November is Entrepreneurship Awareness Month. Why not celebrate and promote the spirit of entrepreneurship, innovation, and small business ownership? This month aims to raise awareness about the importance of entrepreneurs in driving economic growth and fostering innovation.
One person fostering innovation and making a mark in multiple industries is T’Mil Curtis. A serial entrepreneur who became an entrepreneur by default—She’s faced many hurdles on her journey to entrepreneurial success.
Curtis, who suffers from Trigeminal Neuralgia—a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal or 5th cranial nerve—deals with neuropathic pain almost every day. A condition that would not allow her to have a 9 to 5. But that hasn’t stopped her from being an exceptional entrepreneur.
She’s an expert at developing a growth mindset and uses her dominant spiritual gifts of administration and teaching to propel individuals to higher levels in their respective arenas. Her goal is to help uncover true potential so that her clients can succeed beyond all limitations.
One of Curtis’ ventures is the Ministry GPS, which was created to help churches, leaders, and non-profits better navigate the virtual space.
Aside from her entrepreneurial ventures, she is also the General Manager at VGNBae Music Group and VGNBae Studios, a Multimedia Complex and record label in Houston, TX, where she manages and oversees the growth and developing structure of the label.
Her latest venture is the release of her book, Church Growth Through Digital Ministry. Her expertise and her education make her the perfect person to write this book.
The results-driven powerhouse has a dual master’s degree in Education and Pastoral Counseling, and she owns and operates a marketing firm, tsladytmil Agency, LLC.
“This started as a handout created for a class at The Fuel Strategies Summit but quickly morphed into what I believe is a strategy in motion for pastors and ministries. “My goal is to make it easy for pastors and ministries to transition into the digital space, and I believe I’ve accomplished that with this book,” states Curtis.
What sets her book apart is its ability to explain important topics for church growth while also addressing overlooked aspects of digital ministry and church operations.
Church Growth Through Digital Ministry begins by exploring the basics of digital ministry, including what it is, why it’s important, and how to get started. It then discusses digital evangelism and discipleship, along with specific strategies for using digital tools to reach people, build relationships, and grow your church.
As someone worth watching, T’Mil has built and continues to build a reputation on trust, engagement, and transparency.
Here is what the busy lady had to say about her entrepreneurial and health journey and her new book, Church Growth Through Digital Ministry.
1. You have faced many hurdles in your life on your journey to entrepreneurial success. Share your backstory.
Wow, there are so many chapters that make up this book of T’Mil, so let’s skip past the first couple to the chapter I call “Why Me?” I was blessed with an opportunity to travel with Disney’s The Lion King Broadway musical for almost five years and had come off the road to life. Trying to get back to adjusting to the normal was challenging because I had gotten accustomed to traveling and moving around every six weeks.
I started dating who I thought was the one, and bam!… I experienced a pain in my face that, to this day, having language about my condition makes it still hard to articulate. I went to the E.R., and I was told I have a rare condition called Trigeminal Neuralgia. My ex was amazing if I wanted that to be the end of me. But I’m a fighter, and there’s no way, at 32, I was going to live life on a walker and wait for someone to feed and bathe me. So, I ended up exhausting my very lucrative savings just to survive. I shared that to say I didn’t become an entrepreneur because I wanted to. I had no choice but to tap into all my gifts and talents along with my faith in God because I’m a liability to a traditional corporate job. Flare-ups can last anywhere from an hour to a week. Who wants to hire someone who may be off work for weeks at a time? I had to turn my “why me” into “yes, me,” and here we are several chapters later, thriving with multiple businesses and partnerships.
2. What does Itsladytmil Agency offer?
I work with a wide range of clients and offer a highly personalized approach tailored to the individual. My job is to help find your needs and meet them. I do this through coaching, development, and strategy. So, when clients come to me with tier ideas, I give life to those ideas to show that their dreams are obtainable to them and give the steps for them to be successful through every phase of their business or life. I had to get to a stopping point and shift to more of a consultant position with clients where I could meet with them either twice a year or every three months because they found a home with me. My areas of specialty with the agency are brand and Professional Development, Creativity, Marketing and Promotions, and Time Management.
3. How did working for VGNBae come about?
I’ve been with VGNBae since day one before it was even an entity. Owners Dominique and Anthony had a meeting of the minds, if you will, and built a studio. They went and got all this stuff and then was like, we need someone to run this. Lol! So, I was there in the beginning and worked as their strategist, label liaison, and advisor. They both are multi-creatives and serial entrepreneurs, so running the label while being artists themselves would have been a task, especially with how things are popping for them both. One day before my mom died, I was sitting on her bed with her and shared I had been feeling a pull, if you will, to work closer with them, and about 20 minutes later, my FaceTime rang. It was Ant and Dom, and by the end of the conversation, Ant looked over and said, “You just need to come run this.” lol. I don’t believe in happenstance, so being able to talk about this with my mom before she transitioned sealed the deal, and here we are.
5. In your research and experience, what are some common challenges faced by churches when implementing digital ministry strategies?
Assuming you need a lot of manpower and/or equipment to start. The main things needed are vision and strategy. I always ask my clients where do they see ministry in the next five years. From that, I ask them how they plan on getting there. And usually, there is a disconnect. Once these two things can intertwine, starting with a realistic plan works wonders.
6. How can churches effectively leverage social media platforms to expand their reach and engage with their communities?
By being social lol! The average church only uses social media to advertise and promote. There’s no real follow-up after their live worship experience and hardly any activity between Sunday and whatever day their bible study is on.
Churches must become social in the aspect of actually creating content that others can both share and engage. I teach social media is about creating an experience that takes people on a journey that causes them to buy into who and what you are.
7. How can churches maintain a sense of community and foster meaningful relationships in a digital environment?
By being present beyond posting. What this means is to have the goal of establishing and maintaining community, not just a group or page to post on. Take the time to learn about your target audience and what their needs are. Create content that speaks to their needs, which helps establish you as a trusted voice worth spending time with.
8. Are there any potential drawbacks or risks associated with relying heavily on digital ministry for church growth? How can churches mitigate these risks?
It shouldn’t be relied upon heavily at all. There needs to be a healthy balance based on your call and knowing what works for your audience. Some churches have become so production-driven that there isn’t much room for spiritual encounters. You need both. Creativity and the Creator to propel forward. And it’s about being honest. There’s no one-size-fits-all all for digital anything, so learn what works for you. Build systems that help you be consistent and maintain. And never try to compete with anyone else.
9. How can traditional and digital ministry approaches be effectively integrated to maximize church growth and impact?
This is a loaded question to me because I believe “traditional” is why we saw so many church doors close during the pandemic. Gone are the days of doing church the way our grandparents did because that isn’t speaking to a new generation. Now, I don’t mean doing away with the sacredness of ministry but any systems that are hindering growth. Then, when it comes to digital, be open to growing and expanding as it grows and expands.
T’Mil’s goal is to make it easy for pastors and ministries to enter the digital space for church growth. “I believe I’ve accomplished that with this book.”