New HCJB President Ready to Share Christ with World

The new president of one of the world's oldest broadcasting mission groups emphasized bringing Christ to the world's unreached people during his inauguration speech last week at a church in the ministry's hometown of Colorado Springs.

Wayne Pederson, the new head of HCJB Global, reaffirmed the group's mission priority of bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who have not heard of Christ through the group's media and heath care ministries.

"My life was changed at 16 when God called me to serve Him," Pederson told the crowd of about 200 HCJB Global staff, nonprofit leaders, partners and friends at Pulpit Rock Church in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Jan. 29. "My life mission for years was to use Christian media to bring people to Christ. Now it's using media and healthcare to introduce people worldwide to Christ."

Prior to taking the helm of HCJB Global, Pederson was vice president of Moody Broadcasting in Chicago. He previously also held leadership positions at Christian Music Broadcasters, National Religious Broadcasters, Mission America Coalition, and Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minn.

During his speech, Pederson spoke about HCJB's more recent ministry model that emphasizes training nationals to minister to their own people. The model focuses on "planting" local radio stations and helping medical partners in mission fields around the world.

"We're moving ahead. Global missions has changed from a North American-European model to moving alongside indigenous partners," Pederson said. "We are striving to be the Voice and Hands of Jesus - the proclamation and demonstration of the love of Christ."

"Radio is changing," he added. "We now have more than 350 stations planted around the world. National indigenous staff members have been trained to operate those stations in more than 100 countries, broadcasting in more than 120 languages. And our healthcare ministries provide not just physical but emotional and spiritual care."

In Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, for example, there are currently 30 partner stations broadcasting the Gospel, Pederson pointed out. HCJB plans to help "plant" local radio stations and increase the number to 200.

"I saw some of these local FM stations manned by local believers who know the culture and are already there, using high-tech computer software," he said.

HCJB Global board chairman John Baugus said Pederson's many years of broadcasting and leadership experience will help guide his vision for the ministry.

"But the quality that rose to the top is that Wayne is a godly servant leader with a heart for HCJB Global," Baugus said. "He will extend our vision more than ever."

Pederson's top 10 priorities for HCJB Global are: effective use of new technologies; program formats geared to those under 25; strong recruitment efforts to the next generation; agile decision-making; lean infrastructure; emphasizing the Voice and Hands of Jesus; human crisis response teams; reaching households and communities; strategic alliances with Christian organizations; and an innovate financial model.

"The task is not finished," Pederson declared. "There are still 6,700 people groups - a quarter of the world's population - that haven't heard the gospel message."

Founded in 1931, HCJB Global has combined the use of mass media, healthcare and education to help make disciples of Jesus Christ around the world. Today HCJB Global has ministries in more than 100 countries and, together with local partners, airs the gospel in more than 120 languages and dialects.

Pederson became HCJB Global's seventh president on Nov. 1, 2008.