The Lost Coins - A Proposal for Creating a Christian Podcast

Ted Petersen (Palm Bay, Florida, USA)

Archived discussion

About the presenter

Ted Petersen is an associate professor of Communication at the Florida Institute of Technology. He earned his Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the University of Florida in Gainesville, his M.A. in Communication from the University of South Florida in Tampa, and his B.A. in Communication from Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota. He has published academic works in the Florida Communication Journal, Teaching Journalism and Mass Communication, and the Popular Culture Studies Journal. He lives in Palm Bay, Florida, with his wife, Lisa, and three children.

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. — Romans 10:17

Whoever has ears, let them hear. — Matthew 11:15

I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? — Galatians 3:2

But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. — Luke 8:15

Hear the word of the LORD, you descendants of Jacob, all you clans of Israel. — Jeremiah 2:4


The Bible talks often of the importance of hearing — hearing the Word creates and strengthens our faith. That makes sense because in Matthew 18, Jesus tells us our faith should closely resemble little children, a group of people who can't read, and yet believe. Not only that, Christ used the simplest rhetorical technique to explain his teachings — stories.

In light of this, it shouldn't be surprising that audio storytelling — a medium that should have died once nearly every household had a television in the living room —is seeing a resurgence in a digital format. According to Ann Friedman, podcasts are in the middle of a "boom." Radio-programs-turned-podcasts are successful, like This American Life, Radiolab, Car Talk, and World Café. But new digital-only podcasts have been wildly popular, including Serial, Reply All, and 99 Percent Invisible.

This proposal outlines why and how we could produce The Lost Coins, a Christian podcast.

What are podcasts?

Podcasts come in many forms, but they are simply audio files digitally distributed through a platform like iTunes or a mobile phone app like the Apple Podcasts app or Android's Stitcher app. (When This American Life, launched a wildly popular spin off called Serial, they created this page and video explaining how to get podcasts. Like radio programing before, podcasts can be call-in talk shows, sports banter, comedy and others.

My favorite, though, are documentary-style stories that peel back the layers of a person or idea and show me a different part of the world. A story from This American Life that sticks with me is from "Episode 409: Held Hostage" about Matt Frerking, a man with a condition known as cataplexy. When Matt experiences strong positive emotions, his body slowly becomes paralyzed. He spent his granddaughter's birthday party collapsed on a couch and was propped up against a wall during his brother's wedding. The details of the story, the voices of the characters, and the music and sounds of the editing create emotional connections I can't shake. Hearing, in this case, is feeling.

Christian podcasts

Christian podcasts are available for those looking for devotional and uplifting material. However many of those podcasts are generated by non-denominational megachurches. These podcasts are typically audio versions of a weekly sermon or service. While the messages might be fulfilling for some Christians, the theology of the churches that produce them will not satisfy confessional Lutheran listeners.

Other "christian" podcasts are produced by former members of a church who have left organized religion for some reason. Bad Christians and The Liturgists are two examples. These podcasts will not help Christians grow in their faith and may work to weaken a Christian's faith.

What am I proposing?

I am suggesting students and faculty at Bethany Lutheran College and/or Wisconsin Lutheran College or other interested storytellers collaborate to create a documentary-style podcast called The Lost Coins. This podcast would tell the stories of Christians living their faith in unique ways. The name refers to how Christ used stories to teach and comfort through his parables. It also reminds us that every story about a Christian life is truly about a lost coin that has been found. These wouldn't simply be sermons or devotions, but would combine interviews, natural sound, narration, and music to tell the stories of the Christian life.

Good stories live in every WELS or ELS congregation across the country. We have unlikely conversions — like the member of my church who grew up Jewish and in the midst of the war in Afghanistan realized his spiritual life was lacking. We have Christians dedicating time to help others, like the group of WELS members who came to Florida to help with hurricane relief or the missionaries who are willing to visit remote or even dangerous places to share the Gospel. We have Christians living in places where simply being Christian is dangerous. We have regular moms and dads who are everyday heroes ensuring that their kids and their communities' kids are cared for physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I know my faith would be strengthened by hearing these stories.

How could we create this?

To make this work, we need two main types of resources: people and equipment.


