By Jamie Shafer
Emmy award winner Scott Swan anchors the noon and 5:30 p.m. newscasts of Channel 13 Eyewitness News—WTHR in Indianapolis. He has landed exclusives, such as being the only Indianapolis reporter to interview former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson in his home. He won the National Edward R. Murrow Award and two National Headliner Awards, plus three regional Emmys for his work during the London Summer Olympics.
Swan has been sharing breaking news in the spotlight for years. However, he shares his own personal story with smaller audiences when he has the opportunity. It’s a story about God’s love and how he pursues us with unfailing grace. And God always gives us something new to report about his faithfulness.
Waves of Doubt
“I became a Christian when I was 12,” shared Swan. “But Christ didn’t become my Lord until my 40s.” Swan said he went through a 10-year period of battling panic attacks from his mid-20s to mid-30s, which created an obstacle to his budding career in the media. He had to leave his TV career for a time. He found himself angry with God for not answering his prayers.
Eventually, the panic attacks began to subside. As he continued to pray, God made a way for him to return to TV news, and doors continued to open. Swan said it was the invitation of a friend in 2005 that truly helped changed his life; he was asked to attend a 48-hour retreat with Lamplighter Ministries, Inc.
“It was a friend in a small group that invited me, and I looked for any reason not to go. I was a lukewarm Christian.” Swan said he wondered what he could really learn about God in a two-day retreat.
But to his surprise, he walked away from that event with a stronger faith and a new perspective on God. “I experienced the depth of God’s love for me, and his grace and mercy became real to me. I felt like my heart has been filled since I went through this ministry.”
Faith in Action
After receiving so much, Swan feels compelled to help others. He serves with Lamplighter Ministries in various capacities.
“The most satisfying years for me spiritually have started with serving. For me, it has been serving in Lamplighter ministry in whatever way I can. That is something I think is extraordinary about how God can work. God ministers to me every time I serve.” For other Christians in the workplace he challenges, “Jump into whatever ministry you sense God leading you to or one your friend invites you to.”
Swan said that his job is exciting, and he loves what he does on a daily basis. But it’s his faith that truly anchors him in the workplace. “It’s a daily challenge,” he said. “I spend a lot of days writing stories filled with bad news. It’s my faith that defines me and sustains me.”
He said that even something as simple as music has been transformational in his life. “Often at work, I have my headset on, listening to Christian music. It’s the fuel for my day. God speaks to me through the lyrics and fires me up. It encourages my heart.”
Over the years, Swan said it has been interesting to see how God opens doors for him to share stories of faith. He just tries to be available and focuses on serving and learning more about God. Swan hopes others will be open to the people around them in the workplace.
“God’s got us placed in the workplace to have an impact on those around us. I have friends who do mission work, and it’s great that they affect change in places around the world. But there are ways that we can affect change for God in the workplace. We run into people on a daily basis who need the hope of Christ. Also, the people I can talk to through social media or at the grocery store, those are touch points for me to have a positive influence for Christ.”
Jamie Shafer is the communications director at East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. She and her husband, Eric, have two children.