March 19, 2008

Thought-provoking article by President Kieschnick

Today is March 19th, and right on time the March issue of the LCMS Reporter landed in my mailbox. As I read through the "President's Leadership News" contained therein, I found myself glad that he raised this question: "How do we share the Gospel with youngsters who are plugged into their iPods most of their waking hours?"

It's a question I think about from time to time. If I ever get some serious time back in my schedule, I want to look into podcasting our sermons, building a daily office podcast, and other such things that I think my parishioners could use, and could be useful for spreading the gospel. I saw that Pastor Weedon's church was putting on DVD catechism services for those who had to miss. That's a responsible use of new technology.

So, getting back to our President's question, How do we share the Gospel with youngsters [and not-so-youngsters] who are plugged into their iPods? And that's when it hit me. The kind of brilliant idea that flashes forth, but is often not capitalized upon for lack of means, opportunity, etc. Here's my brilliant idea:

  • The Synod owns a radio station. We could use their studio to start a radio program.
  • You'd want to make it on the bleeding edge of what's happening in culture, politics, and broader church life.
  • This program could interview all kinds of people - writers, musicians, pastors, deaconnesses, missionaries, youth workers. Make sure to mix it up.
  • On this program, you could also dialogue with people outside our tradition - both Christians and non-Christians alike.
  • This program would provide lots of discernment for seekers, but also offer up some meat for those hungry to grow in the faith.
  • The program would be solidly Lutheran, but appeal to non-Lutherans as well. The producer might throw in an eclectic mix of music for bumpers.
  • You'd need a host who is intelligent and articulate.
  • He should be orthodox, but not stuffy.
  • He should be thoroughly grounded in the Word, but totally plugged in to the culture.
  • He should be funny, but not silly.
  • Perhaps we could use some of our Synod's web presence as well. Promote it all over the place.
  • Then, here's the big payoff: You could take that radio show and podcast it. Even hook it up to iTunes. That way, anybody in the world could listen to it, anytime.
  • Heck, if the people were really hard-working, you could probably get 2-3 hours a day of material, 6 days a week. Now that would be a serious presence that could lead to serious results.
We could call it, "Issues, Etc." Maybe you could come up with a better name, but that would do for now.

Wouldn't it be cool if our Synod had the foresight to get something like that going? You know, tap in to the whole "new media" thing and get the Gospel out to places and people our members can't reach? Right now, we're sort of stuck in the Eighties, singing praise choruses and starting up cell groups.

I think our president is onto something here; it would be great if we could make this happen. I can't believe that I'm the first person to think of this.

Oh, I almost forgot. I know of this guy who'd be perfect for the job. Through a bizarre set of circumstances, he just happens to be available.


Mason said...

Hilarious, true, and tragic!

The decision makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Pastor Beisel said...

This is great. Best thing I've read all day.

Timothy said...

You just can't make this stuff up.

Mollie said...

Great idea!

Past Elder said...

You really hit it dead on!


Lutheran Lucciola said...

Good one!!

Darth Nemoyer said...


Here is all sorts of contact information to tell people what you think about this, let them know how important Issues, Etc. was to us, and ask why the show was cancelled:

Rev. David L. Strand
Executive Director
Board for Communication
(314) 996-1200
(314) 822-0000

Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
1333 S. Kirkwood Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-7295
(888) 843-5267
(314) 965-9000
FAX: (314) 996-1016

KFUO Radio Station
(314) 725-0099
(314) 725-3030‎
(314) 721-2969

Rev. Dr. Gerald Kieschnick
Synod President
(314) 996-1402
(314) 842-7110

LC-MS Board of Directors
(314) 996-1350


Meanwhile, an online petition has been started up about Issues, Etc. being ended. I don't know how much good it will do, but it should be able to do some. it certainly can't hurt to put your name down. Here's the link:

For anyone who comes across this and has Facebook, the most discussion it seems is going on at the "Bring back Issues ETC!!!" Facebook group.


Finally, financial help for the Schwarz and Wilken families can be sent to the following address. Just put in the memo line that it’s for the “Schwartz/Wilken Fund”. The Schwarzes especially need the help and Rev. Jack Schwarz's wife Beth has been recently diagnosed with small fiber neuropathy and they need to go to Mayo Clinic to try figuring out what can be done.

"Schwartz/Wilken Fund"
Saint Paul Lutheran Church
P.O. Box 247
Hamel, IL 62046

All help and all prayers are appreciated.


I will be continuing to post information and resources relating to the cancellation of Issues, Etc. and firing of Rev. Wilken and Mr. Schwarz. So, if you could please help me draw people to the resource of my blog, I would really appreciate it.

God bless,
--Aaron Nemoyer

wm cwirla said...

Bang on target!
That's a darned good piece of writing.

Jenn said...

Pastor Esget,
Great blog entry! ;) We are Very much looking forward to moving to your congregation (in less than 3 months)!
Keep up the great web presence! That's a good use of technology too!
Jenn wolf

Kent said...

Awesome article!

How sad, that the supposed "mission" of "reaching out to people" has fallen victim to some other agenda. May God's mercies rest upon Pastor Wilken and Mr. Schwarz, faithful witnesses to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Kurt Onken said...

Bingo, Chris. Nice going.

Have a blessed Holy Week and Easter!

Pr. Scott Klemsz said...

Exceptional post Pastor.

Rev. Thomas C. Messer, Pastor Peace Lutheran Church (LCMS) said...


Sensational! (all the other good words were already taken:)

Christopher Esget said...

Thanks for your kind words, everyone. Blessed Holy Thursday to you all.

Mrs. T. Swede said...

I think this is exactly the kind of thing we should all be reading right now. It puts a smile on my face because it gives a very detailed description of what Pr. Wilken did on Issues, Etc., and it also shows that if President Kieschnick was, somehow, involved in the cancellation of the show, he thwarted the same mission he was talking about needing. He just shot himself in the foot. :)

Matthew said...

Very good. I've been thinking how much of a loss this really is to our synod. Why haven't they pulled the plug on the Lutheran Hour? The pulled the plug on such a long running show as issues etc... If there was a problem with the talent, why not just replace the host? What gives with this?

pcdwhit said...

Awesome Article!

Readers, please post this article to your websites or anywhere you can think!

Prince Of Peace said...

ROFLMBO! So funny and so ironic!

Marcus said...

That was brilliant, Rev. Esget.

pcdwhit said...

You should send this in to the puzzle palace to answer SP's question. Of course, info copy Mr Strand as well so he can prepare to add this crazy new idea to KFUO's lineup

lisac.williams said...

This sounds like a winner for "Sound Bite of the Week"!!

Paul T. McCain said...

Well said indeed, Pastor Esget, very well said.

I remain absoltely gobsmacked, baffled, and flumoxed by this situation.

Why cancel KFUO AM's most successful show? The one bringing in the most money? The one with the highest ratings? (And, by the way, hint to the people not using the Internet: ratings are NOT just local radio ratings!).

This show was listened to nationwide!

It makes no sense to me, at all, and only deeply saddens and frustrates me.

Steven said...

This is hilarious. of course in a tragic sort of way.

Julianne said...

This is a good idea! :) Good job.

Family of Michael & Jen-Yi Paul said...

Great job! Thanks for taking the time to think it out and write it out.