Senior producer(s)

An effort like this will require one or two people to serve as senior producers. It would probably be appropriate for the senior producer to also be the show's "host." Consider the role of Ira Glass on This American Life or Sarah Koenig in Serial. That producer would create schedules, assign stories, coordinate work, and serve as the final decision maker for each episode.


While anyone could be taught how to use the equipment and how to edit audio, this could be a great opportunity for students in our colleges to practice the skills they are learning in their classes. Reporters would be responsible for generating story ideas, conducting interviews, gathering information, writing scripts, recording narration, and editing the final story.

Marketing and social media coordinator

While this task could fall to the producers, it would be beneficial to have someone dedicated to spreading the word about the podcast and searching for ways to get more people in contact with this production.


Recording equipment

The BLUE Yeti microphone

The Zoom H4n Pro Handy Recorder

The Zoom H2n Pro Handy Recorder

A good podcast must have high quality audio. To do this, we'd need two types of recording devices: "studio" microphones for voice overs and in-studio interviews, and field recorders for doing interviews and gathering audio in remote locations. For studio microphones, the BLUE Yeti microphone connects to a computer through the USB port and costs $150. Zoom H4n Pro Handy Recorders for $200 or Zoom H2n Handy Recorders for $160 would be good choices for field recorders.

Editing computer and software

This category could be as expensive or economical as necessary. Professional editing programs like Avid's Pro Tools or Adobe's Audition have seemingly endless features, but are often geared more toward recording music. Free software like Garageband, which comes installed on Macs, or Audicity, a Windows audio-editing program, could serve as well. The computer doesn't need to be dedicated only to audio production, but must be powerful enough to handle large audio files.

An example

In my role as a journalism professor at Florida Tech in Melbourne, Florida, I created a podcast modeled after This American Life. The podcast, called This Florida Tech Life, focuses on telling stories of students and staff at Florida Tech. The 14-minute episode here, called "Time Management," includes music, interviews, narration, and natural sound. While I know my students and I can improve as reporters and writers, the skills necessary to produce professional sounding podcasts can be taught.


The podcast boom is upon us, and Christians looking for Bible-based stories have to turn to Christian podcasts that do not present God's Word in its full truth. The Lost Coins podcast could fill that void and reach people who otherwise might have never heard.


Martin, M. and Greenstone, S. (2017, Mar. 5) Christians Turn To Podcasts To Say Things They Can't Say In Church. All Things Considered — National Public Radio.

Freidman, A. (2015, Mar. 20). The economics of the podcast boom. Columbia Journalism Review.

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Beth Flunker (WELS Mission in Brazil) 2017-10-23 2:03:55pm
We would love to see this happen and have the rights and instructions to translate into Portuguese. Sounds like a good thing for the many smart phones in this country.
Ted Petersen (Florida Tech) 2017-10-24 8:39:48am
Thanks for your comment. I had never considered that. I know the narration portion of the stories would be easy to translate, but I wonder about the interview portions of each story. Could an actor translating someone's soundbites do justice? It would be fun to try!
Ben Lundsten (Christians Forward) 2017-10-23 4:08:11pm
This is such a great idea! I really like the podcasts you reference as well. They're well polished and show professionalism, but still, remain approachable for the general audience. I think the format and the topic would both be very well received. I also have a friend, Matthias, who would be great as the host. Ted, have you ever considered hosting or producing it? Your sample 'This Flordia Tech Life' was really well done!
Ted Petersen (Florida Tech) 2017-10-24 8:43:23am
Thanks, Ben. I am open to playing a key role for sure. I think having a presence at one of our colleges to recruit student reporters would be essential. It would be a great opportunity for them, and a nice way to engage communication/journalism/media arts students in ministry work.
Paul Grubbs (Martin Luther College) 2017-10-23 10:09:49pm
Dr. Petersen,

I appreciated your suggestions regarding a Christian podcast, and I especially liked your proposed title with its reminder “that every story about a Christian life is truly about a lost coin that has been found.” The challenge of identifying and communicating a compelling story related to God’s grace on display in each believer’s life would be a worthy pursuit for Christian artists and a blessing to its audience.

When I read over your staffing proposal, I thought it would also be useful to have a pastor or group of pastors serving as consultants. Their role could be to offer producers and reporters informed guidance regarding doctrine-related topics or questions.

