Pastor Jim’s Pen – December 17, 2017

A few weeks ago, Mr. Elmer Hildebrand, the Chief Executive Officer of Golden West Radio invited Faith Bible Church to initiate a weekly 30 minute broadcast on five community stations in southern Manitoba and southwestern Saskatchewan. The time being offered has come available due to Calvary Temple choosing to discontinue their Sunday evening radio broadcast it has aired on these stations for more than fifty years. In discussion with the FBC Elders, we have accepted this challenge which will commence in a prime time slot on Sunday evening, January 7, 2018. We have agreed to this on a six month trial basis. For the time being it will simply be known as “Faith Bible Church of Winnipeg.” We have yet to come up with a better program name. The five stations we will be using are:

950 CFAM (Altona)
1220 CJRB (Boissevain)
1250 CHSM (Steinbach)
570 CKSW (Swift Current)
1490 CJSN (Shaunavon)

The FBC broadcast will air from 7:00-7:30 pm in Manitoba and from 8:00-8:30 pm in Saskatchewan. It will also be streamed through the websites of each of these stations.

The financial commitment for the full six month trial is $5,300.00. After having worked with television contracts this seems a very modest amount of money for 26 half hour time slots on five stations but it is, nevertheless, money that needs to be found. I am very grateful for Mr. Hildebrand’s kindness and for those who, having become aware of this opportunity, have indicated their enthusiasm. I am also grateful for an initial donation which will cover the bill for the first five broadcasts. It is my desire that, as much as possible, this be a listener supported outreach.

Essentially the half hour will be used to air the Sunday morning or evening sermons preached at Faith Bible Church. In a very busy time of the year the first challenge is simply to “get rolling.” When I first learned of this possibility on November 16 and that the start date would be January 7 my comment was “you know that’s like tomorrow with all that usually happens in the coming weeks.” Refinements can be made once the initial steps have been taken.

I have had the privilege of observing radio ministry up close all my life. Dad started using radio back in the mid 1940’s when he was pastoring in Elmira, Ontario and continued that work when he moved to Regina and subsequently to Winnipeg. When I served on the pastoral staff of Calvary Temple from 1989 to 1999 one of my weekly responsibilities was to edit and deliver the recording of the Sunday evening service in order to have it aired the following Sunday evening. Though we now have many other media tools (computers, websites, podcasts, TV, etc, etc.) I believe it is a mistake to dismiss the usefulness of radio for Gospel proclamation. Radio broadcasts have a remarkable reach due to the simple, cheap and prevalent nature of radio receivers. Whatever else may or may not be in a home or car you are almost certain to find a radio. Many radios are played while people go about their work or as they drive. For some, radio is their only media due to location or choice. While I was pondering this opportunity, I received a call from a woman in Calgary who asked if Dad’s ministry could still be heard. I told her that it was still happening each week on Faith To Live By which is available on Vision, HOPE and JOY TV in Calgary. The woman replied that they only have radio. I mention this unique phone call to say that while it is hard for many of us to imagine life without our computers, TVs and other gadgets, radio is not the communication dinosaur bound for extinction as some think.

I would ask you to be praying for the first and all subsequent Sunday evening broadcasts that there would be “Ears to Hear and Hearts to Believe.”