What is it like to voice Bible scripts for World Christian Broadcasting? (3 of 3)
I write scripts and record in studio for World Christian Broadcasting.
I went to Nashville recently to record a new set of scripts, this set on the Gospel of Matthew.
Thank you for prayers from my family, Jill, Ashley, Anna, Jacob, Mom and Dad, brothers and sisters, church family, and John Dickmann, who has texted me prayers while I’m here recording. I know some others are praying as well, thank you!
I’m happy for how God has brought together the visions of World Christian and The Journey, because this audio series of biblical scripts for World Christians called “The Good Book” fits so well together with our vision of The Journey Bible Project to read, blog, preach and teach through the Bible in four years. More below about that.
One of the fun things about the trip was meeting the different language specialists at World Christian Broadcasting. Two that I’m featuring here are Chinese language specialist Edward Ho and Russian language specialist Igor Ponomarev. On breaks from recording 45 audio scripts on the Gospel of Matthew over three days, Igor and I mixed it up on the hockey ice. Mistake on my part. The Russians whipped the Americans 9-1. In a rematch the next day, same result, Team Igor for the Russian language program, 9, and Greg for the English language program, 1.
What is it like to voice Bible scripts for World Christian Broadcasting?
To answer this question, I’m going to back up a little, because some of you may wonder how a person just “all the sudden” is doing radio scripts. Well, it may seem like that to you, but I’ve been writing and working these skills for 33 years . . .
Preparing skills and practicing as a writer
I’ve enjoyed writing since senior year in high school, 1985, and then went to work on the skill and education in print journalism major at Harding University, including working as editor for The Bison my senior year in college, 1989. Through seminary I wrote many papers, as missionaries we wrote many reports and stories. That brings me up to 2001, when I went to work for Wineskins as managing editor until 2005. About that time I began writing, co-writing, editing, reviewing, and ghostwriting books. I also wrote for other magazines and publications.
Meeting people on the radio
I met Mike and Karen Osborne, who were Jacob’s Bible teachers at Woodmont Hills Church. Pretty sure Mike and Karen were impressed with young, sharp 4 year old Jacob more than me! Mike has done solid writing and voicing of news and features at World Christian Broadcasting (WCB), and through Mike and Dale Ward, I got connected to writing for radio.
Writing scripts and voicing in studio
Then I met Rob Scobey, and he has patiently worked with me until today. Over the past ten years, I’ve written four extended series for WCB: “Letters to My Children,” “Immersed in Life,” and “Living with Conflict.”
Rob Scobey is the man
I’ve worked with Rob throughout these series. Rob does it all in the English service, like a one man band. Rob is a real pro in the field of broadcasting, and he has a heart of gold. Rob and Gayle Crowe have hosted me all week, and for that I thank them very much!
Writing “The Good Book: Gospel of Matthew”
This most recent series is called “The Good Book,” and it’s my first extended series where I’ll keep coming back with additional books. I’ve started with writing and voicing Matthew and will move to Mark and Romans.
Building on this background in biblical studies, experience in missions and ministry, and writing, I go back to the Bible book that I’m assigned to write on. In this case, Matthew. I read again and again, chapter by chapter, and discover new resources in scholarship that help me keep learning new things about the gospel, not remaining only with the knowledge I learned in seminary.
During the writing phase, I’ll take notes, read in various versions, read commentaries, talk about the texts, and preach on the texts.
In the script writing phase I’ll take what I’ve learned, blogs, sermons, illustrations and adapt those ideas on each chapter of Matthew into scripts that include what’s called “Intros” and “Outros” for each script. There are also intros and outros that Rob writes to get from the programming of the hour-long radio show, music, talk into my 5-9 minute segment, then out of my segment.
I turn in the scripts to Rob who edits, shows other colleagues, and in this case Gayle Crowe helped edit them, and then Rob sends them back to me marked up. I note the changes and check over everything. In the case of Matthew, I wrote and we edited and approved 39 scripts to record, each one about 5-9 minutes long.
Voicing “The Good Book: Gospel of Matthew”
We set aside three days in the studio where Rob and I dedicated full days to recording. With Rob in the control room managing high tech computer recording equipment, and I in the soundproof studio with headphones and microphone, Rob communicated to me through the headphones and would tell me to standby, then he would tell me when the segment recording was rolling. “Rolling” is my signal to begin.
With each script, I read with intensity and emotion and energy as much as possible. I make mistakes, yes, but go back a sentence or paragraph and record again. After finishing the script, Rob removes those mistakes from the recording. Each script takes at least three times longer than the actual final running time of the segment to voice, re-do, edit, and save files.
Producing “The Good Book: Gospel of Matthew”
Rob and I joke, make geeky puns, and laugh a lot while we work. We’re both skilled and relaxed enough to where it’s not really all that stressful. We take potty breaks, lunch breaks, and as you can see from the photos above, hockey breaks.
Praise God we ended up with 45 scripts that will be part of a weekly radio show that goes out across the world in a few months. These scripts will be enough for about a year, and I’ll take seven weeks off also where they’ll have to find someone else. That’s pre-recorded humor.
Click the button below to hear an example of one of the shows that Rob Scobey produces. You should explore World Christian Broadcasting and consider giving so that the gospel can be heard all over the world in English, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, and soon in more languages.
I was happy during the week to connect with my niece, Jenna Brooke Taylor Fisher (you’re in Nashville, now, Jenna so I’m using all your names, haha!) at the coffee shop where she works, called The Well. Like Midnight Oil and Kibo Corner, The Well benefits work in places in the world where there are needs, drilling water wells. Jenna’s husband, Jenna, and I went to dinner one of the nights for Indian food.
Dan Dozier, who wrote Judges devotional blogs for our church, took me to breakfast and the airport the morning I left, and it was great to re-connect with Dan, another man with a heart after God’s own heart, and as always he shared stories of his wrestling with scriptures and with pastoring a church as he knows, like me, he does imperfectly but leans on the grace and mercy and power of the Spirit of Christ.