I have been in radio long enough to remember the days when there was only one radio station in a city that played CCM (Contemporary Christian Music). As a matter of fact there were only a hand full of cities that actually had a CCM station. A city thought they had arrived if they had a CCM station and a Christian bookstore that sold CCM.
We thought we owned the city if we were the only Christian station in town. How dare someone think they could put on a second Christian station on the air in our city. It didn’t matter how good or how bad a station was, if they were on the air the unspoken rule was no one better come into their market.
Over the last two decades that unspoken rule has been broken. It’s not uncommon to see two, three and even more Christian stations in one market. In Nashville we have three CCM stations, all the same format and of course we have a couple of other Christian stations that have various formats. Multiple Christian stations are the norm in markets across the country.
We all claim that we are fighting the same battle, have the same mission, we are all part of God’s Kingdom, until someone comes into our market.
I’ve watched over the years where stations don’t talk to each other in the same market. I’ve seen stations walk to the opposite side of the room at CMB in order not to talk to each other. I have seen some stations actually hate the competition across town. It’s like we want to win our community to Christ but if someone else tries to, it offends us.
I get the fact that the other station if non-profit will take a piece of the pie or hurt our ratings and because of that we are not able to sell the amount of sponsorships we once were able to. I get the fact that you have to work harder at making your station better. I think at times we freak out because we wonder if we can maintain our budget and yet at the same time that just stinks of no faith in God providing for our station. I just don’t envision God pacing back and fourth in heaven because a third Christian station signed on in your town. He can provide for your station and the others.
Instead of listening to and complaining about the other guys across town, how about praying for a unique vision for your station. Pray that your station can make a huge impact and also pray the station across town is able to do the same thing. It’s time we begin to act like brothers and sisters. Take time to have coffee with the station across the street. Lets get on the same team, winning people for Christ. How much more do you think God will bless your station when you start behaving more like Him? The Bible says, “they will know you are Christians by your love”, how much love are you showing those other believers?
Just for kicks, what if that CCM station across town caused you to do a much better job? Perhaps iron does sharpen iron. Who wins? Your community has better Christian radio and better Christian radio will win more people to Christ. So at the end of the day everyone wins.
So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.