Local Christian Radio – an Untapped Power? [Part 1]

20130415-173024.jpgIt always amazes me how many local churches who want to do better with evangelism, influence the community, reach more people – do not take advantage of the most powerful evangelical tool which is right on their doorstep – the local Christian radio station!

From years of discussions with local pastors and church-attending Christians I have found that most do not think that the local Christian radio station is a ministry. For example, they feel it is nice to have a Christian radio station, but they don’t understand the evangelical effectiveness of it. Part of this problem is a lack of understanding about how media works – particularly how media influences people and culture. The other part of the problem is understanding the place and purpose of Christian radio.

Media influences culture – and it does so very subtly, yet effectively.

Media will not often tell you directly what to wear or think or say or do. But it will tell you a story which presents you with a thought, an idea. These stories are designed to trigger something in your mind which sets you on a path towards changing your thinking and activity. Consumers of media are influenced by the messages in these stories because they are presented as entertainment, not philosophy. The subtle messages presented through media can change the world-view of individuals, and over a generation culture and law.

So what is the place and purpose of Christian radio?

In church circles we are all used to farming metaphors – so let me use one to help explain the place of Christian radio in evangelical activities. Christian radio works before the seed is planted. It prepares the ground so that it is ready to receive the seed. Radio works on the mind and spirit of a person prior to their first step towards Christ. It puts the nourishment into their spirits and uplifts their minds so that they are ready to receive that first spiritual seed.

Christian radio assists with opening hearts and minds to be ready to receive Christ.

I also like to compare the local Christian radio station to an army going to battle. Imagine the local church is God’s infantry, working on the front lines, battling and striving against the enemy to get the gospel through to people who need freedom. – A good army knows they also need the air-force. Christian radio is God’s air-force, providing air cover for the infantry, clearing the way ahead of the troops to make the battle easier to fight and enabling victory. (Christian radio literally broadcasting across the air.)

It’s a real shame that the local church does not often take full advantage of their local Christian radio station. The radio is not trying to compete with the church, but rather to partner, resource and grow the local church. Consider that the average weekly listener-ship of even the smallest Christian radio station out in Whoop-whoop, is larger than many big city churches!

So if you’re with a church who wants to do better with evangelism, influence the community, reach more people – it may be time for you to call your local Christian radio station and take advantage of that powerful evangelical tool which is right on your doorstep.