the year of the mouth?
That’s incredible. Wow. I love that so much. And you know, obviously as a Christian, I’m all about this little confirmation signs, so that’s just something I would totally hold onto for so long and you’d be like, okay, God, I get it. Like you’re [00:11:00] showing up for me right now. so. In the process of starting this.
So this is all pre COVID, right? You did this in February of 2020. So how did you end up pulling it all together and what kind of a success was it? Yeah, so, that, so I had that initial prayer conversation with God at the very end of September. So then we had October, November, I met your mom at the hope writers conference, which was really cool.
and we also had, you know, Thanksgiving in there and Christmas and the new year. And so lots of family holidays, a lot of things. And, and we had it in February, but we had 150 people, at least, I don’t know exactly, but may, it could have been more because I think some more people just kind of showed up.
How cool that’s thing. Wow. So who was like a keynote speaker? So what was the kind of format for you in this part of the conference? Yeah, so I had like hall of Famer, podcast hall of Famer, Dave Jackson, there. [00:12:00] I had the guys from Buzzsprout were one of them. Amazing. So Travis Albritton did a talk for us.
I had at crystal prophet, who is a friend of mine who lives here, who just wrote a, a book about podcasting and yeah. The guy who runs my local podcast meetup. So it was really a blend of people that were already my friends who were doing some really interesting things. coupled with, people that I’d known a long time.
I had Thomas Amstat who, has been podcasting for a long time, but also, does a lot with writing and speaking. And that’s sort of who he, who has his target audience is, but I’ve known thomas’ family since I. Homeschooled. And my kids did speech and debate. So it was just this really interesting kind of web.
Like I said, I sat down with that notebook and I was like, who would I want to do a conference with? And I had a friend in Napa Valley, Julie Hamilton. And I was like, I love Julie. I want to, I want Julie to do it with me. And I want this person and you know, and I just started to call a couple of [00:13:00] people. My MC was Paul Hastings of the compelled podcast.
And I said, yeah, Hey, Paul, what do you think? He goes, my wife and I have been wanting to host a conference, but we didn’t have the bandwidth while they’re in a season where they’re having babies and they have little people I’m on the opposite spectrum of that, but he was like, we are here and we want to support you in whatever you want to do.
And so, yeah, we had just lots of people just from different areas. It was, it was really cool. That’s incredible. yeah, I mean, shout out to Buzzsprout I used them as my hosting site, so it’s so cool to like see all these people that you just know when you look up to kind of being on the same level as you.
so how did COVID kind of Trump your plans for the next spark? Conference. Yeah. So we were, we were done with the conference and everybody was like high five and we’re hugging. I mean, it’s just pictures, the whole thing. I mean, we are on cloud nine, right? This was just like two full days of just, I can’t even describe to you just the [00:14:00] atmosphere was so amazing.
Everybody was excited. It was the first one. and then the week after that I had a speaking engagement. on the books that I couldn’t move. but pod Fest was happening at the same time. And so there were several people that were at spark that went to pod fast. So like bus four out and blueberry and Connie Albers and all these different people.
And, and then the next week I went to San Diego for the launch of podcast magazine. Well, I was the first Christian podcaster featured in that magazine. My friends were at. pod fast and everybody had the magazine and they were all talking about spark, all these people, that had met at spark. Then they saw each other at pod fast and they’re like, this is going to be amazing.
And then COVID. Okay. And then literally I got back from San Diego. There was no meat at my grocery store and no toilet paper and Oh my gosh, literally the aisles were cleared out and I’m like, okay, [00:15:00] now what? But God had gone before me. and he, he does that. He does that. He’s so faithful to go before us.
And, he had put on my heart to do an online membership community, similar to hope writers. Like I wanted what hope writers does for writers. I wanted to do that. Podcasters. Yeah. So I started the rocket podcast community. So I really transitioned from COVID into the rocket podcast community. And then from there, pod Fest came to me and said, because they saw the writing on the wall, you know, they’re like we can’t host an event, in a COVID season.
