In His Grip
A number of years ago, Chuck and I took a ski lift up to the top of huge mountain in Idaho. Like you would, we marveled at the expanse of the mountains surrounding us, the limitless gorgeous sky, the valleys below. It was the year after our son Mark’s death and Chuck was rewriting the vision statement of Glasgow Church where he was the Senior Pastor. Broken by grief and terribly missing our child, we looked for treasures in this darkness, expecting the Lord to speak tenderly to His shattered children. Our surroundings left us almost speechless. We had been reading the book of Job out loud to one another and some of the descriptions of God’s omnipotence flashed back. We felt a little like Job may have felt. Chuck said, “You know, we are just a tiny, little piece, not even a speck in the realm of creation. We could conclude we are nobody and how ludicrous it is to think that the One Who created all of this and more, could care about us. And yet, He promises to never leave us, to love us, to show us His love, And in the middle of this hell we are experiencing, we are sensing His presence through His creation and His Word. It’s almost too much to believe.”
Sometimes I feel that way about the ministry of MARKINC. Our team and budget is small compared to other ministries. There are thousands of other nonprofits with numerous employees and thousands of supporters. From a human perspective, we could appear insignificant in the scheme of things. And yet, we cannot help but continue to offer the help and hope of the Gospel to a hurting world, one person at a time. As long as the Lord provides the funding and those who believe in our mission, we will continue to walk this pathway trusting that His Word will “not return unto Him void”. How can we not, when He has loved us with the gift of Jesus?
The purpose of this month’s blogs is to give you a behind the scenes glimpse into how each of our various core ministries are produced. It’s my hope that if God has encouraged you through MARKINC, whether it’s this blog, Daily Treasure, In His Grip, Ask Dr. Betters or our Help & Hope audio library, you will prayerfully considering giving to our Matching Gift campaign. A dedicated supporter committed $10,000 as a matching gift for every dollar given by August 15. No gift is too small or too large. Whether it’s $5 or $5,000, it will be doubled. Your gift is significant and its impact is eternal!
In this post, I will give you a birds eye view of how Chuck’s sermons go from the pulpit to a radio broadcast. In 1994, MARKINC Ministries began with a daily half hour radio broadcast, In His Grip, on WVCH, an AM radio station. Today, In His Grip continues to air on WVCH, three times a day Monday through Friday, once on Saturday and Sunday. See below for other stations. We offer the broadcasts on our website and SoundCloud, iDisciple and other outlets. Other online radio stations air In His Grip, free of charge.
Some people think that the radio stations pay us for the use of the sermons. But that’s not true! Over the years we have paid thousands of dollars to air In His Grip on various stations and outlets believing God was directing our steps but not really knowing if it was “worth it”. But it was! You see, a few years ago we announced that we would come off the air unless the listeners REALLY wanted to keep our broadcast on, and if so, they would need to underwrite the cost to stay on the air and that is exactly what they did. We were blown away by how many listeners contacted us, begging us not to come off the air and in turn financially supporting the In His Grip ministry that continues today. The comment we hear most often is that people love Chuck’s transparency and sound doctrine, comments like this one we recently received:
“Ever since I listened to the first message of Dr. Chuck Betters I haven't been able to stop listening. I love the fact that he speaks the truth from the bible and doesn't sugarcoat it.”
But that’s not the total cost of each message. Here is the inside look at how these messages came to be.
It all starts with Chuck preaching his sermons for over 45+ years behind the pulpit. Which I must add, he spent countless hours preparing, studying and researching. We have boxes of old cassette tapes going back to 1986 that we are now digitizing as we have funding. Thankfully, the last several years of his preaching digital technology was available.
Bill Hughes creates a radio broadcast schedule.
Bill makes sure Ron Succarotte our broadcast editor has the audio files in a timely fashion. Ron reviews every sermon for outdated content and sound issues. He adds intros and outros and then alerts Bill that the broadcasts are ready for uploading. Bill receives and backs up edited copies of all audio files, including the In His Grip broadcasts. He adds a sermon summary to each file that helps search engines. Then he sends those audio files to the radio stations weekly as well as uploads the sermons and summaries onto the MARKINC website and Soundcloud. Bill schedules them for release on the internet for the same days they are heard on the radio.
