Digital Rabbi: Unlocking Your Purpose and Passion with Sats Solanki

Welcome back to the unSeminary podcast. We’re talking with Sats Solanki, the founder of Reflect Church in London. Sats is not just a pastor but also a coach, speaker, and host of the podcast, Digital Rabbi. Tune in as he shares about the unique journey of Reflect Church and its strategically slow approach to rebuilding after COVID-19.

  • Make space for rest. // Coming back from the pandemic in London, Sats explains that what Reflect Church sensed its people needed was rest and a deeper connection to God. So they began stripping away elements that felt like more of a drain and a distraction rather than something that energized congregants and created space for connection.
  • Make it about discipleship. // One change the church made was to simplify Sunday services. They also stopped talking about money on a weekly basis and have actually seen an increase in giving. Sats explains that Sundays are now more about discipleship. As the leadership has stepped back, it has created a sense of ownership and buy-in among the congregation. Reflect Church’s leadership recognized that it is God’s church and while they have a significant role to play, they needed to pause in order to keep in step with the Spirit and not run ahead in their own strength.
  • What works in your area? // Reflect Church’s strategically slow approach is influenced by the unique geography and culture of London. People in the city work late and have limited energy for volunteering and attending events. Look at your geography and demographics when you make decisions for your church. Your personality, gifting and staff team are unique. Recognize that certain things will work in your location whereas other things won’t.
  • Energizing vs draining. // At Reflect Church they are now more intentional about creating room for the presence of God and ministry during services rather than having everything precisely planned and structured primarily around teaching. They incorporate more silence and waiting on God in their services, allowing for moments of encounter and reflection. It’s important to help people get connected in the right environments but we also need to examine if we are offering something energizing or draining. People need to come away from church feeling like they have received something. 
  • Use your gifts outside the church. // Digital Rabbi was built around helping people discover and pursue their dreams and desires. People should feel alive and energized using their God-given gifts and the work that they do. Part of seeing the kingdom of God expand means helping people love the work they do outside the church as well as inside the church. Through his podcast, Sats encourages creatives, in particular, to recognize the urgency and sense of stewardship in using their gifts, rather than viewing them as mere hobbies or optional pursuits.

You can find out more about Digital Rabbi and the podcast and coaching Sats offers at www.digitalrabbi.co. You can also find Sats online on Instagram and connect with Reflect Church at www.reflect.church.

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Episode Transcript

Rich Birch — Well hey, friends, welcome to the unSeminary podcast. So glad that you have decided to tune in. You’re really going to be rewarded for that today because we have got a great interview lined up. Really been looking forward to this. We’ve got Sats Solanski. He is from London, which is kind of cool, international guest. Always great to have folks from all over the world on the podcast. He planted his church in 2021—it’s called Reflect Church—out of another church. They have two locations in London, plus they’re part of an international movement called C3 Church Global. If you’re not familiar with them, you should be – a fantastic movement. On top of being a pastor, he also runs a website called Digital Rabbi, which he offers coaching, speaking and hosts a podcast as well. We love having podcasters on. Super excited to have you on Sats. Thanks for being here today.

Sats Solanki — Well hey, Rich, thanks for having me on.

Rich Birch — No, this will be great. It’ll be yeah, I have this funny thing with London. I had never been. I should have said this before we even began. I’ve never been to London in my life, ever, in my entire life. And I was three times in the last 12 months, which is very odd…

Sats Solanki — No way.

Rich Birch — …very, very strange. So I love London, love, love getting a chance to talk with with folks in London. So fill in the picture, tell us a little bit about Reflect. Tell us about your background.

Sats Solanki — Yeah, yeah, sure. So yeah, as you said, we we planted the church a couple of years ago that was out of an existing multi-site church which had been going for, I don’t know, 20, 30 years, something like that. We’d been a part of that church, my wife and I, since really going to university, so it was quite a big change. Sadly, there was a little bit of the, you know, leadership transition, a bit of drama, a bit of difficulty. So that was a thing. And that happened.

