Christian Entrepreneur Series: Russ Bravo
Here at 2BReal, we are all about analyzing trends in what's taking place in the Kingdom. We are aware that in
Here at 2BReal, we are all about analyzing trends in what’s taking place in the Kingdom.
We are aware that in the world there has been a blossoming of new ideas taking place, that has birthed and made us aware of new and established Christians in business. From entrepreneurs with Kingdom faith and principles, alongside industries being formed for the Christian culture, we wanted to take time out to celebrate the movement taking place in the UK.
This platform was birthed to celebrate great content, great people and great businesses that are representing the Christian faith loud and proud. We pray that this series will be an inspiration to our readers not just here in the UK, but around the world and that the people’s lives will touch hearts, speak passion to birth purpose to everyone.
Up next on our Christian Entrepreneur series is editor Russ Bravo of INSPIRE magazine. Russ who has been in the Christian media industry for over 20 years shares his experience, his passion and his advice on life to the up and coming Christian creatives.
2BReal: How did you get your current job?
RB: I’ve been working in Christian media for more than 20 years, editing first Christian Herald newspaper and then INSPIRE magazine. I was Editorial Director of Christian Media Centre before it joined forces with CPO to form Christian Publishing & Outreach, and have been Director of Content & Engagement for the last couple of years.
2BReal: What sparked your writing passion?
RB: I’ve always had a love of words and communication, whether it’s poetry, prose, writing songs or jokes (I run a comedy club in West Sussex started by a church), and while at university doing an English degree I started helping out on the student newspaper and decided journalism was what I wanted to do.
2BReal: How long has Inspire magazine been running for, and why did you decide to join the team?
RB: INSPIRE was launched in March 2006 so celebrated its 10th birthday last year. I developed the format and concept with colleagues at CPO after we took the tough decision to close Christian Herald after more than 130 years of publishing.
2BReal: What encouraged you to become a media representative within the Christian community?
RB: I worked in local, regional and national newspapers for 14 years after I qualified as a journalist, and the opportunity came up to help relaunch Christian Herald as Editor in 1995, so I moved back down to West Sussex with my family, sensing this was God’s timing.
2BReal: How has technology changed your readers experience with Inspire?
RB: So many people use their smartphones and tablets to access information, social media and the like on the move, so we’ve made sure our website is mobile-friendly and a good experience for people. Our most popular social media platform is Twitter, which works well when you are adding content most days to your website, and giving people a stream of new stories and articles to read. Our magazine is free to order so the latest issue is always available to browse through at inspiremagazine.org.uk as a digital edition.
2BReal: Where have some of your memorable and most popular features been written since becoming an editor at Inspire?
RB: It’s great to edit a magazine where the aim of each issue is to encourage the readers with inspirational stories of God at work. So it’s hard to pick out one piece over another – an ordinary reader’s story of how God has changed their life has been as uplifting to me as interviews we have had with major church leaders, famous names, and top sportsmen and women. Some of the most memorable have included a campaign with Open Doors that saw more than 7000 INSPIRE readers to sign a vital petition to the UN, and some of our INSPIRE Awards winners (honoured in Parliament with MPs present) who have made an amazing contribution to their local communities, all because of their Christian faith. One reader was so inspired reading about the difference a food bank had made to one town, she started one where she lived and ended up winning an INSPIRE Award!
2BReal: As a man of God, and influence to over half a million readers what is your favourite scripture that gives you comfort, confidence, and composure?
RB: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8: 38-39 NIV)
2BReal: How have you balanced wearing and maintaining multiple hats in life, work and ministry?
RB: Sometimes I haven’t! I think if we’re honest we’ll all admit that balancing life’s different challenges and responsibilities at home, work and church can be a struggle at times. I don’t think God calls us to spread ourselves so thin we’re no earthly (or heavenly) use. I try to listen to God and make his priorities mine. I don’t always get it right!
2BReal: Who has been your biggest inspiration during the evolution of Inspire magazine’s success?
RB: The readers. Their encouragement, stories, prayers, and support has enabled us to do what we do. And gives me great hope for the UK Church.
2BReal: What advice would you give to your younger self now enduring the life you have experienced?
RB: Every day’s a gift. Love God, your family, and your neighbour. Cherish your friends. Pray more – it changes you and the world. Laugh as much as possible. Time is never wasted being creative. Know when to stop and chill. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Be grateful. Don’t get rid of your vinyl – you’ll have to buy it all over again in middle age.
2BReal: What lessons would you teach to creatives who are interested in interweaving their ministry into the media?
RB: Blog. Share. Never stop creating. Find the channel that is right for you. Try to learn something every day. Read plenty. Look for inspiration. Remember: your creativity is God’s gift to other people – don’t undervalue it.
2BReal: In one sentence define what inspire means to you?
RB: INSPIRE is just one way of reminding people God is still changing lives, churches, communities, and nations.
Check out the September/October issue of the latest Inspire issue.