After reading your article, I wondered if your experiences and studies have left you with some theories regarding why audio storytelling is thriving despite the fact that, as you state, the “medium that should have died once nearly every household had a television in the living room.” Developing a better understanding of why this format is proving so attractive to contemporary ears might help students craft their own segments that “pressed those buttons” while communicating Gospel truth.

Thanks for your contribution to the conference!
Ben Lundsten (Christians Forward) 2017-10-24 6:28:40pm
As someone who consumes a lot of podcasts, I wanted to give my feedback on why they might be a popular form of content. Comparing them to the radio shows and dramas of the 30s and 40s they can be an immersive form of media. Some podcasts are more narrative and draw me in with beautifully crafted stories and others are just conversational with hosts and guest who are either entertaining or insightful, preferably both.

In contrast, they are much more of a personal experience than those radio shows, due to the fact that I'm usually listening to them with my headphones on. This personal experience gives me an emotional connection to the hosts, especially the ones who I have invested 100 episodes or more into. A big difference between podcasts and FM radio shows, for me, is the fact that people feel much more genuine. The topics of discussion in podcasts are often very specific and ones the hosts are incredibly passionate about. They don't have to worry about appealing to the mass of people on their commute to work which offers podcasters more freedom with their content.

As for the involvement with schools, I love that idea. I do think in order to be successful quality is key and that will come through having solid producers and hosts at the helm. I do love this idea though, there is a wealth of experience to learn from and hearing people of all ages talking about their faith would be really interesting.
Alex Schumacher (Wisconsin Lutheran College ) 2017-10-24 5:23:53pm
I love the idea of a christian podcast. At our college we have streams of services, but not a podcast. I believe this idea can be very effective. I am wondering who are you trying to target with these podcasts? Are you looking at more of a general audience or trying to gear it towards college students? I think if you get these colleges involved you could gear a 15-30 minute podcast (something that could be listened to during a workout or drive into school) , this could be an idea that ties some of our WELS or ELS schools closer together. Also I believe there could be a great opportunity to offer internships for certain majors and that could help get more students involved on both ends.Keep up the great work looking forward to see if a podcast comes from this.
Ted Petersen (Florida Tech) 2017-11-08 5:57:51am
Thanks for your comment, Alex. I'm not sure that that audience would necessarily be students, but involving students would help generate content that they find interesting. To me, the cool thing about a good documentary is that it can have broad appeal. And the idea of it being something you listen to while working out, commuting, doing dishes, etc. is exactly what I have in mind.
Thomas Reitz (Wisconsin Lutheran College) 2017-11-09 9:29:40pm
Having a podcast just for college students is really exciting for me. I love the idea of having some form of Christian media that I could digest while walking to school or working out like you said would be great. I think it would be really easy for college to set up and distribute. It would be wonderful to having something designed just for college students. I think it would be a great way to get Theology majors involved with other media majors and allow them to work together. It would also give those theology majors training to engage with the world in it's ever technologically advancing way.
Mike Hartman ( ) 2017-10-24 7:52:36pm
I like the idea, but don't just make a podcast. Get it out there. In my opinion, many people in our circles make excellent material, but do very little to get it out there and widely distribute it.

If you're going to the trouble to create something, be sure to consider distribution and promotion. For less than a pastor's weekly offering, you can get thousands of people around the world to watch it.

Here's an example:

The above video was viewed 150K times. It cost $110 USD to promote and distribute it online. (Promoting and distributing outside the USA is typically *much* cheaper than inside the USA).

I like the idea, but don't just make it an audio. Consider video. In less than 5 years, over 80% of all internet traffic will be video. It is not difficult to make useful video that people will engage with. Here's an example of a video made using just a smart phone.

I like the idea, but make sure whatever you do, it is able to be useful offline. Most people in the world do not have large data plans. You want to enable them to share the video with others when they're not connected to the internet.

Thanks for letting me share my two cents. :-) Blessings on this project proposal!
Tom Kuster (Christ in Media Institute) 2017-10-25 1:17:44pm
Ted, what do you see as the differences in impact and effect (besides in cost of production) between audio and video messages?
Ted Petersen (Florida Tech) 2017-10-25 9:46:44pm
This comment could address Prof. Grubbs and Pastor Hartman's comments. First of all, I love the feedback and encouragement. Thanks for your comments.

