Post comments and suggestions on the entire Conference here

Tom Kuster (New Ulm, Minnesota USA)

Archived discussion

About the presenter

Dr. Tom Kuster is the host of the GOWM Online Conferences, and the executive director of the Christ in Media Institute at Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato, Minnesota, USA

This is a place where you can leave your general public comments about the entire conference, and your suggestions of topics and presenters for our next GOWM conference scheduled for the fall of 2018. If you wish to convey a private comment, email it directly to Dr. Tom Kuster.

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Dan Koelpin (Retired, but doing PR work for KW) 2017-10-24 12:10:25pm
Thank you Tom and Judy for this global picture of the important efforts that are taking place to get the gospel message out via technology. In the first century it was the Roman roads that where vehicles for spreading the Gospel. In the 21st century, it's the cyber highways. The distribution systems are indeed in place. Generating good content remains an ongoing challenge. Translations of every sort need to communicate in a way that resonates, yet remain true to the Scripture's message. May the Lord move many of our missionaries and national Christians to work with Multi-language publications to take up the challenge of providing materials through which the Holy Spirit can work.
Jim Strand (St. Paul Lutheran Bloomer, WI) 2017-10-25 2:20:09pm
Well said, Dan. I like that comparison between the Roman roads and the cyber highways.
Tom Kuster (Christ in Media Institute) 2017-11-20 7:15:34pm Moderator Presenter
Thank you Dan.
"Generating good content remains an ongoing challenge." Indeed it is the central one among many challenges. There are no good media productions without good writers, good artists, the people who know how to take the messages of Scripture and make them speak in the ways the chosen medium can best convey them. Those are the people I hope our schools are producing.
Jim Strand (St. Paul Lutheran Bloomer, WI) 2017-10-25 2:20:17pm
This Conference is a wonderful idea. I have seen first hand that in countries where it is against the law to be a Christian, social media and websites are often the only way for people to safely hear the Gospel. I pray that confessional Lutherans will support such electronic evangelism efforts in those countries with money and manpower. I have seen the Holy Spirit work through it.
Tom Kuster (Christ in Media Institute) 2017-11-20 7:19:19pm Moderator Presenter
Thank you, Jim.
I believe that technology is a gift God has given us to reach the billions with his Word in these last days. The strategies by which technology can penetrate to carry Gospel messages into places it is dangerous for persons to go would be an interesting study for next year's GOWM conference.
Paul Grubbs (Martin Luther College) 2017-11-03 9:37:55am
Thank you very much for the exceptional resources provided by this digital conference. I teach Film and Mass Media at Martin Luther College, and I used the event as the basis for an assignment and follow-up class discussion. The students were quick to complement the exposure this opportunity offered to a rich range of projects, talented individuals, and exciting evangelism ideas.

To conclude our class conversation, I asked the students to suggest topics for future investigation or features. Although these may be addressed already in earlier conferences or come with logistical challenges we failed to consider, I thought I would provide their list here as a potential springboard for your future planning conversations.

- Students were energized by the presentations and motivated to get involved with digital ministries. You might consider a short list of "Projects You Can Assist with Now... and How!" to transfer the enthusiasm the conference develops to immediate practical engagement with a project where students could be of use. If there were digital projects that students or other church members could even assist with using 2-3 hours each week from home, that would give conference attendees a way to direct the interest lit by your presentations.

- Students offered praise for the exceptional Time of Grace daily devotions ( but wondered if videos of similar length might eventually be developed to communicate the basics of Lutheran doctrine and theology - a video Augsburg confession or sorts. Does such a resource in the WELS or ELS already exist or is it under development? They noticed that other churches, for instance, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has well-produced segments designed to share their primary teachings in video format.

- The range of resources for digital engagement at the conference was impressive, and students were grateful for the wealth of ideas. They did raise the concern that if evangelism and other aspects of church life transition to the digital realm, older members or those lacking the resources for consistent digital engagement might be "left behind" or made to feel outsiders in their own congregation. They thought it would be interesting to hear from a pastor or teacher who has been managing this transition for a perspective on keeping these folks close to their church even as we try to make the best use of new online opportunities.

- Students recognize and embrace the role that MLC, BLC, and WLC graduates play as future leaders of their churches, and they wondered what ideas exist about building relationships digitally between these student bodies during their undergraduate experience. The "bubble" that accompanies our relatively small student bodies could perhaps be expanded through online communication and collaboration, creating relationships that would strengthen the future church at large. What if, for instance, every undergraduate took at least one on-line course from one of our two sister schools during their studies? The exposure to a wider net of educators and classmates could enhance the work of everyone involved.

- Would it be useful to have a single separate posted list of "Stuff our Presenters Like," whether that is an on-line resource identified as useful for mass mailings or a particular piece of well-priced hardware? Considering a wide set of presentations, students recognized many worthwhile suggestions and felt that a single bullet-point listing of endorsed resources could be beneficial.

Finally, thanks again to all those who helped plan and execute this conference. It allowed my students an exciting glimpse of the fresh digital roads God is paving for the sharing of the Gospel.
Tom Kuster (Christ in Media Institute) 2017-11-20 7:22:10pm Moderator Presenter
Paul, I appreciate your careful and insightful comments. I'll go over them many times to gather helpful ideas for next year's GOWM conference.
Fallon Yates (Bethany Luthern College) 2017-11-06 6:25:58pm
I am glad my professors told me about this site. It is nice to see a large community from all over the world gathering to read and enjoy Lutheran arts and medias.
Tom Kuster (Christ in Media Institute) 2017-11-20 7:23:10pm Moderator Presenter
Thank you Fallon. I hope you will look forward to next year's GOWM conference, and tell your friends!
Douglas Weiser (Nigeria mission) 2017-11-11 2:40:48pm
Good content in this conference. For future, I would like to see a "session" that is about "how to." Someone could host this session explaining how to use various technologies to those of us not familiar or accomplished. This session could also host tech Q and A. E.g. "We would like to do accomplish X in our field. Give us advice on how we can do this. Or give us the address connection for someone who can teach us even at a distance." This session could list known sources for free or discount tech equipment to accomplish more digital sharing.
Tom Kuster (Christ in Media Institute) 2017-11-20 7:25:54pm Moderator Presenter
Good ideas, Doug, and thank you also for your contributions throughout this conference.
I think what you are suggesting is already begun, in places like the WELS-tech weekly productions as well as in this and previous GOWM conferences. But your request makes me wonder how we can do this in a less scattered, more comprehensive and user-friendly way. Good idea for next year, if not before.
Javion Morgan (Wisconsin Lutheran College) 2017-11-13 11:42:56pm
This is great way for people of many kinds and culture to share their faith.
Tom Kuster (Christ in Media Institute) 2017-11-20 7:26:58pm Moderator Presenter
And God has promised that his word will not return void.
Thank you, Javion, for your participation.