The first sentence of this was going to read, “Pursuing a large cume is quite possibly unscriptural.” I was going to use the example of Jesus (because that’s what we do to support very bold and foolish statements.) I was going to bring up that fact that after Jesus fed the 5,000 (some estimate that there were as many as double that in attendance) that His next message to the crowd was (paraphrased) “You’re only following me because I fed you and you want me to do more things like that and satisfy your temporary need. Try this on for size…eat my flesh and drink my blood and then you can be my followers.” The crowds left Him. Quickly. That was gross, Jesus.
If I had been a disciple, I would have been confused. Why would Jesus deliver such a divisive and polarizing message? Why would He say something so, well, unsafe for the family? Did He realize that there might have been children listening? Didn’t He realize that saying stuff like that was no way to build a larger audience?
I think Jesus knew exactly what He was doing. He wasn’t concerned with getting more people to listen to His message. He was focused on doing the will of His Father. Where I would have wanted to see if we could have gotten an even bigger crowd next time, He was more interested people counting the costs of following Him.
All of that is well and good but it has nothing to do with Christian radio so that’s why I’m not going to say something so outlandish and preposterous as I had planned.
Thank goodness I didn’t say all of that.
According to recent research, only 9% of Christian adults have a biblical worldview, yet we have more Christian radio listeners than ever before. Yikes…and why?
When we talk about great companies and what makes a great brand, we talk about distinctives, strategies and objectives. Whether they are known for not being open on Sundays so their employees can spend time in church and with family, providing their users with a seamless and almost magical experience between software and hardware, or setting the standard for premium coffee shop enjoyment, great brands are known for being ABOUT something and almost always it’s not about what you think it’s about. It’s not about chicken, semiconductors, or coffee really. It’s about something much deeper.
What are we ABOUT in Christian radio? Are we about getting more listeners, getting more donors or getting noticed more?
It seems like some of the best brands have the attitude that the more they stick to their guns about their values, even if their values tend to go against the grain, the more impact they have. We may have more listeners than ever before, but how much impact are we having on Christians, let alone, the culture?
Why did God put you in Christian radio? Why does God allow you to have access to the hundreds, thousands or millions of listeners that He has entrusted to you? What purpose does God want you to fulfill in your work in Christian radio? What impact does He want you to have? It might go deeper than getting more cume, more donors or more attention.
Let’s make sure that we are about what He wants us to be about.
Paul Anthony is currently with WAY-FM in Nashville, TN serving as Regional Director of Donor Relationships. He is the former manager of WAY-FM/Wichita, KS and prior to that was with WIBI-FM. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.