The 2022 new year brought a new venture for two Indianapolis pastors: podcasting. Rev. Matt Lipan is the pastor of Gateway Community Church of Fortville, and Rev. Alex Hershey is the pastor of The Branches UMC in Plainfield. Together, they launched “” where they have “conversations about theology, culture, and rock ‘n’ roll.”
The two pastors met over 15 years ago, first connecting at Annual Conference. They have had different journeys, though parallel in many respects. Matt leads a campus that turned into a solo church which merged with another congregation. Alex leads a nine–year–old church plant. Each found in the other a welcome conversation partner for talking about faith, theology, culture, and music.
A podcast is something the two had considered for a few years. “Once we realized that it meant that we’d get to talk to each other for an hour each week, we went for it,” joked Alex. Each show is recorded over Zoom before it is processed and published online.
The duo wanted to create a conversation that anyone could join in, not just pastors. “We’re just normal dudes talking about theology, culture, and rock ‘n’ roll,” said Alex. The podcast has an approachable feel, as if you were sitting down with friends to laugh and talk about real life questions in equal measure.
Matt shared, “We’re just two friends hanging out and having fun doing it. We thought maybe other people would enjoy being part of the conversation. Maybe they will think about their relationship with God and Jesus in some way they haven’t before.”
The show is broken into three segments: theology, culture, and rock ‘n’ roll, which are topics that the pair are most excited about.
“We love talking about God. We love conversations that lead to understanding the transforming power of Jesus. We want to be aware of and present in our culture,” said Matt. “And rock and roll is just so good,” added Alex. While they each have their favorite rock and roll artist (Pearl Jam for Matt; Wilco for Alex), they think of it broadly as music after the 1960’s.
So far, eight episodes have been released. The episodes have touched on topics such as online church, the Super Bowl, Lent, and the impact of the pandemic on faith and Church. They’ve interviewed people like John Wesley scholar Rev. Dr. Isaac Hopper in Fort Wayne and Tim Johnson, pastor of Pfrimmer’s Chapel in Corydon.
A theme of transformation is a thread that weaves through all of the episodes. The pair expressed dismay about the way Christians can be known too often for what they are against rather than what they are for.
Matt and Alex hope this podcast can be a way to articulate a different way modeled after Jesus’s Way, and that it invites listeners into an accessible conversation where they can encounter Christ and be changed. They also hope that the podcast can introduce people to some really good rock ‘n’ roll, too.
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