An Eye Towards The Future
Welcome to the new Lutheran Answers website! Along with a modern redesign, I've taken the liberty of (painstakingly) moving everything over to the Ghost platform. I will explain this decision in a minute.
In the mean time, I want to give you a quick overview of what Lutheran Answers was intended to be, what it ended up being, and what I hope to make of it.
The intial vision for Lutheran Answers was an online repository for Lutheran Faith and Practice. I wanted a place where you could go to get your questions about theology answered from a Lutheran perspective. All the resources currently available in this realm are Catholic, Calvinistic Reformed, or Ken Ham doing something with his fake boat and dodgy science.
I wanted a place for Lutheran Theology to shine online. A place where you could go and find any answer to any theological question you had (like: Is the COVID-19 Vaccine the Mark of the Beast? for example).
I had big plans initially! I was going to write articles - think, catechetical opinion pieces. I was going to have Questions & Answers. I was going to have YouTube videos, a podcast, and frequently updated social media channels!
What it ended up being
I'm not sure if you see the initial problem, but now that I write it out it seems pretty plain to me: I bit off a lot more than I could chew! I didn't really know where to start, so I started with the podcast.
Interviews seemed to do well, and it was fairly easy content to produce. Line up a guest and a topic, and let a natural conversation flow, and see where we went.
It was successful, people enjoyed it, and before I knew it I was getting ~300 listeners an episode! I was even able to monetize with ads for a while, which resulted in the podcast being able to pay for its own hosting (something that is still happening, despite my not running ads in over a month)!
The idea of putting together questions and answers, building out a full reference library for the Book of Concord, writing articles, and even remaining active on the actual LA Twitter, just seemed kind of pointless.
So, with that, Lutheran Answers became the name of a podcast where people chatted about theology and never actually answered any questions.
I actually kicked around the idea of changing the name of the podcast, or even giving it up entirely.
I enjoyed it, though
I really liked podcasting, though. And I still like the idea of having a Lutheran response to things like Catholic Answers and Got Questions and whatever Ken Ham is doing in Kentucky or whatever.
I think it's a needed resource and, when built up a bit, I think it could be incredibly valuable. Both as a catechetical tool and as reference material. For new Christians and old, and for those who are simply curious about what we believe.
Where We're Going
With all that in mind: I am moving forward with Lutheran Answers as a larger project - and yes, I'm keeping the podcast. Let's take a look at each thing individually.
Season 3 will begin airing in the Near Future. I'm planning on some big changes to the format of the podcast in general. Before I get into changes, here is what will be staying the same: Episodes will still be roughly an hour, and they will still air every week.
Don't worry, guests are staying! However, I'm going to enlist the help of a co-host so that I don't have to find an individual guest for each and every single episode. Instead, if there is no guest available, I can have a conversation with the co-host.
If you would like to be my co-host, please email me a little bit about yourself and we'll chat.
I still plan for the majority of episodes to have guests at this point in time (unless I get a great co-host that you all love and want more of). Except, instead of doing one-off interviews with a guest, I will book them for 2 to 4 episodes at a time.
Moving forward, the episodes will be focused. This means that guests, as well as myself and the co-host, will be addressing specific topics for each series, and each episode. Imagine if I had Bryan Wolfmueller on for 4 episodes to discuss eschatology - stuff like that.
With a lasered in focus and outline for guests, as well as the additional time of multiple episodes, we will be able to go in depth on very specific topics and provide quality, entertaining, and educational content for you!
I plan on posting a few articles a month. These will be more bloggy type affairs. They will provide insight on specific topics that are popular, or maybe require a higher word count to flesh out.
I will likely not be writing very many of these. The plan here is guest submissions for people who have written pieces on Lutheran Theology that they would like published.
I plan on doing more funny short-form video answers on the main youtube channel, as well as longer form videos. Perhaps even uploading the podcast content there so people can see the video if they want.
The reason I moved to the Ghost platform is the native membership option it allows. The platform itself is extremely extensible and I only have to pay the processing fees by my payment provider - which makes it better than Patreon or any other fan platform.
I'm also able to offer exclusive subscriber benefits such as premium courses and members-only content (videos, articles, and podcasts).
With membership and the Ghost platform comes the ability to deliver courses! Some will be free, some will not be. All courses will be available to paid members, and I'm currently working on the best way to release them individually as well.
If you didn't want to purchase a membership but still wanted access to a specific premium course that interests you, I want to be able to provide you with that option.
Right now I'm looking for a co-host, and plan to start recording guest-led series episodes in the next few months.
The next big thing for me is courses. I'm currently planning and writing out my initial course.
Video content will start alongside the podcast
Article content will begin in the very near future. If I receive a submission, it can go live pretty quickly (though I won't start writing out long form content myself for a little while).
Members-only content starts in 2024. I'm still working out some of the details and will be improving and changing the exclusive content as I receive your feedback. My apologies in advance if the first month or two of premium deliverables kind of suck.
Q & A section will be going live in mid to late December, with the goal of answering one or two questions a week.
I'm very excited about the future of Lutheran Answers. I started wanting to really do more in July of this year, and began planning earnest around late August. I'm thankful that you all have kept up with me this far, and I hope I see you around in the future!
Please leave a comment below with any suggestions of things you want to see, people you want to hear from, or how you think I could make this better!