When it comes to cuisine, too many cooks spoil the broth. But when it comes to ministry, many helpers create a spiritual meal worth savouring. Insight for Living Ministries shares Chuck Swindoll’s passion to combat spiritual hunger through the expositional teaching of God’s Word around the world. And the variety of spiritual meals we prepare requires many hands . . . starting with Chuck’s.
Here’s how it all comes together:
- Chuck prepares and preaches a series of sermons, which are recorded for future broadcasting. Some messages were first presented at the First Evangelical Free Church in Fullerton, California. Others were part of Chuck’s “Lessons to My Students” lectures while he was president of Dallas Theological Seminary. The most recent sermons, beginning in 1998, were preached at Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where Chuck currently serves as senior pastor-teacher.
- Recordings of Chuck’s messages are sent to Insight for Living Ministries to be transcribed into written documents. Transcribers in the USA painstakingly capture everything they hear—including misspoken words, stutters, snorts, crying babies, audience coughs, and mobile phone rings.
- The transcripts are sent to the Creative Ministries team where seminary-trained writers carefully read through Chuck’s sermons, and begin the process of writing ministry resources.
- Chuck’s wife, Cynthia, who serves as president of Insight for Living Ministries in the USA, reviews each sermon transcript, taking into consideration the writers’ comments. She directs the broadcast team—Living Bridge Media—to remove all ambient noises from the audio files, and to correct the occasional misspoken words or phrases. Cynthia also writes endnotes for our translators to give them a better understanding of historical events, uncommon words, and anything else that might help in the process of accurately translating Chuck’s messages. The goal always is to help pastors worldwide to study God’s Word and to explain the true meaning of biblical truth as they deliver their messages. That is known as exposition. Then we want to explain how to live out God’s truths in our lives today. That’s application.
- While Cynthia works on the audio files, writers begin to produce resources to accompany the broadcast. These resources are designed to take people deeper in their understanding of Chuck’s teaching from God’s Word. Broadcast-related resources include sermon notes (Message Mates),and paperback Bible studies (Bible Companions). The ministry also publishes Web-based articles on a variety of spiritual and theological topics, the Insights publication you’re reading now, and other ministry-specific books and materials.
- Once written, each resource goes through an editorial process. Professional and skilful editors check the theology of the written material to ensure biblical and theological integrity. Our content editor makes sure that each resource is well-written, organised, and accessible to readers. And our copy editors fine-tune each page by checking grammar, syntax, and formatting.
- Talented artists design and lay out both printed and online materials in creative, attractive formats. After being proofread, these resources are either published on the ministry’s Web site or sent to a printing company to be created into books or other materials.
- While these resources are being created, the audio files of Chuck’s messages receive final touches. The Living Bridge Media staff times and divides each message to fit within a broadcast timeslot. They provide these to the UK team who record and add voiceover introductions, announcements, and music.
- The UK team distributes audio files of Chuck’s messages to regional radio stations, and related study resources are made available on the ministry’s Web site, www.insightforliving.org.uk.
- Listeners tune in on their radios, stream online, or download the UK App to listen to Chuck’s sermons. Many take advantage of our helpful resources. And by the grace of God, lives are changed.
Seeing this process laid out reveals the way the ministry has grown over time. In nearly thirty-five years of ministry, Insight for Living Ministries has developed from a simple, English broadcast to multiple broadcasts available in multiple languages, international ministry offices around the world, written biblical resources, MP3 and CD recordings, and a robust presence on the Internet, making it possible for more people than ever to hear the gospel.