by Michelle DeRusha
As leaders and staff at the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Omaha, Neb., considered how they might make better ongoing use of technology to connect with new people, Kroc Talk was born and debuted at the beginning of this year.
Kroc Talk is live-streamed the first Wednesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. (CST) on the Kroc Center’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. The show offers a welcoming space for people to dig into questions about faith, explore scripture, engage in dialogue and navigate the gray areas of life. Each episode features a specific topic and guest, and viewers are invited to participate in the conversation by adding comments or questions to the thread during the live broadcast.
The show is hosted by husband and wife team Kevin and Tami Boesiger who bring a wealth of experience to this new endeavor. Before coming to work at the Kroc Center as the arts and education director, Kevin was in ministry for 27 years, first as a youth and music pastor and then a worship pastor. Tami led women’s Bible studies for more than 20 years and is now a licensed independent mental health practitioner at The Core in Omaha. Their desire is to present God’s Word with truth and grace.
“Kroc Talk is intended as a comfortable place for people,” explained A/Captain John Gantner, senior Kroc Center officer. “This is a great opportunity for people to ‘kick the tires’ so to speak—to find out what Jesus is all about, to ask hard questions and engage in challenging conversations in a non-threatening, welcoming way. Kroc Talk is a place to begin.”
“We consider everything we do at the Kroc Center to be ministry, from our fitness programs to our art and music classes to our Bible studies,” said A/Captain Tracy Gantner, Kroc Center officer for program development. “Kroc Talk is one more way to minister to people.”
The show is broadcast live to encourage real-time interaction between viewers and the hosts and guests. “We want to engage people,” explained Kevin. “It’s a new opportunity to connect with people who maybe aren’t comfortable stepping into a church or aren’t really sure how they feel about different things.”
“This is dialogue and discovery,” added Tami. “These are conversations where we can learn and grow, even while not always agreeing. Society is not served if we all back into our corners with our opinions and we lock them down. Kroc Talk is an entry point for those conversations to happen.”
The February topic was peace; the show in March focuses on loneliness and isolation.