God Complex Radio - Carol Howard Merritt and Bruce Reyes-ChowTwo of my favorite interviewers these days both find their homes on public radio, Terry Gross from National Public Radio’s Fresh Air and Ira Glass from Chicago’s Public Radio’s This American Life.  They both have different styles and personalities for sure, but what I love about them is that they both manage to tell a story.  Somehow, through prodding in the right places, poking around where there may be some nugget of life and/or discovering some insight where even the interviewee may not have expected it, they bring an idea, issue and/or experience to life. Oh if we could all be Terry or Ira.

Well this week – finally giving up my dreams of playing shortstop for the Oakland Athletics or becoming an astronaut – I have begun the steep learning curve of one-on-one interviewing.  As part of the new incarnation and format of God Complex Radio*, co-host, Carol Howard Merritt and I will each do some one-on-one interview segments that will make up part of GCR 2.0.   Along with some other crazy good segments, Carol and I will then banter a bit on the interview that week.   I had the pleasure to conduct the first interview and was able to sit down across the airwaves and talk with Brian McClaren.  Always gracious and thoughtful, we talked about his life and calling as a writer, pastor and, depending on who you ask, a liberating voice of emerging Christianity or a person who has walked away from what it means to be a Christian at all. Later in the week, I also did a short segment with friend, colleague and artist, Abby King Kaiser, on her calling and journey to find that place where her ministry and art intersect.

Now I am sure that through my base knowledge of the English language and the editing wizardry of the GCR production staff – AKA Landon Whitsitt – the interviews will come out great and far more focused that I usually am, but . . .  I want to and will get better at this.  Being able to create some space where folks can share their stories, their passions and positive images of what it means to be a Christian today is truly a privilege . . . especially in a climate of religious discourse that is so often hijacked by reactionary, inflammatory and downright outrageous representations of the church.  At least that is what we are trying to do.  This first time was my chance to start getting into the rhythm, figure out what to do without my co-host to save my butt and generally develop my own interviewing personality.  So very much looking forward to developing my inner Ira Gross or Terry Glass and I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

* The new God Complex Radio podcast will drop on Friday, January 22nd with a new website, logo, podcast link and more.  Official information and links should begin getting leaked to the media horde and paparazzi next week, but until then if you want to keep updated please feel to follow GRC on Twitter or join the GCR FB Fan Page and we’ll see you on the 22nd!
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