One of the things that makes audio storytelling so powerful--and I know this from my own experience as a listener and from a handful of textbooks I've used in class--is that it focuses on one sense. When only one of the five senses is engaged, that sense becomes more intense. Listeners rely on the narrator's descriptions, the source's voice, the music, natural sound, and rhythm of the editing. Because that is all done through one sense, it is felt more intensely. And then throw in the technology of ear buds, those tiny speakers that nestle right up close to your ear drum. The sound is close. The voices are intimate. The emotion can be felt, almost physically. Well made audio stories can be moving.

I think video content and audio stories are different and will serve different purposes. Video posts might be easier to share and spread via social media. But Christian podcasts could provide a deeper impact for those individuals who listen. The popularity of podcasts seems to have staying power, so I think there would be demand for well-made Christian podcasts.

But to be clear--audio and video are not either/or. They are both/and. The demands of production and distribution are different. The audiences will be different. And folks like us who are part of the GOWM should keep collaborating on projects like this.
Mike Hartman ( 2017-11-02 11:49:09pm
Ted, I've been thinking more about what you wrote. You make a lot of sense.

I've been privileged to spend all of my ministry and the majority of my life among Hispanics. Generally speaking, the Hispanic culture loves doing things together. is an example of this. Rather than 5 congregations separately streaming their services to small audiences on 5 separate websites, they're working toward the goal of having 5 congregations using the same website. Right now they have Most Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Medellín, Colombia and Cristo Rey in Bell Gardens, CA. God willing, they will add a third congregation in 2018.
When small groups work together in one place, more people can be reached.

God has granted our churches some gifted preachers in our circles. However, my experience has been that even those that post their sermons online are usually only watched/listened to by dozens or hundreds, rather than by thousands.

The WELS Spanish ministry effort,, has learned how to reach larger audiences with limited resources. Our Facebook page is large enough that we receive free personalized training from a Facebook marketing expert. We know how to target and reach more people.

I think a podcast channel like you mention has significant possibilities. However, I'd encourage you to:

1) Consider recruiting 6-12 congregations who are blessed with gifted preachers, and who are already recording sermons, but who are not reaching thousands with those recordings.

2) Recruit someone who could assist those congregations to set-up their system to make sure you're getting high quality audio. (The key is to use congregations already recording. Just help them improve what they're doing, and set up a system so those sermons get added to your podcast channel each week.)

3) Recruit WELS Multi-language Publications to assist with creating videos to promote your podcast channel. Others could also do this, but I know Multi-language Publications is interested in this type of thing. I think they might jump at participating.

4) Recruit Academia Cristo's Facebook managers to create some promotions to broaden your reach and build an audience. (Consider promoting outside the US. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and numerous African countries has significant English speaking populations. Sure, American sermons won't always apply well outside of the U.S., but people are searching for people clearly proclaiming God's truth. We just need to let more people know who we are.)

To get this project off the ground, you need to gain traction. You'll do that by starting simply and gaining a following. Starting by creating a podcast channel of sermons that are already being preached by congregations that are already recording their sermons seems like a relatively simple way to start. Asking groups like WELS Multi-Language Publications and Academia Cristo to assist also makes sense.

I don't mean to be pushy or out of place. Incorporating everyday means of communication in ministry efforts that seek to help people carry out the great commission is something I'm very interested in.
Ted Petersen (Florida Tech) 2017-11-08 6:11:34am
I love your enthusiasm, Pastor Hartman, and your good ideas. One concern I have is that the content needs to be crafted specifically for the medium. Sermons are meant to be heard in the context of a speech in a church, videos meant to be watched AND heard, devotionals to be read, podcasts meant to be listened to alone, often through headphones. Can the audio from a video or a recording of a sermon serve the same purpose? You might disagree, but I don't think it can. Thanks again for your comments!
Kasandra Wagner (Martin Luther College) 2017-11-01 7:56:03pm

Dr. Petersen,

As a college student who is just starting to see the popularity of podcasts creeping into my life, this proposal seems to be an effective method indeed. I had assumed that christian podcasts were out there but it had not occurred to me that their production through other church bodies may also prove dangerous because of the mix of good and bad within the message. The idea that the pure message of the Bible can be brought across in a way beyond simply a sermon or devotion is intriguing and I think it would definitely find an audience among generation today that sometimes struggles to pay attention to speeches because of the media we have been brought up in.

