10 Years and Counting

10-year-term-life-insuranceToday is January 1, 2017 and I am reminded that it was 10 years ago this month that the Lord led me into a new season of life. Up until January of 2007, I had spent virtually my entire adult life working at Moody Radio. I was 22 years old when I started at Moody and those years were filled with tremendous experiences that I would not trade for anything. Of course, it wasn’t all sweetness and light– it had it’s difficulties and challenges– but together with the good things it all added up to a rich, rewarding time.  Indeed, I thought I might spend my whole life there. But God had a different (and altogether better) plan.

So, in January of 2007 I launched the ministry called Wayne Shepherd Communications, not knowing exactly how we were going to make it. I had a few assignments that had developed on the side even when I was at Moody and it started with those. I won’t go into great detail, but those were (and ARE) close and trusted friends who came alongside and gave me meaningful things to do which got us started. Many more have been added since.

I recall one friend’s guiding advice at the outset. He said something like, “You’ll find yourself doing some projects you never dreamed of, and at the same time, you’ll find yourself NOT doing some things you think are certain.” And he was a prophet. That exactly describes what has happened.

Now as I look back on these 10 years, I am extremely grateful for the ministry I’ve been given of helping people and organizations achieve their goals of producing good radio programs and many other audio productions. Today, I am doing far more of what I love to do than ever before and it has led to many, many rich relationships. It’s because God moved in my life to push me out of my comfort zone and into the place he wanted me.

Proverbs 16:9 has never meant more to me than it does now, “A man’s heart plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps.”

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How Would You Answer?

Regardless of your vocation, how would you answer actual questions like this which I often receive?

Wayne,

I would like to get involved in VO and broadcasting (Interviewer, possibly radio host). This is a long-term project for me since I have no experience nor contacts, only desire. I have been told by a variety of people that I have a good voice. I am currently a member of ToastMasters and enjoy speaking.

How do I go about getting my foot in the door to this industry?

Mike (not his actual name)

 

Hi Mike-

I get this question fairly often and honestly don’t know how to answer. How do I reduce 45 years of experience to a few simple process steps? Having a “nice voice” and speaking ability are a great start, but not enough to get you where you want to go. So many other factors come into play, including personality, style, intellect, drive, and making the most of each opportunity no matter how insignificant they may seem at the time. For Christ-followers, prayerfully asking for God’s guidance is also a critical step in the process.iStock_000013494357_Medium-1260x840
Pursue every opportunity that opens to you. Do your best in each assignment and then critically listen to yourself and seek feedback on your performance. Don’t become defensive, but strive to make each performance better than the last one. For broadcasters it often means working graveyard shifts or doing simple station breaks before greater avenues open up. Look for ways to volunteer to gain experience. Look to a mentor who can encourage and advise you. Become a student of others who are already doing what you want to do and take a little something from each that you admire and make it part of your style development. Read VO blogs and take advantage of seminars, online and otherwise, where you can learn from others.
I sincerely don’t want to discourage you. Like anything in life if you have the will— and are following God’s path for you— anything is possible. You have the first prerequisite, the desire. The rest is going to take hard work, practice, patience— and time.
Wayne
Proverbs 16:9

 

 

Angel Tree 2015

NOTE:  To hear my FIRST PERSON interview, a powerful Angel Tree story, click here:

For the past several years it has been a wonderful privilege to host the Angel Tree radio special on behalf of Prison Fellowship. Angel Tree was started by the late Chuck Colson as a means of ministry to the families of incarcerated men and women. The encouraging stories that have come from both the volunteers as well as the recipients have been extremely heartwarming testimonies of God at work.

In addition to this year’s radio special to be heard on many stations, I asked that I might interview someone on FIRST PERSON to tell a single Angel Tree story and illustrate the power of this ongoing ministry. So, coming up on the weekend of December 19 on FIRST PERSON, you’ll hear the story of Judy Mills who has led an Angel Tree ministry at her church in Oklahoma City now for several years. Joining Judy will be Michelle Rainey who, as a young teenager, took care of her younger siblings while her mother served a prison term. The intersection of Michelle’s life with Judy and Angel Tree has made all the difference in the world to Michelle and you’ll hear her dramatically tell the story.

