This month marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Hendricks Center’s Table Podcast, a weekly discussion of issues at the intersection of God and culture.
The podcast is hosted by Dr. Darrell Bock, executive director of cultural engagement and senior research professor of New Testament Studies. His vision for the Table has always been to provide a resource for Christians who want a biblical perspective on some of the thorniest issues in contemporary society. Ultimately, the Seminary’s hope is that the podcast would equip believers to Teach Truth and Love Well in an unbelieving culture.
“The topics are relevant and the expertise we are bringing to those topics is not possible for our audience to assemble on their own,” Dr. Bock noted. “So we are doing them a service as people can listen to us on their commute or in their fellowship groups to be challenged on engagement.”
By the Numbers
Dr. Bock attributes the growth in audience numbers to the fact that the Table has not been shy about addressing the real-world issues the Church is facing. Recent topics range from women in Islam to illegal immigration to the new pope to human trafficking.
Not surprisingly, it has been the hot-button issues that have garnered the most attention:
- Most unique views on YouTube: Supreme Court Rulings on Same-Sex Marriage—800+
- Most shares on Facebook: Discussing Homosexuality and Sexuality Together—713 likes
- Most visits in a single day: Raising Children in a Sex-Saturated Society—1900 hits
- Most popular all-time in iTunes: Historical Adam in the Old Testament
The Table team hopes to build on that momentum with two major initiatives in 2014: a focus on faith and work, and an in-depth look at secular college campuses.
The theology of work is the theme of several upcoming podcasts, as well as the 2014 Table Conference, Your Work: More than a Paycheck. Experts in business, education, and ministry will examine how believers can integrate their 9-to-5 job into their thinking as believers, instead of separating their spiritual and secular lives.
The second initiative deals with the next generation of culture-makers. Over three years, the Table plans to interview Christian leaders at 150 secular colleges and universities, discussing how they encourage and equip the students in their ministries.
“Campuses are microcosms of the larger culture and where it is going,” Dr. Bock noted. “So we hope these interviews give church leaders insight into what is ahead and how to face those challenges, as well as how to prepare their college-bound children for what lies ahead of them.”
By God’s grace, the podcast has attracted the attention of churches, Christian educators, and foundations seeking to partner with DTS on its cultural engagement work. Dr. Bock welcomes the interaction and encourages pastors and lay leaders to send suggestions for future episodes.
“There is virtually no place I go where people do not say to me they are listening to and benefiting from the podcasts,” Dr. Bock said. “It is so satisfying to know that what we are doing is ministering to people and meeting needs in such a wide variety of areas.”
The Table podcast is just one component of the Seminary’s Cultural Engagement Initiative, which also includes the annual Table Conference, the Hendricks Center blog, cultural engagement chapels, and discussion groups for local pastors.
Check out the latest episode or like the Hendricks Center on Facebook to receive updates on new topics.