Though the sermons can be freely accessed online, some people still prefer CDs and Bill graciously produces CDs when requested. Sometimes, he has transferred entire series from cassette tapes to CD’s – a tedious job that requires constant oversight.
We know that thousands of people hear In His Grip through the various radio broadcasts and online platforms. We regularly meet people who tell us they listen every day on their way to and from work. They thank us for the solid biblical preaching. But we wanted hard core stats to share with our supporters. Today, Bill creates and tracks spreadsheets with Google analytics and several other third party sites that track “listens” to each message. In 2018 we project 19,984 In His Grip plays on our website and podcast, compared to 15,191 plays in 2017. Of course, this does not include the thousands who hear the broadcasts directly on their radios.
When I was a young stay at home mom living in Philadelphia and missing regular contact with my mother and friends, God used Christian broadcasting to feed me His Word and encourage me to parent biblically. When we lost Mark, He used radio broadcasts to send me treasures in the darkness at just the right time to remind me that He was ever present and knew my most intimate needs. I never thanked any of those stations or preachers or ministries. Providing In His Grip messages is one way of giving back and passing on the encouragement that we received through Christian broadcasting. We keep in mind people like me, who desperately need a word of hope in their daily lives.
Are we too tiny to make an impact? No. God is the One Who multiplies the fishes and bread to feed thousands. He is feeding thousands through the broadcasts of His Word every day, 24/7, through our In His Grip programs.
Help us continue to help others experience the joy of knowing Jesus. Your gift is significant.
Treasured by Him,
Listen to In His Grip online at www.markinc.org where you can subscribe to receive daily broadcastsor listen on your phone anytime, anywhere by accessing these messages on the In His Grip podcast.
Or, find a radio station where you can listen:
- Philadelphia, PA and Chester, PA on 740AM WVCH
- Airing on Weekdays at 7:30am and 5:30pm, and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00pm.
- Knoxville, TN on 620AM WRJZ
- Airing on weekdays at 9:00pm, Saturdays at 11:30am, and Sundays at 9:30am.
IN WEST VIRGINIA
- Oak Hill, WV on 860AM WOAY
- Airing on Weekdays at 2:00pm, Saturday at10:00am, and Sunday at 3:00pm.
Pilgrim Radio airs Chuck’s sermon series once or twice a year on these stations. This is a picture of God multiplying the fishes and bread. Pilgrim airs these messages gratis. They learned about Chuck through In His Grip. Whenever Chuck’s messages are aired on Pilgrim Radio, we hear from listeners, thanking us for the strong, biblical preaching.
- Bishop, CA on Pilgrim Radio's KDOX-FM 91.3
- Chester 99.7 FM
- Lake Tahoe 91.9 FM
- Portola 89.7 FM
- Quincy 90.5 FM
- Susanville 89.9 FM
- Billings, Montana on Pilgrim Radio's KLMT-FM 89.3
- Battle Mountain 90.1 FM
- Carson City, Nevada on Pilgrim Radio's KNIS-FM 91.3
- Elko, Nevada on Pilgrim Radio's KNVQ-FM 90.7
- Ely 91.9 FM
- Eureka 89.5 FM
- Hawthorne 90.7 FM
- Lovelock 101.1 FM
- Orovada 91.7 FM
- Winnemuuca 90.7 FM
- Buffalo 101.7 FM
- Casper, Wyoming on Pilgrim Radio's KCSP-FM 90.3
- Cheyenne, Wyoming on Pilgrim Radio's KDNR-FM 88.7
- Cody 95.1 FM
- Evanston, Wyoming on Pilgrim Radio's KPMD-FM 91.9
- Evanston 95.3 FM
- Gillette 94.3 FM
- Kemmerer 89.9 FM
- Big Piney/LaBarge 97.3 FM
- Lander 96.7 FM
- Laramie 88.1 FM
- Lyman 93.1 FM
- Pinedale 99.3 FM
- Powell 96.9 FM
- Rawlins 101.7 FM
- Riverton, Wyoming on Pilgrim Radio's KMJB-FM 89.1
- Riverton 102.5 FM
- Rock Springs, Wyoming on Pilgrim Radio's KTME-FM 89.5
- Sheridan 99.3 FM
- Thermopolis 89.9 FM
- Worland 91.7 FM