As a former network news guy, I was delighted and grateful to read this profile of another journalist whose faith matters.
Great stuff here, via Tony Rossi and The Christophers:
ABC News’s Paula Faris seemingly had it all. A great husband, wonderful kids, and high-profile jobs as co-anchor of “Good Morning America’s” weekend edition and co-host of the daily talk show “The View.” But Paula also felt overextended, as if God was telling her that she needed to step back from some of her professional commitments.
She didn’t listen to that still small voice, however, until she endured a self-described “season of hell.” Now, Paula has not only achieved a better work-life balance that allows her to enjoy her family more, she has also created a new podcast that allows her to feature conversations about faith in a mainstream media venue.
During an interview on “Christopher Closeup,” Paula recalled that in 2017, she reflected on her life and realized that her family was taking a backseat to her career: “They were getting the leftovers – the rest of me, not the best of me.” She discussed stepping away from her jobs at “Weekend GMA” and “The View” with a network executive, who told her, “You’d be crazy to do that.”
Paula said, “I allowed fear to paralyze me from doing what I knew was right, from doing what I felt that God had pressed on my heart: to take a step away from these two assignments and refocus my priority compass.” Then, her “season of hell” began.
Read on to learn what happened — and how it led her to creating a podcast for ABC News, “Journeys of Faith”:
“The genesis [of the podcast],” said Paula, “is my own personal faith. It’s been my rock, my glue, my foundation. It has kept my marriage together. It has pulled me through the most difficult and trying times…So that was really the impetus. Secondly…as a journalist, I recognize that if you mention Jesus or God or Allah, we cut that from the interview. I don’t want that to happen. That’s why we created this. It’s to give people a space to talk about something that’s deeply personal to them and something that they’re very passionate about. So thus, ‘Journeys of Faith.’”
Though Paula is a lifelong Christian with an eclectic background that includes Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, and Pentecostal influences, her aim isn’t to proselytize or even talk only with people who think and believe exactly as she does. That’s evident from her guest list, which includes Tim Tebow, country singers Luke Bryan and Hillary Scott, as well as atheist Sam Harris and Muslim scholar Reza Aslan. Why that approach?
Paula said, “Jesus was out there talking with people that didn’t see eye to eye with Him. He was with the worst of sinners, and yet having conversations – even some tough conversations…This is me sitting down and listening or respecting somebody else’s faith and where they’re coming from, and also showing them, hopefully, the love of Christ in me as well. But we can agree to disagree, and we can do so respectfully. I think that as a society, we’ve lost the ability to do that. And as Christians we’ve really lost the ability to do that. We tend to just sit down with people that think exactly like us. It’s an echo chamber, so to speak. I’m finding personally – not just professionally, but personally – [that through] these conversations with people that I don’t see eye to eye with, I’m growing…And I think you will earn people’s respect if you just sit down and engage in a conversation with them, and show them the love of Christ. Really, that’s the calling, isn’t it? To love God and love people. We overcomplicate it. That’s what I’m trying to accomplish here.”
There’s much more. Check it out.