Rich Birch — Yeah.

Sats Solanki — That happens. Um, and so really it was like, what do we want to do? You know, we’ve got this, you know, group of people. It was around Covid. And London is the sort of city where, you know, a lot of people just left, you know, because, you know, they want to go home. They’re not originally from London. Or it’s a terrible city to have Covid in…

Rich Birch — Yes, yes.

Sats Solanki — …because it’s all about what you can do out and about in this city. So yeah, it wasn’t great for a lot of people. So that obviously had a massive effect on the church. So we had this small group of people like, what do we want to do, you know? So we just take a break or should we give it another go. So yeah, we felt like it was the right thing to kind of try and lead people through. That was the word actually. I kind of felt like there were people there and it just felt almost wrong just to abandon ship, you know, in a time of crisis. So so that’s how it kind of came back and, and really we’ve been rebuilding very slowly. I would say strategically, slowly, but I think that makes me sound a bit smarter than maybe I am. I would say we’ve we’ve leant into that to try and create, um, what we’ve really felt the church needs, which is rest, and what we needed as well. So it’s changed how we’re doing things. And we have this really unique opportunity to start something with some people who are already with us. So it’s not completely from scratch.

Rich Birch — Right.

Sats Solanki — So it gives us a bit of space to explore, um, yeah, without thinking, no one’s going to want to be a part of this. It’s too different from what people are expecting.

Rich Birch — Right, right. That’s cool. I’d love to talk about that. I was when I was doing a little bit of research, I see, you know, you have two locations, one in Bellam, I don’t know London very well, although when I was there once, I had a, I had a great after I had this amazing pizza in this really cool spot, sat for a whole afternoon and it was in Bellam. So I’m like, I feel like. I’m no way. Yeah, which is hilarious. So right off the kind of town square or this, I don’t know what they call it, like the square there is beautiful. One of these I remember because it was a bright, sunny day and I was like, wow, this is not London. This is not my picture of of London. So, so anyways, love I love that part of the world. So that’s fantastic.

Rich Birch — Well let’s come back to that strategically slow. You know that doesn’t really connect with church planting. You know we have this picture of church planting which is like go, go, go, you know, push hard, do everything, ring all the bells, do everything we can. Talk to us. And that can lead ultimately to unhealthy patterns. I think ultimately that can, you know, you hear this all the time. It’s almost like a stereotype. It’s like we got that’s how you get going. And then ten years later, the pastor or the leadership team burns out and they’re like, they have this come to Jesus moment and they’re like, oh, we should not lead like this. And I’ve sometimes joked where I’ve said, like, has anybody ever started without that? Like, is there a way to do it that’s not that way? So unpack that. Talk to us about being strategically slow. What’s that look like?

Sats Solanki — Yeah. Wow. I mean, great question. I think it’s probably worth just saying like, um, I think often we as leaders and maybe just as people, we tend, we do tend to react and overcorrect. So I would sense just looking at my own journey that the past few years has been a correction, but it could be an overcorrection as well. And I do feel the the pendulum swinging a little bit back, you know. Um, just to give you an example, you know, for a while we just we just a lot of the things you would associate with our sort of church…you got lyrics. We got. If we just we scrapped lyrics when we came back to church. Like we didn’t even bother putting them on a screen. It was that minimal.

Rich Birch — Right.

Sats Solanki — And for those listening, obviously people don’t know me, so they don’t know how I’m wired. But just to help everyone, I’m wired in a way that is visionary, that is driven all of the classic, you know, traits of a lot of church planters.

Rich Birch — Ok yes.