So they started to do their events online. And then they said, would you do a spark event with pod fast and do the faith-based track? And I was like, Absolutely. And so, you know, one thing just led to another. I had no idea in February, it looked like we weren’t going to do anything. and then all of a sudden here we’re doing something with pod fast and then fast forward now to the end of the year.
[00:16:00] I mean, I sold tickets for the spark 2021 at spark with no venue. And no date for next year and now no way to book an event because, because of COVID right. And so I’m waiting and I’m praying and I’m seeking God. And I started to get really anxious. Like I need to. Make a decision about next year, but I don’t know, like I want to move it into my church possibly because it has the cameras and the sound equipment and all of the things that we did it in a hotel, which were great.
It just made it really expensive to host. So, you know, but my church hasn’t even opened up. Full all the way yet. So, you know, that’s kinda hard to, to approach that by, by the way, can I host a conference and bring a bunch of people, but we’re not even doing small groups yet. So, so I’m just, that’s how the spark summit was born.
It was just born out of that. What, what God, and [00:17:00] actually, it was my youngest son who said, mom, I really think you need to host your own. Online event, you did it with spar. You did spark with pod Fest, and that was great, but I think, and what was that coupled with, you know, my need for encouragement, because I started to get a little discouraged.
I started to look around at what was happening in the world. Like we’ve had a crazy year from, from hurricanes and wildfires to murder Hornets to. Social unrest, the political unrest too, just, I mean, so many things and, and, and that doesn’t include sickness and job loss and, you know, all the things that we normally go through.
Right. And so, I was like, if I’m discouraged and I was talking to some of my other friends and they were feeling discouraged, I was like, you know, I want to, I want to create an event right now, as a bridge event. Into 2021 that encourages and inspires people to stay on [00:18:00] mission for God to stay focused on what he’s caused us to do.
Because if we look at the world around us, we look at our circumstances. It’s not going to make sense. but if we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and do what he’s told us to do, then, we’re doing a good thing. And so I. I am just inspired to help see all of these podcasters get connected. And that was probably the coolest thing about spark was you had, we had actually people that came from Asia and yeah.
And, and to see all of these people get connected. And then all of the podcasts that were born afterwards, and then to be able to walk alongside these people and inspire and empower them to share their message has just been so incredible. Absolutely incredible. I’m so happy. And I have loved seeing myself as, I guess, now a season podcasts or seeing all of my friends jump on that too.
And it’s [00:19:00] been so cool. And just to see everybody on fire for God, and it’s just the coolest part. Of it all. so I’m so excited about spark now. So what’s going to be different about it versus the actual obviously live event. It’s the biggest difference, but how about terms of speakers? Anything you want to share about?
It will be awesome. Yeah. So, Online events are not actually like, I don’t really like it that much to be fully honest because I’m a people person. Like I want to be in the room and I want to hug you and I want to see basin and all of that. And so this has been, been a challenge to make that switch.
But, I started talking to some people who said, I went to this conference, this virtual conference and it was amazing. I didn’t have to leave my house. I didn’t have. Why I didn’t have to stay in a hotel. I didn’t have to do any of these things. I was still able to do some of the other work I needed to do and, and still attend.
And what they loved about it was the small group interaction. One lady told me, she goes, I feel like I almost got to [00:20:00] meet more people because it was very intentional. And so we’re doing this event kind of like a summit where we’re going to have a, most of the conference is going to be prerecorded, just because of the.
Of the technical issues that go into uploading and downloading all of that. We are going to have some presentations that will be here in Houston and they will be live. and so that will be cool. Oh, wow. Yeah. But then, But then we’re going to break into small groups in, online. And so that we’re going to have small group leaders.
And so we’re going to start our keynotes every hour. And then, we’re going to break into small groups so we can talk about what we just learned so that we can meet new people. so that it’s, You know, I think just that will be that aspect will be really cool. So, I’m excited to, to introduce some speakers who may not be well-known, to other people, but I know how amazing they are and some new voices on the scene.
