We have been told for a long time now that we need to tell our listener’s stories on the air. Why? Why do we share those awesome stories?
To answer that question, you might have to ask a couple of others to help get you to the answer. When do you share those stories? In what context do you share those stories?
How we answer those questions may lead us to our motivation behind doing it.
Years ago, radio ministries would have things like “Letter Month.” They wanted you to write to the ministry and tell them how that ministry affected your life. Oh and “be sure to include the call letters of this station.” Their purpose was to answer the question, “Is anybody listening?” They were also trying to evaluate what radio stations were having the most impact for them and, more often than not, it was tied to the support that ministry received from that radio market.
I think it started innocently enough, though. I am sure that God used a ministry to radically impact someone’s life. They felt compelled to write to the ministry and share what God did through that ministry. The ministry probably shared it with their staff and praised God for allowing them to be a part of what He was doing. They may have included the story in the next ministry newsletter…accompanied by a self-addressed envelope.
It’s a common strategy…use stories to raise funds.
My guess is that your station tells the most stories during pledge drives and that the rest of the year stories are always followed up with a reminder that “these stories only happen with your support of our ministry.” I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with that as long as we remember that these stories, first and foremost, are testimonies to what GOD HAS DONE. If our first response is to look at how we can use that story to fund-raise, then we are missing something very important. Sharing these stories should be more about giving praise to God then about giving our toll free donation number.
Let’s remember, as we head in to fall fundraising season, that God is doing some amazing things in people’s lives and every story is an opportunity for us to thank Him and praise Him first.