While on his commute to complete a Sunday morning errand, Tim Olson stumbled upon something unusual on a local radio station—an entire church service on a station known to play urban contemporary music in the Twin Cities. Olson came across this programming unintentionally when he started his car, as it was the last station he had listened to. After hearing the service Olson had an idea.
“I thought, if they do it, why can’t we have a program on there?” he said.
Olson then took action by contacting the leadership at the Southview Seventh-day Adventist Church to discuss the possibility of hosting a radio program. After the discussion Olson contacted the radio station to gather more information on programming and check on availability for broadcasting.
“I sent an email, and they didn’t respond,” he said.
Olson had contacted the station at the beginning of the year, and as he waited for a reply he thought maybe that opportunity may not come to fruition. Finally, after three months, he received a response from the communication team at the radio station.
Once in contact, Olson requested a meeting between the station and Southview. He put together a presentation introducing the station to the church and also showcasing the work that Southview had been doing in the urban community where it is located. The local station responded positively and said they had a time slot available on Sunday mornings at 10:30 am for a fee.
As providence would have it, an anonymous donor provided funds for the Southview Seventh-day Adventist Church to air a weekly 30-minute program for six months. On Sunday Oct. 2, 2022, the Southview Table aired its first episode.
Little steps, big steps
The premise of the program is to offer pragmatic advice with a biblical persp
ective. The setting is conversational with a host and guest co-hosts discussing various topics. Members of the church across different disciplines are invited to share their personal experiences and wisdom.
“We try to be practical on the topics that we are talking about,” said Sean Lee, senior pastor of Southview Church who also serves as host of the Southview Table Talk. “But our distinctive i
dentity is always embedded into that. We always mention Sabbath, we always mention Seventh-day Adventist, we mention some of our teachings but it’s not specifically teaching; it’s embedded into the conversations we have during the podcast recording,” he added.
Sean Lee also says that this is a great opportunity to reach young adults who often rely on digital forms of media to receive information, not printed literature. While the launch of the podcast was focused on outreach, this project has also served as a form of in reach for the church.
“We have a chance to reach out to our own young adults from a program like this,” he said.
After the launch of the podcast, a young adult church member and co-host has made the decision to get baptized.
Airing on a local radio station gives the opportunity for the church to reach demographics of individuals who may be harder to reach with traditional forms of evangelism. This opportunity also gives the young adults at church a chance to share their talents to further the reach of the gospel.
When Southview young adult member Eduardo Figueroa heard about this opportunity, he was eager to lend his musical talents to the program. Figueroa, a native of Puerto Rico, has experience in music ministry which included leading a Christian music band that toured around different churches on the island.
“I was excited,” he said. “I still am.”
Figueroa produced the musical jingles that can be heard at the beginning and end of the podcast. He wanted to create musical sounds that remained sacred while still being modern.
“I knew something good could come out of that idea,” he said.
While the Southview Table podcast began as an idea for radio, the constant pressure and demand to produce weekly content is challenging to maintain without full time staff. In the future the leadership wants to continue the Southview Table as a podcast with hopes of producing biweekly or monthly shows. The young adults of Southview are ready to continue this ministry.
“It’s been a great opportunity and idea to be part of a great group of friends and ideas,” Figueroa said. “I’m looking forward to see what other step in the ladder we can achieve together.”
To learn more about the Southview Table Talk you can visit the Southview Seventh-day Adventist Church’s website. https://www.southviewsda.org/
Listen to the podcast: https://www.southviewsda.org/southview-table-podcast/listening-the-podcast-