[00:21:00] Some people doing some amazing things. So I’ve got the ladies from the mom to mom podcast. that’s Kate betta Steli and September McCarthy and Jamie. Erickson. And so I I’ve got a panel discussion with them. I’ve got Mike McDonald coming back. he did it, something with me for the, the spark, podcast event.
He, works for, the Bible project and the Bible project has just, they’re an amazing organization. And, he’s got so much wisdom. So he’s talking about storytelling and I’ve got, we’re going to talk about, branding and Facebook and social media. And so kind of, it’s going to be part encouragement.
And then the other part is, cause you know this as a podcast or once you get started, okay, you get everything figured out, you know, you’ve got your microphone, you got all your things now. Sharing my podcast, how do I grow? And so I want to help [00:22:00] people grow because I believe so much in their message. So my friend Kelly Buckner from be bold Academy is going to share about, about branding.
We’ve got, just Tonya Kubo is sharing on how to, create communities and Facebook. And yeah, we just got. Amazing lineup of speakers. I’m super pumped. That’s so cool. I love all of that. And I’m so, so excited for it. So what do you think somebody who’s coming into the us? Is it just for experienced podcasters or just for beginners?
What can somebody gain from it if they’re looking to get into podcasts thing? Yeah. So I think that there will be information there for the, the newbie person, But I really think the two things that this event is going to be is going to be encouragement and equipping, you know, so, like I said, working on growth.
You know, how do I grow? it will be a time of, connection and inspiration, and I’m [00:23:00] really excited. I’ve got a friend of mine that’s here locally. He’s going to, do a talk on our post 20, 20 posture. Like how do we go into 2021 after 2020. I mean, that’s a big, that’s a big question. And so I’m hoping to not only encourage people to stand strong in what they’re doing, but to inspire them with fresh vision for 2021.
That’s amazing. I mean, I’m sure everybody needs out of this moment, not just podcasters. So hopefully that effect goes far and wide for a lot of people. but I’m so excited to attend and I can’t wait to see all the amazing fruits that will come out of it. So where can people to go, go to sign up for this?
Yeah, they can go to spark pod con.com and I forgot to tell you one other really cool feature that we have. Is, we have the literary agents, from the blight Daniels agency, taking appointments for people who are interested in turning their [00:24:00] podcast into a book, they are taking those appointments.
They’re going to do those on the following day so that it doesn’t take away from the conference, but that’s a conference add on so people can come to the conference and just experience the one day encouragement. Or if they’re looking to write a book, they can get that add on appointment too. How cool is that?
I love that so much. So yeah. So what are the details when and say, where can we go to sign up? What time? All of those stuff. Yeah. So it’s, we haven’t published the schedule, but it’s going to be an all day event on November 6th. It’s the week of the election and that purposefully, because I feel like we need something positive to focus on during this crazy time.
And so. Yeah. And so they can go to spark pod con.com and that’s where all the details you’ll see all of the speakers and all of the things they can sign up to get a ticket. And, so yeah, so we’re just two weeks away. So it’s going to be. So, so cool. And I’m pretty sure I have an affiliate [00:25:00] link for that as well, which will be done in the show notes for you to check out.
but Misty, thank you. Where can people connect with you? an addition to spark. Yeah, so I’m pretty much everywhere. I’m on social media as Misty Philip, and also as spark pod pawn. Amazing. I’m so excited. Thank you so much for joining me this week for a little bonus episode. I hope this was all encouraging for you guys.
but again, thank you Misty. I’m so excited to attend the conference. and I hope to see all of you guys there as well. yeah, without further ado, I’m going to close out this episode. Thank you, miss D. Absolutely. This has been so fun. I’m so glad that we can act again. and yeah, don’t forget to check out all the show notes down below.
thank you guys for tuning into this week’s bonus episode of hear and now podcast. Thank you and have a wonderful week. Bye.