Sats Solanki — And so for me, that was like very strange. But I think one of the things one of the I wouldn’t call it—maybe, maybe, let’s call it a mantra, it’s a mantra now—was this phrase which was, we’ll do what we can do. Because we went from an environment where we had very hard working team, you know, it was all about, come on, let’s build the church. Let’s build the kingdom of God. Let’s go. You know, you know, London for Jesus. All that jazz, which I’m still into. I was totally into that as a concept. But but but you know, it was just it was very, very busy. And so we realized actually what Covid did is it created a lot of space, and it created space for people to think about what their priorities were. And, and one of the things we realized is that Sundays took so much energy. And what it really meant is that most people didn’t have any energy for throughout the week, which, you know, there’s obviously one Sunday in the six other days. So what does that mean for what it looks like to be a Christian the rest of the week? So we just realized it wasn’t it wasn’t bad. It was our love for the church. And we wanted to create something. We want to create space for people to connect with God, etcetera. But the way we were going about it was actually not accomplishing that in the overall across the week. So that seemed to be a pretty big error. And I know it’s not just me because I’ve heard a lot of other conversations, you know. I think there has been something globally across, you know, the global church of people getting this revelation and shifting. And yeah, it’s felt really good.

Rich Birch — Sure. Yeah. Yeah, I love that. I’d love to unpack that. You know, that that’s a contrarian position obviously. You’ve you know, you’ve you know, you’re talking about, you know, something that I think is the reason why we’re talking about it is because it grabs your attention. You think, okay, this is a little bit interesting. So, you know, that idea that Sunday takes so much energy, I think is true. I think all of us can resonate with that. It feels like, gosh, it is so much push to make the weekend happen. And is this really a day of rest, like what’s happening here? Unpack that a little bit more. What’s that look like for you to kind of, you know, take a step back from, okay, we’re not even going to have lyrics. What else has that kind of what other things, other ways has that impacted your thinking or the way things are done at reflect?

Sats Solanki — Well, I think I think it’s interesting, isn’t it, because we didn’t not have lyrics forever. You know, it did change. But what was really funny in the first couple of weeks that we did that is I was getting text messages from people who are almost like jittery about it. And they’re saying, oh, and they were suggesting, do you want us to print some lyrics? It was almost like they thought maybe they can’t figure it out how to do it. So so we let people do it. We, we let them print them out. And what it did is it created a sort of environment where it was kind of the opposite of consumerism because because now it’s not like we’re going to create all this stuff for you. Which, which there’s nothing wrong with that but but it does it does slightly disempower people from actually contributing, because we’ve kind of got a top down sort of hierarchical structure. This is what we’re doing. This is what we’re, you know, all of that sort of stuff. And what it did is it created a little bit more sense of, this is our church, obviously it’s Jesus’s church, but, you know, and we do need leaders and all of that jazz. But but it created it created a sense of of of more buy-in actually, like more ownership, which when you really think about what you want as a leader, that is what you want.

Sats Solanki — So another shift we made is we stop talking about money, like not completely, but on a weekly basis. And still, and I imagine this will change, so again, I’ll come back to the overcorrection. But for a little while we just thought, you know what, we’re just going to rest this conversation.

Rich Birch — Take a break from that, Yeah.

Sats Solanki — We would talk about it in a few messages, maybe in the year, but we’ve seen our giving go up. So there’s something about the spirit of it that is attractive. I think when we’re not pushing, we’re not forcing it just in that we’re going to make something happen. We actually understand that it is God’s church and he is the one building it. And we definitely have a significant role to play, but when we just step back a little bit and we get, you know, in step with the Spirit, we’re walking with God, I think God can do things that we couldn’t do in our own strength. And and I think there’s a lot we could do in our own strength. You know, I think there’s a lot we can create in a church without God. And that’s okay…

Rich Birch — It’s true. Right. There’s that, and I’ve said that for years, like one of the I would say like one of those, you know, how you have these like discontenting questions you walk with for a long time. One of them in my life has been so what was actually happening during all those revivals years ago? Was that… And there’s like two really dissatisfying answers. One is it’s like, no, like the Lord was moving and and it was all him. And he loved those people more than he loves the communities we’re in today. And I’m like, that doesn’t sound right. Like there’s a part of that that sounds off.