If you would like to contribute to Angel Tree this year, please follow this link. And on behalf of the children who will receive a gift from their mom or dad in prison, thank you for your generosity.

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Recent Business Audiobooks

Over the summer I completed narration of 3 new business books, all available at Audible.com.

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WHAT GREAT SERVICE LEADERS KNOW AND DO; Creating Breakthroughs in Service Firms

 

 

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LIFT; The Fundamental State of Leadership

 

 

 

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THE POSITIVE ORGANIZATION; Breaking Free from Conventional Cultures, Constraints, and Beliefs

 

 

The complete list of books I’ve narrated for Audible can be found here. Check these books out at Audible and let me know if you find any of them to be helpful.

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New FIRST PERSON iPhone App

IMG_6013I am very pleased and excited to recommend our new iPhone app for FIRST PERSON, allowing you to stream any interview or download any past interview for listening at your convenience. An Android version is in the works, so watch for that announcement.

A very special word of thanks to Nick Longinow for developing this app. Let me know if you’d like to contact Nick.

You can download the new iPhone app for free in the Apple App Store here.

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New FEBC Radio Feature

Ever since I joined the Board of the Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC) 3 years ago, it has been my hope that we might again use Christian radio to tell the stories that come from the ministry of FEBC. I say again because when I started in radio many years ago, the Founder of FEBC, Dr. Bob Bowman, had a program called The Bowman Report which I remember well as it told stories of FEBC’s ministry in some far-off places of the world.NRB-2015-5331-L

Now, in a world where those places seem closer than ever, that dream has come true through the start of a new, 2 minute, daily radio feature called FEBC TODAY. Starting Monday, April 6, my friend and FEBC President Ed Cannon and I will be on the air everyday with a new story from the millions of lives touched by FEBC across a huge swath of the earth’s real estate. The radio programs of FEBC are heard in over 100 local languages in nearly 50 countries of the world– countries throughout Asia, Central Asia, SE Asia, and Eurasia. FEBC received over 2 million listener responses last year, so we have just a few to choose from!

FEBC TODAY will be available to radio stations at no charge, distributed through the Amb-OS satellite  service. The program contains no financial appeals– just stories of lives transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

(Photo: Ed Cannon receives 2015 National Religious Broadcasters Milestone award on behalf of FEBC)

We have received commitments from some key stations and networks to air FEBC TODAY, and will be happy to share the program with others. You can email me at Wayne@WayneShepherd.net for more information on how to add FEBC TODAY to your station or programming service.

Here’s a sample of the new program:  https://soundcloud.com/wayneshepherd/febc-today-radio

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FIRST PERSON Update

When the radio program, FIRST PERSON, started over 4 years ago, we didn’t know what to expect. We just knew that to do anything less than follow God’s leading to begin would have been disobedient. With no guarantee that we would be heard on any radio station, we launched FIRST PERSON on faith in the Fall of 2010.  I say “we” because Producer Joe Carlson has volunteered countless hours to produce the program, and Dale Davis of Pre-Eminent Media has been a great help as well.

Today, FIRST PERSON is heard on some 240 radio stations and we are very grateful to God for the growth in listenership as we continue to tell stories of transforming lives spiritually and calling people into His service.

Wayne-Shepherd-Banner-Sidebar1Now, a new partner has come alongside FIRST PERSON. My friends at the Far East Broadcasting Company have decided to lend their support to ensure that the program continues on the same path. The mix of guests from all walks of life sharing their stories of life transformation in Christ and describing their calling will continue without any changes.

Please join me in thanking the Far East Broadcasting Company for their generous support! And if you are unfamiliar with FEBC, please take the time to learn more at FEBC.org.

 

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Free Audiobook: JUNGLE PILOT

 

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A recent assignment for me was to travel to Nampa, Idaho and spend some time visiting with and interviewing several members of Mission Aviation Fellowship. I’ve long admired the work of MAF and welcomed the opportunity to see the headquarters and meet some of the people behind this effective and vital global ministry.  I was amazed at the scope and size of the operation as I met and visited with several regional directors from around the world. I also had the chance to sit down with MAF President and CEO, John Boyd, and record his story for FIRST PERSON which you can listen to here.

