Spotlight: Jonathan Malm
Tell us about yourself:
I grew up in Guatemala as a missionary kid. We lived in Guatemala City and took short-term teams around to villages in the surrounding mountains. We showed them feeding centers and orphanages, as well as giving them opportunities to do medical missions and build houses for people. We moved back to the US where my dad pastored and ran a missions agency he founded. I worked with my dad in that church. 75 people. A million dollars of debt. Fallout from a massive church split. We navigated the waters of building the church back up, rebranding, adding new staff members, and ultimately moving into a new building when the church outgrew its current facilities. During that learning process, I started sites called ChurchStageDesignIdeas and Sunday| Magazine. That's also where I met my wife. Ultimately, her opportunity for school led us to Dallas, Texas where I got to direct Echo Conference for a year, and then to San Antonio where I'm running my current projects.
Tell us about your church + company:
I volunteer at Grace Avenue Church here in San Antonio, but my full-time gig is running my various projects. SundaySocial.tv creates social media graphics that churches can use. ChurchStageDesignIdeas.com is a resource helping the DIY community in the Church international. And then my various writing projects like The Hidden Option, Unwelcome, and upcoming The Come Back Effect... Well, they keep me with plenty to do.
What is your role at your church + company?
I'm the owner and up until recently sole member of my company. Recently I've partnered with Joe Cavazos on a few projects, and I'm hiring a few people to help me get more done. I don't really want the company to grow much bigger, but sometimes that's the necessary thing to accomplish the ideas in your head.
What do you love most about your role?
To be honest, I love building stuff. My brother once asked me what I would do if all of my businesses failed one day. I didn't even hesitate, "I'd probably work at Starbucks and start more businesses in my spare time." God's given me an obsessive personality that I think I've fully embraced. And that means going 100% on a project and building it as much as possible. Then I move onto the next. Fortunately, I couple that with my desire to help others discover unseen possibilities for their lives and their churches, so it comes out as ministry.
How did you end up in the role you have now?
To be honest, I'd probably have to blame my brother for everything I'm doing right now. Sibling worship indirectly led me to everything I'm doing now. When, in sixth grade, I wanted to be a magician, my brother was learning how to build websites. I asked him to build me a site for my magic, and he threw me an HTML book and told me to learn it myself. Then when he began writing books, I thought to myself, I'd love to do that too. Ultimately we're both running in our own lanes, but he always seems to inspire my to try new things (without even knowing he's doing it).
Ok...How did you hear about VMC?
For as long as I've been in ministry, I've been obsessed with crafting worship environments. I do stage design, worship leading, production, slide design... I love it all. So I'm always on the lookout for resources or assets I'd use in my environment. When I ran across VMC online, it was irresistible to me.
How often do you use VMC, and what do you love about what we do?
I love that VMC is content nobody else was creating. When I first saw it, I knew that was exactly what I wanted to use in my worship environments. I believe great worship is more like visiting Middle Earth than it is listening to an album. You should be in a story, and you should put yourself in that story. It's about your pursuit of God in the world He created. I love that VMC helps worshipers craft those stories through the visuals they provide.