Rich Birch — But then the other end of that spectrum is like, well, no, those people were just more committed, and they did something and that feels like, oh, you know, and obviously we know it’s it’s, you know, there’s a lot mixed up in there. But for sure, we don’t want it to be all about us. We want it to be about about him. And I love that idea of creating space. And how do we do that? When, you know, when you look at the idea of reducing clutter in people’s lives, you know, there’s Sunday’s one piece of it, but there’s lots of other stuff that we do that that can create all kinds of just kind of meaningless clutter. And what has, as you’ve pulled those away, what were some of those things you pulled away? And then as you’ve started to add things back, because it sounds like you’re, you know, you talk about the overcorrection, you’ve started to have to add stuff back, what has driven you to do that? What have you added back? And how are you doing that trying to do that in an intentional way that looks a little different?

Sats Solanki — Yeah. Well, I think there’s a lot of factors. The first one I think is geography; it has to be acknowledged. We’re in a we’re in London, we’re in a very specific city. We’re in a very specific culture. The world is very different. And and one of the it’s I wouldn’t say it’s a joke, but but I think sometimes when, when on this side of the world, we talk to American or North American pastors, there is a bit of a we do smile, because it’s just so different.

Rich Birch — Yes.

Sats Solanki — And often there’s not that kind of awareness. But but I think, you know, every city is different. You know, every demographic is different. I think we’re all called to do slightly different things. And obviously there’s some commonalities, but it’s been very freeing for me to realize I don’t have to do what everyone else is doing because no one else is where I am, with this group of people in this time, and no one else is me. So so that really changes. No one no one else has got the same team as I do, et cetera. So the more you look at it, the more unique it becomes. And I think that gives you a lot of freedom to actually have the courage to go, well, we’re not going to do this and we’re going to do this.

Sats Solanki — So I think to go to some of the practicals, I think there will be quite geographic. You know, I realized that, you know, people just work really late here. So they’re working really hard and often people have moved to the city for their job, you know, for their career, for their things. So it’s almost like some of the more traditional models of come on, let’s get people volunteering and coming to stuff, it’s almost like people just do not have the energy for it.

Rich Birch — Right. Yes.

Sats Solanki — And that that was quite hard to acknowledge because you’re like, well, you should have the energy for it. You know, you should be more committed. But just to embrace that rhythm of, of the, of the city. So, so what that’s, that’s meant is that Sundays has become less invitational and more discipleship-orientated, because it’s a major point of connection, because we don’t have a… we can get people midweek, but it’s it’s a little bit difficult. And I suspect that will change, you know, over the next few years because as we’ve created space for rest. And this is the weird tension, and I think tension is a great word to describe everything we’re talking about here, because again, you can overcorrect. But it’s things in tension, isn’t it? Is it God? Is it us? Well, it’s in tension, isn’t it? It’s both. So everyone, we’ve all got to interpret it, haven’t we, for ourselves and figure out where that is. So I hope no one thinks I’m preaching this really extreme. I’m just about I’m just I’ve got conviction about what we’re doing.

Rich Birch — Yes, yeah.

Sats Solanki — And I think ultimately that’s what it comes down to, because you have to know that you’re doing what God is asking you to do. And that is the definition of success, isn’t it? That’s faithfulness. Um, so I forgot where I was going, but there was there was something practical. I think you would have to know what we actually stripped out. Was that the question?

Rich Birch — Yeah, what we stripped out and then and as you’ve added back in, because it sounds like you’ve added a few things back in…

Sats Solanki — Yes.

Rich Birch — …or maybe you’ve been thinking about that, what would kind of what’s the framework you’re using to think about that?

Sats Solanki — Yes. Okay I got it. It’s come back.

Rich Birch — Great. Love it.