However, I was wondering if the lack of sermon or devotional setting may also pull these stories away from their original intent. You mentioned several Bible passages at the beginning of your proposal, many of which mention not just hearing, but hearing “the Word” which works faith. The Bible is the tool which the Holy Spirit works through. Our personal faith stories can be uplifting and encouraging, but they are not the tools through which the Holy Spirit works faith. Within these documentary-like podcasts, how do you propose to involve the actual Word of God directly within the “lost coin” stories of faith? And in doing so, turn these podcasts from just not being bad doctrine as in other podcasts to being also explicitly good doctrine?

Thank you for your proposal. I think it is a step in the right direction towards using today’s technology to reach so many more people with the love of God.
Ted Petersen (Florida Tech) 2017-11-03 1:28:08pm
Hi, Kassandra. Thank you for your comment. It poses an important issue. I think we'd avoid false doctrine in the same way Forward in Christ or the WELS Connection videos to it. These stories wouldn't replace sermons, daily devotions, personal Bible readings, and all the other elements of strong Christian faith-building. But the idea of connecting each story to a Bible passage as a theme for each episode is an interesting idea.
Becca Figueroa (Martin Luther College) 2017-11-02 12:23:45am
Dr. Petersen,

I am someone who loves to listen to Podcasts and I would most definitely get a kick out of listening to a podcast done by my synod or that affiliated with. Your idea to get the students involved in order to develop their skills in technology is wonderful and I agree with you 100% that it could be an opportunity for students to use their God given gifts!

From the podcasts that I listen to, they all seem to have some sort of schedule that they follow. The one that pops into my head right away is a Shakespeare podcast that I listen to that, every week of the month, have assigned a certain topic that they will discuss in regards to Shakespeare. One week they dig into one of Billy Shakes’ plays, the next week they break apart a quote from a play or sonnet, the next week they put Shakespeare characters into baseball teams (or something wacky like that), and so forth and so on. They even have a “wild card” episode once every month that can amount to any various thing relating to Shakespeare. Do you think it would be useful to have a schedule like that for this type of podcast that you are considering, or do you think that it would be more beneficial to act as “this week’s topic is the story that is the most extravagant” type of thing?

Again, I absolutely love your idea for a podcast! I would definitely listen to The Lost Coins and I am anxious to see if God grants it to happen in the future.

Thank you for your presentation!
Ted Petersen (Florida Tech) 2017-11-08 6:15:33am
Hi, Becca. Thanks for your comment. The idea of having a schedule of different types of content is interesting and something I hadn't considered. It would definitely be worth pursuing with the production team about what is the best way to generate this content. Thanks for the idea!
Abby Lowrey (Wisconsin Lutheran College) 2017-11-12 6:28:48pm

This is a great idea: creating a schedule for the podcast. I am definitely one for organization and an assigned schedule for things. With that, I think the podcast hosts and producers would be able to advertise and look for potential guests to come on and speak. Unlike journalism, in podcasting you can basically speak about whatever you want, while still having the ability to incorporate current events and how those are relevant to your topic. It also does well for advertising. If someone doesn't know what a podcast is about and is looking at it with a non-Christian background, they might not know what "The Lost Coins" is. The name has significance to people who were raised in the faith, but those who weren't may need a little more information about the podcast before listening. The schedule (if advertised) would be that extra step for those still second guessing whether or not they'll listen.
Phil Waldschmidt (Martin Luther College) 2017-11-02 11:59:55am
Dr. Peterson, I am very interested in your proposal. I think it would be beneficial for college campuses, especially in WELS/ELS circles, to jump into this form of media that is gaining popularity quickly. Podcasts work on both a recreational and educational level. A number of the podcasts I listen to feature a celebrity or well known specialist in whatever area they are covering to come and interview, and while we can't necessarily have big names come on this show, like you said, Good stories live in every WELS or ELS congregation across the country. What other benefits do you think podcasts can bring to the table that other forms of media cannot? Thanks for proposing this idea and I look forward to your thoughts!
Ted Petersen (Florida Tech) 2017-11-13 9:56:42am
Hi, Phil. Thanks for your comment. I think some of the benefits to podcasts is that the resource-commitment to create them is pretty low. Free or inexpensive software and relatively affordable microphones can make something like this doable on a budget. And like you said, the convenience of listening while you do other things--working out, driving, dishes, etc.--make them easy to consume. I hope this project gets off the ground!
Andrew Krueger (Martin Luther College-Student) 2017-11-02 12:36:21pm

