Daily stories about everyday life experiences that connect people to God is the stock in trade for Joey Faucette, pastor of First Baptist Church in Danville.
Two years ago he
organized a ministry to further that cause.
By Neth Walker During the summer of 1999, Joey Faucette officiated at a wedding at First Baptist Church in Danville, where he is pastor.After the wedding Bob Ashby, president of Piedmont Broadcasting Company in Danville, expressed his desire to have lunch with Faucette.
At that lunch, Ashby offered Faucette
the opportunity to use his radio stations in any way that Faucette saw fit.
...Faucette, who began his radio career at age 17 and worked as program director of a radio station while at Campbell University, did not know how to respond.
After several days of intense prayer, the Danville pastor says God "downloaded" to him the vision of Listen to Life, a daily 60-second radio devotional.
Listen to Life, formed in 1999, is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization Faucette
created to connect people to God by transforming life into a spiritual adventure.He
shares daily stories about everyday life experiences in relationships and families, stories relevant to the lives of his
"I struggle every day with most of the same life stuff you do," writes Faucette
in the foreword to a book of these devotional thoughts: "To love my wife and daughters in the ways they need, to pay my mortgage and other bills, to get meaning and purpose from my vocation as pastor of First Baptist Church
in Danville, and generally to stay connected to God by listening to life."Faucette
experiences as personal vignettes because people just love stories.He
also noted, "Jesus told stories about everyday life and that¹s what I'm doing.It's biblical in that regard."
According to Faucette
stories aim to teach his
listeners to search their lives for their own personal stories.He
believes that God has an intense desire to connect with all of us in an intimate relationship and seeks to grab our attention through life's little pleasures: sunsets, music, family.Yet we often ignore these little pleasures.Listen to Life seeks to connect us with God through these realities.
"There are some things in life that need our undivided attention, our ears, our eyes, and our spirits," proclaims the back cover of his
new book, Listen to Life with Joey Faucette
: The First Book."They demand that we listen.God speaks to us through these life events that seem innocent enough on the surface, but actually cradle God's spiritual desire to connect us with a love that¹s beyond our craziest dreams and wildest imagination."
And once we are connected, Faucette
adds, "Life becomes a spiritual adventure!God is everywhere at once, transforming your life into a spiritual adventure.You listen to your life and find God everywhere!"
molded the vision of his
radio show, he
knew that his
show must be advertiser-sponsored in order to pay its own way, thus making it accessible to commercial radio.According to Faucette
, the Listen to Life ministry tries to reach people where they are; in this case, on mass-market, general radio stations.Currently, two Danville stations, a news radio station and one of the nation's top country stations pick up Faucette's show.The show airs in ten states, including two stations in Alaska.Folger Entertainment Company serves as the national syndicator of Listen to Life with Dr. Joey Faucette.
"In the quality of programs that we are looking for, Dr. Faucette's
program fits right in with the category of positive, uplifting stories that he
tells.I have been quite impressed with the content and quality of the program.He
has a terrific writing style that is very appealing to an adult audience.The radio stations respond quite well."
After the radio show met success, Faucette
to Life to include a daily syndicated newspaper column that ran his
, who had written freelance for both religious and secular newspapers, had little trouble expanding the ministry.
A web site, http://www.listentolife.org/, also entered the multimedia fray.Carrying the current story as well as the previous day's story, the website offers the history, vision, values and other pertinent information to the Listen
to Life ministry.Faucette
regularly exchanges e-mail on the web site, communicating with readers as far away as Australia.He
noted of the Internet and its features, "There is a community being built on-line.It's not a traditional community, but it¹s a community nonetheless."Listen
to Life with Dr. Joey Faucette
: The First Book is the newest step in the Listen
to Life ministry.A compilation of 52 stories, the book continues the vision of the Listen
to Life ministry by connecting the reader with God's love through everyday stories.While the stories are short and meant to be read quickly, Faucette
hopes these stories will be read slowly and contemplated.Without a 60-second time constraint, he
expanded many of his
previous stories for inclusion in the book, which he
hopes will be the start of a series.He
hopes to finish another book in 2002.
In addition to the publication of the book, 2001 saw Listen
to Life expand by gaining recognition as a nonprofit organization.After clearing the Internal Revenue Service in only a few months, Faucette attributes the rapidity of the process, which can take as long as four years, to the hand of God.Faucette
also incorporated a Board of Directors to share the vision of Listen
to Life as well as add accountability to this unique ministry.
Beyond the radio, newspaper, Internet and books, Faucette's
ministry includes spiritual coaching through speaking and facilitation.He
also hopes to expand the ministry through video and nature-based retreat centers.
When asked about the future, Faucette
responded, "I try to literally listen to life and listen to God.God is authoring the plan and my role is to listen and to follow."
Although balancing a company as well as his
role as pastor may seem daunting, Faucette
believes the two roles augment and edify one another.First Baptist Church
, Danville, has recognized his
gift and supports his
ministry.In fact, Faucette notes that through their support they have taken it on as their own ministry.
to Life really enhances the ministry at First Baptist Church
," noted Faucette
."It takes what was already an excellent ministry and tightens the church with the community.People come to church who listen to the radio and read the newspaper.It takes it to the next level."
At the vanguard of new ways to conduct ministry and outreach, Faucette's
multimedia ministry reaches out to a visual culture, a generation raised on MTV and AOL