Sats Solanki — So so so I’ve realized that, you know seasonally, post-Covid as we’ve created rest um we’ve done something amazing, we’ve given people space. But the flip side is, is also true that people have actually lost the capacity to gather as much. So so it’s been good to rest, but now it is time, I sense, for us to be encouraging people a little bit more. So we’ve given people a lot of space, like come on Sunday, you know, we have maybe one other midweek event, which is not which is like once a month. And that’s for the core core of the church in something we call influencers, which is a sort of equivalent of membership. But what we tried to do with membership is make it less church-orientated and more your life-orientated. That’s another story. But I think in realizing people need to increase their capacity, there is a case to bring back all the typical things. We have had groups, but we haven’t put a massive push on them yet.

Rich Birch — Right. Push on that.

Sats Solanki — So so we feel that coming back in okay, it’s time. It’s time to come on you do need to be in a group. You do need to do something other than work. You know, like we do need to tell people it’s so so yeah, that would that would probably be it. I would say in the service itself, we’ve stripped back a lot of, as I said, talking about money. It’s not doesn’t take, you know, it’s not something that’s really there. We don’t have a lot of announcements. But but again, we’re in a very youthful environment. Everybody’s digitally connected. So we can just go see the website. You know, we don’t have to spend a long time telling you what’s on Tuesday evening, Wednesday night, Thursday, et cetera.

Rich Birch — Yeah, love it.

Sats Solanki — So we’ve just got rid of a lot of that fluff that didn’t really need to be there for us. Um yeah.

Rich Birch — Well, yeah. So I’d love so there’s a lot we can learn here. So London, you know, obviously it’s a global city and in a lot of ways is, you know, leads in so many areas. And, you know, the fact that, you know, it is really in some ways peering into the future because it’s so post-Christian. You know, I my this was the context I’m used to, you know, worked for years in the Manhattan facing suburbs. And, you know, those are communities we have to keep staring at and learning from. So this is super helpful for us.

Rich Birch — You know, let’s talk more about that loss of capacity issue. I think there’s a real issue there. One of the things in the UK for listeners, you know, may not be aware of this, but the UK government has identified loneliness as like an issue at like the highest level. There’s literally like a I don’t know what they call them loneliness [inaudible]. It’s like, hey, we got to work on this. And so let me be the devil’s advocate or maybe the angels advocate. So like in a season when the culture is identifying, hey, people are not connecting with each other, is it the right move for us to pull back? Shouldn’t we be leaning in? Shouldn’t we, isn’t there just practically something we can do by trying to get people connected, or am I thinking about that incorrectly?

Sats Solanki — Yeah. No, I think you are right. I think we want to help people get in the right environments. But but I think I think the key thing is, is that we need to ask about what we do and what we create for people to attend and connect with…

Rich Birch — That’s good.

Sats Solanki — Is does it does it give them energy, or does it drain energy?

Rich Birch — Right.

Sats Solanki — Because I think that’s that’s it, isn’t it? If you come to a service and you feel like I’m obligated to serve, and I feel like I’ve got to do this, and there’s and you just feel it’s not so much about what you’re doing, it’s more about just where the person is in themselves. If they are operating in a place where they’re just giving a little bit more than they would like to, or they’re able to, then they’re going to come away from that event feeling a little bit drained, and that affects how they’re going to show up in the future. And so what we’ve really tried to do is, is just try and be really sensitive with that so that we’re not, you know, when you’ve got a machine which is church, you’ve got roles you’ve got to fill, you’ve got things you’ve got to do, and then you get stuck because you end up prioritizing the overall vision over the individual. And, and we have to flip it the other way and understand that the vision will be built when people are built. And and so we do want to engage people, but we have to figure out a way that’s going to give them energy and make them… And for me, if we want to talk more theologically or practically…

Rich Birch — Sure.

Sats Solanki — …for me, that’s about creating more space for the presence of God, more space for…

Rich Birch — Love it.