Dr. Peterson,

First off, thank you! I wouldn’t consider myself a fully devoted podcaster, though it has become my exercising jam, free-time boredom annihilator, and occasionally my bed-time relaxer. Out of all the Christian podcasts I’ve sifted through, I haven’t really found any that are both Bible-based (or, “for confessional Lutherans”) and interesting (not just sermons). A few Lutheran Church Missouri Synod one's sort of hit the line, but that is all. I’m glad that you're working on one that seems to fit both of these categories well!

After reading some comments, I really liked Mike Hartman’s idea of also having a video format. Many of the podcasts I listen to are from videos posted on Youtube, personal blogs, or News sites. This past summer I was introduced to the Time of Grace Ministries (, which is a group of WELS pastors and lay members who produce devotional videos every weekday. Two annoying things are that they don’t do podcasts and their videos only last 3 minutes or so, which is good if you're up in the morning and want a quick devotion, but not good if you just want something to spend time with and think about on that hour drive to work, or while you are on your half hour bike ride.
I think a big potential problem with this is marketing. There already is a lot of “Christian” content out there from mega churches and other organizations as you said, so how will this stand out from the rest? I feel that, although podcasts are rising in popularity, there are still so many people out there who aren’t going to care because these larger, more well-funded churches have already attracted a lot of people for themselves. If the targeted audience is confessional Lutherans, then I feel more media forms should be out there as, having been a Martin Luther College student for 3.5 years, I can say that podcasts aren’t really a topic brought up in almost any conversation.

As a podcast listener myself, I really enjoy the idea. Podcasts are an extremely easy and versatile way of getting solid information out there and there aren’t any good Bible-based, well-done podcasts out there. It’s about time we get one! Thank you again for your contribution to the conference!
Ted Petersen (Florida Tech) 2017-11-13 10:03:32am
Thanks for your comment, Andrew. I understand the push for video--it's not misguided. But having created both video and audio journalism, the financial and time commitment that goes into making good video products is much higher than that of audio.

Who is our audience? How we do we reach them? These are great questions, I know we'll struggle with these if this project moves forward! I look forward to the discussions.
Tom Kuster (Christ in Media Institute) 2017-11-08 11:13:04pm
So then, how do we get this project started? It's been suggested that one of our colleges should take it on as a project, but I don't think any of them is structured to do this. It would take a Major in Audio Production or in Radio or something like that, and none of our schools has such a thing. So will it take a group of interested people starting their own production company? With internet connections, the group would not all have to be in the same location. Maybe writing a grant to fund the production of (say) a half dozen episodes, to demonstrate viability (and produce a half dozen good episodes)? Would a GoFundMe effort pay for it? I think we already have in writing enough specific description of staffing and procedures and even budget, that it is not that far from getting off the ground.
Thomas Reitz (Wisconsin Lutheran College) 2017-11-09 9:32:53pm
I know that a group of WLC professors are involved with their own podcast called "Let the Bird Fly", maybe they could be a resource to getting one started on it's campus by students?
Ted Petersen (Florida Tech) 2017-11-13 10:22:51am
I'm definitely going to check out "Let the Bird Fly." Thanks for the suggestion. And Tom, let's do it. You probably know more about access to grants for this type of project than I would. Where are some places we could go?
Thomas Reitz, Emily Reitz, Kenny Dryden (Wisconsin Lutheran College) 2017-11-09 9:19:02pm
I really think this is a great idea. It sounds like you would would want to bring in a lot of people to be guest story tellers. How would you go about finding people that have a good story and are willing to share it? My initial concern is that if it was a podcast that you wanted to put out with any regularity that finding enough willing participants would be a great challenge.
I really enjoy listening to Bad Christian podcast as I enjoy listening to the differing opinions on the role of our Christian faith in our life. I wonder if there would be any benefit for there to be a competing podcast with more of a conservative Christian bent? Do you think there is room for competition?
Ted Petersen (Florida Tech) 2017-11-13 10:16:48am
Thanks for you comment, Thomas. I think you find stories just how any journalist does--read, list, watch; pay attention to your surroundings; work a network.