For an overview of MAF’s tremendous service to Christ around the world, check out this video.First Person sans photo

Connected with my visit to MAF was the invitation to narrate the story of martyred missionary pilot Nate Saint, an early MAF pilot. The classic book Jungle Pilot tells Nate’s story in detail, but it’s never before been available as an audiobook.  Now, you can download a free audio copy of Jungle Pilot by visiting FIRST PERSON here and clicking on the banner offering Jungle Pilot as an audiobook.

As always, to leave comments, please visit the Facebook page for FIRST PERSON at Facebook.com/FirstPersonInterview.

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Ukraine Up Close

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I’ve just returned from a trip to Hungary, Moldova, and Ukraine– a trip to 3 countries for 3 different reasons. Each experience was remarkable to me in several ways. Let me say a brief word about Hungary and Moldova, and then a bit more about Ukraine which is experiencing a severe crisis at the hand of Russian aggressors and separatists.

In Budapest, Hungary, I was invited by Trans World Radio to give a seminar on story-telling and broadcast interviewing. I throughly enjoyed spending 2 days with TWR staff from several countries. TWR has a tremendous ministry in many parts of the world and it was a privilege to meet and spend time with a few from around both Western and Eastern Europe. It was actually a chance to renew a few friendships with some I had met previously.

In Moldova, I connected with our team from Mission Eurasia (the new name for Russian Ministries of Wheaton, IL on whose Board I sit). The School Without Walls project called together 500 young, Moldovan professionals for the purpose of encouraging them to live for Christ through their profession, whatever that might be. The event was a tremendous success. My appreciation for the scope of what Mission Eurasia does has expanded once again.

While in Chisinau, Moldova, I was able to also connect with the ministry Stella’s Voice whose story I told in an interview with Philip Cameron recently on FIRST PERSON. What a treat to see some of the young women again whom I met in the recording studio in Wheaton, not long ago. I won’t tell more of their story here, but it’s worth checking out:  www.stellasvoice.org.

From Moldova, the Mission Eurasia team and a few guests piled into vans for the long trip to Kiev in Ukraine, stopping in historic Odessa on the Black Sea on the way.  Mission Eurasia’s headquarters in this part of the world is located in Irpin, just outside of Kiev. From there, a side trip for 2 days on a high-speed train took us into Eastern Ukraine to the city of Slavyansk where Russian separatists first began the fight for control of Ukraine in February of 2014.