Sats Solanki — …you know, ministry, not just teaching, you know? So we do a lot more space in our services, a lot more like awkward silences, you know, like where we’d be like, cool, next thing, next thing. It’s like, no, we’re just going to wait on God for a bit and just see what happens. So I think that that is what people need when they come to church, right? They need to come away feeling like they’ve received something.

Rich Birch — Yeah. That’s so true. Yeah. That’s that’s very true. And you know, so my, my background folks that are listening and know this, but I, you know, I really come out of the attraction church movement. That’s where I spent most of my time, and still spend a lot of my time thinking. And 100% agree that like the if you just held on to what we did 20, 30 years ago, that isn’t, you’ve missed the boat. Because it’s like people have changed, and obviously Covid accelerated. And I totally agree on this idea of accessible encounters. How when people come to our experiences, they need to they need to actually experience something. Even just last weekend at our church, Jeff, our lead pastor, you know, he took ten minutes and did a lectio divina. You know, it was using different language and it was, you know, it was clarifying what was happening for folks who maybe have never experienced that before. But I’m like, we would have never done that 20 years ago. Like we would have never said, let’s stop our service and have, you know, vast moments of just quiet where we’re giving people a piece of scripture to chew on, that we just would have never done that.

Rich Birch — Give us some examples of what does that kind of accessible encounter look like for you. How how are you how are you creating that space for people, for them to actually have some sort of encounter with the Holy Spirit? What’s that look like for you?

Sats Solanki — Yeah, good. Good question. I think it’s very individual to the leader, to the team, to the pastor.

Rich Birch — Sure.

Sats Solanki — Because and I think the reason that is, is because we all have it’s about gifting, isn’t it? There’s all areas where you you can deposit more, let’s say. So personally, for me, I’ve grown to learn that I’m quite prophetic. And so that involves sharing words of encouragement, et cetera. So I always try and incorporate that into, whether that’s one on one, not necessarily, but just group. There’s just time where I try and get into that space. And the really cool thing, actually, Rich, is that, you know, I’ve noticed that maybe, maybe over the last two months in particular, I don’t know why it is, but for whatever reason, my my sermon prep time, I’ve just stopped doing as much sermon prep. And what I mean by that is like prep on the the teaching side of it. I’ve spent a lot more time just waiting on God. And just saying, God, what do you want to do? And then I’ve had courage…

Rich Birch — Shocker.

Sats Solanki — I know, right?

Rich Birch — Taken more time to ask the Lord, hey, what is it that you’d like to say?

Sats Solanki — What am I doing?

Rich Birch — What is my snappy statement?

Sats Solanki — 100%.

Rich Birch — What’s my bottom line?

Sats Solanki — Yeah, 100%. So so I think that has increased people’s experience and encounter with God. Because I’m now not trusting so much in my gifting; I know I can communicate, I know I can talk, people like me. Like, you know, I’m a charismatic person. Like, but actually all those things are cool, but like, it’s nothing if I don’t have the main thing, which is, what is God wanting to say? Because God wants to speak to people. And when people encounter God, it’s it’s it’s not even like a hack. It’s just the thing.

Rich Birch — Yeah, yeah. Totally, totally. Love it. So good. That’s that’s fantastic. I think that’s even encouragement for folks that are prepping, you know, on the message side, like, what if we took more time to just open up space to say, hey, Lord, what is it that you’re what do you want to say to people today? Like, that’s great. Love it. So good.

Rich Birch — When you think to the future, you know, when you think about this kind of strategically slower trying to figure out how do we do this in a way that, you know, is in rhythm with our community, I think that’s another thing you’ve it’s been lacing in here that I think is a really good insight, which is, hey, let’s look very carefully at our local context, what we’re actually doing. You got to understand the people of London, that’s where God’s called you to, to lead. When you look to the future, are there other questions or other things you’re wrestling with that you’re thinking about for the future? Like this might be something where, you know, we might be pointing in that direction in the future, might be some something on the horizon?

