For the last five years, I’ve worked for a wonderful mechanical engineering company here in Central Florida. It’s the best job I’ve ever had. The work is engaging and challenging, I count all the people I work with as close friends, and of course it pays pretty well.
But over the years, as I’ve devoted more time and energy to blogging, writing books, and speaking around the country, I’ve constantly had friends ask, “When are you going to this work full-time?” My usual response was, “Well, I really like my current job. I can’t see myself leaving unless something crazy happened, like if Fr. Robert Barron, my great hero, said, ‘I want you to come work for me.’”Well, about a month ago that fantasy became real. I received a call from Fr. Steve Grunow, CEO of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries. We had just spent the weekend in New York together with Fr. Barron, debuting our new film and study program, CATHOLICISM: The New Evangelization. We took separate cars back to the airport, and on the way, in their car, Fr. Barron turned to Fr. Steve and said: “I want Brandon Vogt to come work for me.”
So the gears began turning, and within a couple days, Word on Fire soon offered me a job. Kathleen and I spent several weeks praying about the decision. We knew it would be tough to leave my stable engineering job, which I enjoy, but this would also be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to follow my passions and work a dream job with people I deeply admire.
So this weekend, I flew up to Chicago to speak with Fr. Barron and Fr. Steve. We hammered out the details, and the result is that I’m the newest (and most excited) employee at Word on Fire.
For friends and family unfamiliar with Fr. Robert Barron, here’s a sampling of his work (you can find more at WordOnFire.org):
I don’t officially begin the new job until Monday, November 4, but my mind is already racing with new projects, initiatives, and ideas. Per the job description, here are some of the things I’ll be focusing on as Content Director:
- Obtain, organize, and manage Father Barron’s Word On Fire content.
- Develop a comprehensive schedule for digital publishing and distribution.
- Establish and maintain relationships with digital and print publishers who feature Father Barron’s Word On Fire content.
- Research and develop new content and products, particularly new and innovative study programs that utilize print as well as digital platforms and new media.
- Research and develop the existing Word On Fire blog.
- Manage and maintain StrangeNotions.com under the aegis of a Word on Fire partnership.
We already have several other big projects in the works, too.
Overall, I couldn’t be more thrilled. You simply can’t match the tremendous honor of having your great hero seek you out, invite you to work with him, and spend your days doing things you love. Also, I’ll be able to work remotely from Orlando which means we don’t have to leave family and friends.
Taking this new path, and giving up a nice job, undoubtedly brings uncertainty. But then again, so do all great adventures. And that’s precisely what makes them worth taking.
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door. You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
— Bilbo Baggins, Lord of the Rings
Below you’ll find the press release Word on Fire posted this morning:
Father Barron’s Word on Fire Catholic Ministries hires Brandon Vogt as Content Director
The popular blogger will lead the way spreading the global ministry’s message
Father Robert Barron is pleased to announce Brandon Vogt will be joining his team at Word On Fire Catholic Ministries as the new Content Director. Vogt is one of the leaders in the Church’s efforts to evangelize the culture through the use of the new media.
As Content Director, Vogt, 27, will oversee Word On Fire’s efforts to distribute Father Barron’s message as widely as possible. He will explore the most effective means to disseminate it primarily, but not exclusively, through digital media and create initiatives that engage the ever evolving media landscape.
“Brandon Vogt is one of the shining lights of the New Evangelization. His creativity, enthusiasm and intelligence are but a sampling of his many gifts,” said Father Barron. “I am delighted to have him join our team and contribute to our mission of introducing people to Christ and inviting them to share the gifts he wants all to enjoy in his Church.”
Already a popular blogger, author and speaker, Vogt recently worked with Word on Fire writing the faith formation study guide to accompany Father Barron’s new DVD series, “CATHOLICISM: The New Evangelization.”
Word on Fire CEO, Father Steve Grunow, added, “Brandon’s accomplishments on behalf of the New Evangelization are many and his efforts have already had a significant impact. His work with us will advance our ability to evangelize the digital space and provide Father Barron’s content to more and more people.”
Vogt is the author of The Church and New Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops who Tweet and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in theology at the Augustine Institute. His work has been featured on NPR, Fox News, CBS, EWTN, Our Sunday Visitor, National Review, and Christianity Today. Brandon and his wife, Kathleen, have three children and another baby due in April 2014.
“I’m thrilled to join forces with Fr. Barron and Word on Fire,” said Vogt. “Father Barron is one of my great heroes and as Content Director, my hope is that I can spread his remarkable work to millions more people, and help devise new and creative ways to evangelize the culture.”
Father Robert Barron’s Word on Fire Catholic Ministries is a nonprofit, global media ministry that produces compelling and award winning documentaries, podcasts, sermons, YouTube videos, and books to draw millions of people into or back to the Catholic faith, renew the Church, and change the culture.
Father Barron is the founder and chairman of the ministry and the Rector/President of Mundelein Seminary. He is the creator of the award winning documentary series, “Catholicism” and the recently released documentary, “Catholicism: The New Evangelization.”
Learn more at www.WordonFire.org.