Barb and I just completed a trip around Southeast Asia with stops in the Philippines and Thailand. This included meetings with media practitioners about the value of the Content in Context workshop. These initial discussions, follow-up to conversations that took place last March, are important to give media organizations the chance to explore the concepts from their own unique perspectives before committing to participate.
We were privileged to return to the Philippines during the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the first FEBC broadcast in Asia. We participated in a number of events during the week prior to the anniversary. It included times with staff, listeners, and other media practitioners in the country. One of the highlights for us was a staff reunion of more than 300 current and former FEBCers who have served since the 1950’s.
FEBC Philippines are pioneers of innovation in reaching out to their changing audiences. Their content strategies for their stations are reviewed and adjusted regularly. While they may not need a full “workshop”, they are considering adapting and including some of the tools from Content in Context in future training events. I’ll continue working with them in preparation for their next regional station content training scheduled for September this year.
Following our visit to the Philippines, our next stop was Thailand. At the invitation of the Thailand Media Network (TMN), I joined their regular monthly meeting to offer further details about a proposed workshop. The organizers gave me the entire morning to introduce the workshop to their members. Their response was encouraging. The network will meet again in July to decide whether they will sponsor the workshop and endorse it to media teams in the region. One of its members expressed interest in hosting the workshop at their office in Chiang Mai.
We will keep following these developments in both Manila and Chiang Mai. Please pray for the coordination needed to host successful events in these locations when the opportunity arises.
As with any journey, there are always adjustments to be made. Since we see the future through a dim lens, we trust the Lord to guide our steps. Such is the case every year when we, the International Service Team (IST) gather together following the annual FEBC International conference of our leadership. This year, our meeting took place in Seoul, South Korea, just as the cherry blossoms were blooming. Coming from the tropical temperatures of Indonesia, the cooler spring air of Korea was a refreshing welcome.
In the dynamic ministry environment of media, particularly when working in so many cultures and languages, we frequently deal with change. We know that adjusting is just part of the process as we learn more about the needs of our international ministries across the FEBC world. We adjust the way we work together and apply the years of cross-cultural experience in the team to be more fruitful.
So over the past few months, I’ve been working to refine my roles in the IST. While I am still maintaining my project management role, I’ve noticed that the need in this area is diminishing. Most projects don’t require the kind of international coordination IST was offering to help them succeed. So this has freed me up to shift my focus to supporting production teams across FEBC International. I’m now working on the preparations for two conferences that will impact FEBC teams producing content not just for radio but for a wide variety of media channels available today. Here’s a brief focus of each:
- Media Retreat Pilot: In cooperation with a network of international Christian media ministries known as Asia by Media, I’m developing a new concept called a “Media Retreat”. This involves bringing content production teams together into an environment where individual teams can review and develop strategies for impacting their audiences.
- Content Innovation Summit: It has been several years since FEBC programming directors have met together. This summit is being designed to bring these leaders face to face to share what has worked in their context. They can learn new approaches that can encourage audiences to follow Jesus. We also look for new ways of partnering together for greater impact.
With these two events happening in calendar year 2017, there are many details to address to maximize the impact of these conferences. They don’t necessarily provide the answers, but offer environments of discovery where leaders and their teams are inspired to produce content relevant for their individual audiences.
Barb and I will appreciate your prayers as we work together in helping plan and coordinate these two events in the coming months. I’m currently working with others in and outside of FEBC to craft the agendas and approaches for the conferences, while Barb is assisting me with logistical details and venue arrangements. We have much to sort through in the weeks to come. Pray that these events will ultimately result in greater impact among the many different audiences FEBC serves.