Sats Solanki — Um, I think I think it’s probably just in the tension between everything we’ve learned in this last season, and what we reclaim back from in terms of organization and systems and all of those things. I mean, we’re in a small context right now, like the church is not massive. So that allows us to be very sensitive and very individualized in how we approach what we’re doing. But obviously we will grow. And and we want to grow, you know, we want to reach more people. That’s good. So how do we grow in a way that still keeps that. That’s that’s going to be I don’t know if I have the answers, but that’s probably going to be the the one thing I’m thinking about. Yeah.

Rich Birch — Love it. That’s cool. Love it. So good. Good stuff. Well, tell us about Digital Rabbi. This is kind of fun set of resources. And yeah, tell us a little bit about what’s going on there.

Sats Solanki — Yeah. So I kind of have a background in a lot of creative stuff. So mostly a lot of it was just on the side freelancing just over the years, kind of alongside doing church stuff and, you know, design and copywriting and video. And you just, I think in the age of social media has just meant that you kind of need it all the skills. Right now, job descriptions are like, hey, he needs to be able to do this, you know…

Rich Birch — Yes.

Sats Solanki — …it’s like, wow, where are people going to get this? So, so I’ve kind of grown up in that, you know, just learning a bit of everything. And and so I’ve always been involved in doing creative services and things like that. But more recently in the last few years, I’ve just been thinking about, you know, okay, I can do all of these things, but what do I want to do? You know? And that was like a pretty big question I don’t know if I’d done. Because I’ve been in environment, which there are a lot of positive things about the church environment we’re in. And, you know, I mentioned the drama. It wasn’t all drama. There was much to take away from it.

Rich Birch — Sure, sure.

Sats Solanki — But but I think when you’re in an environment where you’re part of something bigger than you, which is a good thing, you don’t always stop to sit down and ask the question, what do I really want? So I think we’ve just found ourselves in a place of like immense freedom, suddenly thinking, I can do anything, so what should I do? You know?

Rich Birch — Right, right, right. Yes.

Sats Solanki — And so there was a whole process there of like, do I trust myself to make the right decision of what I want to do?

Rich Birch — Right, yeah.

Sats Solanki — You know, and, you know, it was almost like scary, like the freedom. And and so I think I’ve just gone in a whole learning curve around desire, which maybe we could just tap into for a moment, you know, like

Rich Birch — Yeah, totally. Let’s talk about it.

Sats Solanki — It’s like when you talk about desire, like instinctively, it sounds kind of like, um, potentially sinful. You know? That’s kind of the word, when you think about desire or going after the things that you desire, it kind of sounds like, oh, you shouldn’t trust that. You know, like what it… I don’t know, maybe that’s just me, but like, that’s that’s been my experience I think.

Rich Birch — Yeah I can see that. Yeah, for sure I get that.

Sats Solanki — Yeah. And so um, just going on this process of like actually realizing that God created desire, and it’s good.

Rich Birch — Right, yeah.

Sats Solanki — And, you know, actually, you should feel alive and feel energized by the things that you do. And and wouldn’t it be strange if God created us to hate doing his will, to hate. You know, because because it’s that classic thing that when you’re gifted in something, you know, I’m a musician as well. When you when I’m playing music, it does not feel like work. It feels too good. And I go, well, I shouldn’t be I shouldn’t be doing this. This is too much fun.

Rich Birch — Right. Yes.

