About

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© 2010-2021 Marcus A. Cylar. Created on Editor X.

I am #YourDigitalPastor, equipping ministries with online tools and strategies to build capacity, foster community, and impactfully share the gospel.

The Good Stuff

I’ve been preaching the gospel since 2001 and have held position in nearly every facet of local and denominational (AMEC) ministry, including Campus Minister, Youth Minister, Associate Pastor, Senior Pastor. Additionally, during my tenure in the Canadian Conference of the 4th Episcopal District, AME Church, I was appointed to the office of Presiding Elder at the age of 29, making me the youngest in the denomination to serve in this capacity.

My work with church communications predates social media, as I was using digital tools to help organize campus ministry events as early as 2004. I have consulted with churches on tech and digital strategy and have facilitated workshops on these subjects with churches and seminaries.

I did my Doctor of Ministry research in church communications with an emphasis on exploring the role of social media in building community. I have continued this research since defending in 2014. I have written extensively on the subject and have even created a seminary course on it (still trying to find a school who will let me teach it…).

The Messy Stuff

My bachelor’s degree is in Electrical Engineering, but I’ve never had a job in my field.

I made history in the AME Church by becoming a Presiding Elder at age 29, but by age 31, I had burnt out and departed from pastoral ministry. I wrote a book about my insights from that experience that had good launch-day sales but honestly hasn’t sold more than 100 copies in the six years since I published it.

The consulting that I hoped would pick up after writing the book and finishing my doctorate has yet to really take off, even though the pandemic exacerbated the need for ministries to solicit the services I provide.

My role in ministry has been severely limited since I stepped away from pastoring in 2013. I’m between ministries even right now.

I went several years consecutively without full-time work.

My marriage failed. Horribly.

I’m the father of two girls I love with all my heart but struggle with in different ways. I often wrestle internally with questions about whether or not I’m doing enough to raise them well and help them overcome the trauma they experienced from observing parents who stopped loving each other.

All of these things have broken my confidence over time, and I’m fighting tooth and nail every day to gain it back.

The Purpose

Why am I bringing up all these struggles in my bio? Because while most of us only share our carefully curated SportsCenter highlights on our digital platforms, many of us also struggle day to day and often have to fight off discouragement and even depression because we’re comparing our private struggles with our friends’ and favorite content providers’ public triumphs.

I’ve accomplished quite a few things in my life, and I can write and speak with authority about those things. I have also failed spectacularly. The difference I provide, however, is that I’m not afraid to address my failures and shortcomings along my journey to greatness in order to encourage you along yours.

Church communications is my passion. Helping ministries and institutions think about and do digital ministry better gives me a joy unmatched by anything else in this world. I talk about these subjects regularly on social media.

But I’ve sort of figured out along the way that talking about the other stuff—the messy stuff—is a gateway to reaching more of you as I talk about my passions.

You see, we’ve all got something. We’re all struggling with something. We all have vulnerabilities of some kind. And we’ve all had seasons when, if we’re honest, our lives just don’t translate well to social media because we either just don’t have much going on or it’s just not positive enough for anyone to want to stop their scrolling to consume it.

I want to be the example of how to live well, how to post well when you’re still trying to figure it all out but you know you possess a level of expertise and still have something substantive to say in the meantime.

So I can’t have an About Me page without talking about both sides of the coin because both sides have equally shaped who I am and equally comprise the value I bring to the table.

Fatherhood. Ministry. Leadership. Church communications. The good stuff. The messy stuff. The purpose in all of it. This is who I am, and this my journey. I pray you can come along with me.

 

Let’s grow together.