Slavyansk is now under the control of the Ukrainian army (such as it is– the country is broke after the former Pres left and emptied the treasury of $70 billion; the separatists control the rest of the Donetsk region, mainly in Donetsk and Luhansk. It is a very severe situation with many killed and refugees streaming away (about 1/3 of the population remains in those places). We heard many stories of how people had to leave with just what they could fit into a car. Pastors we spoke with would be killed if they tried to return.
IMG_4880 12.15.15 PMSlavyansk is completely battle scarred, looking like a town from a WWII movie. However, they are rebuilding and it is amazing how much progress they have made even though the government is completely broke and does practically nothing. The big story is how the church (we visited evangelical churches mainly) are stepping in. They are repairing homes all over town with new roofs, walls, etc. which were shelled. Every home in the neighborhoods had hundreds of bullet holes. We saw two hospitals shelled into rubble. One church had an orphanage caught in the crossfire and it was destroyed, but now nearly rebuilt with the church, assisted by Mission Eurasia.
Good News Church has about 1000 members. It’s property was confiscated by the separatists (Russian mercenaries, many from Chechnya) and it was used as a barracks and ammunition storage facility during the months of the battle. They also used the church property as a staging area for tanks to fire upon Ukrainian army positions on the heights above the city, drawing fire upon the church in return. I have seen video of Russian Orthodox priests standing on the corner of the building praying that the shells would hit their mark against the Ukrainian army.
The most amazing thing we saw was how Good News Church is rebuilding trust by loving and serving their neighbors. This battle pit neighbor against neighbor and caused everyone to distrust even their closest friends who may be sympathetic to the other side. Well, the church moves in and repairs homes, without asking where their loyalties lie. It’s incredible– loving their enemies.
Most inspiring is the work the church is doing to rush medicine and food (again with Mission Eurasia help) into the areas where the fighting is still intense. The pastor, Peter Dudnik, is a true hero who personally drove carloads of people to safety during the fighting and now heads the humanitarian efforts. He was honored by President Petro Poroschenko for his actions, but again, the Ukrainian government is able to do little to nothing. The church is the first line of help. I talked with one young man in Peter’s church who was taken by the separatists for several days, had his eyes duct-taped, and a gun put on his temple with the trigger clicked as psychological intimidation. He was released in some confusion that he attributes to a miracle of God.
Now, I come to the refugees (technically displaced persons). We visited several camps. One was a summer kids camp in under-heated buildings where over 100 people are living with the threat of winter close at hand. The church is frantically retrofitting a large, run-down building to house them, but they have a long way to go before it is habitable.  Church volunteers from all over Western Ukraine are coming to help (I stood in a circle with them and recorded the Lord’s Prayer as they started their day reciting it.)  About 60 kilometers away, we visited another small church’s efforts to turn a run down, former school into a facility for refugees near Dobropillia.  Heartbreaking. I wept as I talked with a grandmother holding a 5 year old on her lap in a room with peeling paint (probably lead-based) and drafty windows. She cannot explain to her grandchildren why they can’t go home.
This area is about 100 kilometers from where the Malaysian plane was shot down.
Back in Kiev, we visited another refugee center run by a dedicated Orthodox priest (ironically of the Moscow Orthodox persuasion).  The Ukrainian Orthodox church broke from the Moscow church over this crisis. We actually had a private, 90 minute sit down with the Ukrainian Orthodox Patriarch Filaret who was extremely bold and outspoken. He called Putin a liar and in the control of Satan. He warned the U.S. and Europe to wake up before WWIII breaks out.
It has been an incredibly eye-opening trip. Another organization close to my heart, Far East Broadcasting Company has a radio station in Slavyansk which is in Transformation Church, and operated by a friend, Victor Kurilenko, who is blind. During the battle for Slavyansk, the separatists broke into a church service and took four young men out. After the city was regained by the Ukrainian army, they found their bodies in a common grave. The radio station’s tower was toppled, taking them off the air.  They are now working to get back on the air soon.
The bottom line in all of this for me is to see the church revealing it’s true calling in loving it’s neighbors. These people who have so little are putting us to shame.
Mission Eurasia is doing everything it can to provide assistance with it’s I-CARE program. If you would like to offer financial assistance to Mission Eurasia, click here. Thank you!
UPDATE: Listen to my FIRST PERSON broadcast from Ukraine by clicking here.

 

 

 

 

FIRST PERSON Update

As a kid, I use to lay in bed at night with a transistor radio and earphone (yes, just one mono earphone in those days) and listen to radio stations. My favorite was WJR in Detroit and one or two other stations that featured great talk shows. I could only dream that someday I would get on the other side of the mic and be the host of shows like the ones I listened to lying in bed in a rural farmhouse.kidwradio460

Now, looking back over several decades of hosting shows on Christian radio stations from coast to coast and beyond, it still amazes me that I have the privilege of doing what I do.

For almost 4 years now, we’ve been producing FIRST PERSON, a weekly interview show which has the simple formula of people telling their story of God working in and through them. I happened to look at the list of programs today in the archive and saw that there have been over 200 FIRST PERSON interviews to date.

From the beginning we have placed those conversations on the website FirstPersonInterview.com in the audio archive where you can stream any program online. You can also use the smartphone app Stitcher to listen each week.

What you may not know is that FIRST PERSON is also available as a weekly podcast on iTunes. You can subscribe at no cost and have each week’s program downloaded automatically to your device. You can choose 1 or all 200 shows to download and take with you anywhere you go. Subscribe via iTunes here.

Let me know how you choose to listen to FIRST PERSON– and whether you prefer to listen in just one ear, or two.

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