Sats Solanki — And I often find that we trick ourselves and we go, oh, but this is too easy. So I can’t sell that to people because it’s too easy for me. But the fact is, is that it’s actually the reason it’s easy for you is because you’re gifted for it, and that’s actually part of your calling, your purpose. So the whole Digital Rabbi thing has just come out of that. Me asking questions about what do I really want to do? And one of those things I realized was, I just love sitting down and conversations, like this one and helping, you know, talking to people. And I was just doing it anyway. Talking to people was giving me so much energy, and I realized that there’s a whole coaching thing in this that gives me so much energy. So that’s one of the threads is podcasting. But but really it is around, I think, it’s really around dreams and desires. You know, I think people, especially people who have worked in church or volunteered a lot in church, often sacrifice some of the things that they want for the good of the kingdom. And that’s not a bad thing. I think there’s times to do that, but I do think it’s a bad thing when it’s permanent and when those dreams don’t come back off the shelf and we just get we’re on the treadmill of church life. And then it’s ten years later and you think, well, I never did do those things. And you start to feel a bit resentful and whatever it is.

Sats Solanki — And I think, for me, seeing the kingdom of God expand has to fit into things like that, not just in church environment. You know, I think when people create music, there’s something of beauty in it that is good and necessary. And we must move from a, oh, this is something I’d like to do. This is something I must do, you know? So for all the creatives listening, I just want to encourage you don’t, don’t, you know, don’t don’t feel like, oh, this is like maybe something I should. I want you to really feel like the urgency and the sense of, like, stewardship.

Rich Birch — Right.

Sats Solanki — That was the big one for me. Realizing, actually, God has given me these gifts. I have to use them like it’s it’s not good for me to ignore them…

Rich Birch — Right.

Sats Solanki — …for other things that are important as well, but maybe have taken too much urgency in my life.

Rich Birch — Well, and I think, you know, we’ve and we’ve had I can think of we had my one of my friends, Mike Brennan, this is two years ago, three years ago in the podcast. And he’s definitely a creative as well and had served in churches for a long time. And there’s that I think the can be a problem sometimes as a creative in that if you’re doing creative services in a church, there’s that weird thing where it’s like, you know, it’s like it can feel like the thing that I do is just getting wrung out of me. Like it’s like a it’s not actually, it doesn’t feel like worship anymore. It doesn’t feel like it doesn’t feel like, you know, and we’ve got to pay close attention to that I think particularly

Rich Birch — And that’s I think is true for for all of us. We all, anyone who is, you know, if we have the honor or the privilege of of working in a church, there’s a line there that we’ve got to watch carefully. And so, yeah, there may be people like you say, there may be people that are listening in that that resonates with you. I’d encourage you to drop by Sats’s website and check out Digital Rabbi, and we’ll put links to it in the show notes, maybe even jump on our coaching call, you know, grab a half an hour time slot and say, hey, like, this is the kind of stuff I’m wrestling with. And he’s all the way in London so, you know, there’s, you know, he can give you some good outside perspective, good strategic outsider. So yeah, that’s, that’s that’s fantastic. So just as we’re coming to land today’s episode, anything else you’d love to share with us just as we wrap up today?

Sats Solanki — I don’t think so. This has been a great conversation. I just want to say thanks, Rich. Thanks for having me on, and appreciate what you’re doing. I think I came across you possibly a few years ago on Carey Nieuwhof’s podcast. I knew I’d seen your name when it came up. I feel like I know this guy, so yeah. Thanks for everything you doing, man.

Rich Birch — Yeah, appreciate that. Carey is a dear friend. You know, I knew Carey before he was Carey Nieuwhof, and so which is great. And yeah, I appreciate that. He’s a good he’s a good guy a good friend. So appreciate that tha. So well thanks so much. If if people want to find you online where do we want to send them? Find the church, find you?

Sats Solanki — Yeah. So all the Digital Rabbi stuff you can go to digitalrabbi.co also on Instagram @satssolanki. And we’ve got a podcast as well, just Digital Rabbi. Church is reflect.church – that’s our website address. Nice and clean.

Rich Birch — That’s [inaudible]. Amazing you got that. That’s good. All right. Well thanks so much. I appreciate you being here, Sats, and thanks for spending time with us today.

Sats Solanki — Thanks, Rich.

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.