First, read, listen, watch--I encourage my journalism students to read national, local, and other college newspapers to get good ideas. Borrow those ideas, refocus them, localize them.

Second, pay attention--I can think of about four or five stories that could come out of my little congregation here in Florida. We have a veteran who converted in a "fox hole." We have grandparents who have adopted their grandkids. We have a premature baby fighting for life. We have a retired pastor who spent several years of his ministry in South America.

Third, network--There are about five or six ELS or WELS congregations within about an hour's drive, and this is in not in the WELS/ELS heartland. By reaching out to pastors, and pastors reaching out to congregation leaders, I think finding the stories will be easy. The hard part will be deciding which ones to tell first.
Josh A (Bethany Lutheran College) 2017-11-11 12:45:40am
As a lover of podcasts, I think this is a great concept. I do listen to and recommend a podcast run by Brock Huard called "Above and Beyond," which is a Christian athlete podcast, but it does not fully touch on certain Christian aspects because it is also focuses on the athlete's life. Having a podcast which is 100% focused on talking about the Christian faith would be a wonderful thing.
Ted Petersen (Florida Tech) 2017-11-13 10:24:02am
Thanks, Josh. I'll check "Above and Beyond" out.
Brian Bartelt (Bethany Lutheran College (Alumni)) 2017-11-12 12:30:12am
This is overdue and necessary! Excellent idea. I have experience in media sales and would be willing to help if needed.
Ted Petersen (Florida Tech) 2017-11-13 10:23:27am
Awesome, Brian. Expect to hear from me!
Abigail Lowrey, Shawna Abbott, Erin Malsack (Wisconsin Lutheran College) 2017-11-12 6:20:25pm
This idea is great! I think getting into podcasting is a great way to use your talents and skills you learned in the classroom in a constructive way that reaches out to the public. I'm curious, how would you market this? Would you advertise to church congregations, college campuses, or even the outside public? You mentioned getting students involved; would they serve as cohosts or guests on the show? Or would they be doing the "behind the scenes" work of editing and writing?
You said you did this before, how involved were students in that Podcast? What sort of topics were covered on that podcast? If there was one word of advice you would give to students interested in getting involved in getting involved with The Lost Coins?
Kyle Baron Joe Hanson Eric Pascutti (WLC) 2017-11-13 12:57:14pm
Dr. Peterson,

This is a great idea. Speaking as a college student who is always busy either studying, working, or practicing, having a podcast available on smartphones is very helpful. Some of these stories would be appreciated to listen to in order to keep people going. I would love to see this get up and running.

Best of luck!
Chase Nowak (Wisconsin Lutheran College) 2017-11-13 2:10:14pm
Good point Kyle! With how busy college students can find themselves, especially as student-athletes, it makes it difficult to find time in our day to listen to anything regarding our faith. If there was a podcast available on our phones, it would make it very convenient for those that might not have that much free time. Our college does offer a chapel time, but I know most students use that break in order to catch up on work, studying or sleep. I think a podcast that is accessible 24/7 would help provide a daily dose of listening about our faith that we could tailor to our own schedules.
Chase Nowak, Javion Morgan, Chris Norvilus (Wisconsin Lutheran College) 2017-11-13 2:18:30pm
Being a big fan of podcasts, I can see a lot of benefits that a Christian podcast would bring to our campus. With their rise in popularity across the board (in areas of such business and education) it would make as an excellent tool for just about any college/university to utilize. More specifically, I believe this podcast could be used to help incoming freshman who are not WELS/ELS become familiar with the new faith and help make their transition at the school a little easier.

Coming from a Catholic background there was a tough transition when it came to learning about the new beliefs of those at Wisconsin Lutheran College while taking some of the Theology courses. If it wasn’t for one of my favorite professors, who taught his intro class in mainly a Q & A format, I do not know if I would be as comfortable at the institution.

Since then, a few theology professors have started their own podcast here at WLC. I believe if there were an opportunity for students to send in questions and have them answered by a professor or trusted professional on campus it would help a lot of students immensely. This might help some students feel more comfortable and prevent them from transferring just because they have a different faith.

Are there any other benefits that you see a Christian podcast bringing to students that may not be from a WELS/ELS background?

I look forward to hearing from you!