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I was sitting there in my office minding my own business when the phone rang. It was a casual acquaintance, the Reverend Mr. William Carey Wentworth. The obviously agitated Mr. Wentworth got right to the point. The news editor of CHRISTIANITY TODAY had refused to run his 2,300-word (unsolicited) story on the first annual convention of the Fundamental Fellowship of Independent Radio Evangelists, and, knowing that I’m acquainted with the editor, Wentworth appealed to me to intercede.
I assured him that the news editor was a walled tower of integrity and independence utterly immune to outside influence. However, realizing his need to verbalize his concern, I put on my best non-directive manner and said, “You feel this convention is of great importance to the Kingdom.”
“Absolutely, my good brother!” he said, snapping to the bait. “Why, it could have a profound effect on the preaching of the Gospel over the air waves for years to come!”
“Tell me more about it,” I said unnecessarily.
“Why, some of the greatest radio evangelists in the country were there! Some of those brethren are really sharp. We spent two hours in one session just discussing how to develop your own schtick.” He paused—expectantly, I thought.
“Schtick, my brother, is a show-business term for an identifying device,” he explained with a chuckle. “After all, with so many evangelists on the air waves you want all those good folks out there in radio land to recognize you instantly. A schtick can be almost anything. A musical device with a brass trio or a male quartet, or a catchy phrase or greeting that you always use to begin your program. Or even a folksy benediction. Anything that makes people say, ‘Hey, that’s W. C. Wentworth and the Good Time ...1
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