Christian Radio

This blog has been established to talk about Christian Radio (the industry) and to encourage those who are working in the industry. I would like to talk about news, music, programs and whatever else comes up. My goal is to get listeners and the professionals to talk about the issues to help make the ministry even better and stronger. Tell all you know about this blog.

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Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States

I'm the Executive Director of Mission Network News, a broadcast network servicing more than 900 radio stations in North America, New Zealand, Eucuador, Romania and Moldova

Friday, May 27, 2005

Bible vs Quran

I have been contemplating the desecration of the Quran, alleged in Newsweek. Obviously, they have retracted their story and yet Muslims continue to riot. It's amazing to me. I just read an article today that says, "there were five incidents in which the Quran appears to have been mishandled." Do you know what they're calling "mishandling"? Simple TOUCHING it, or placing it on a television. Not flushing it down a toilet. Not shredding it, but touching it…just moving it from point a to point b.

I wish the world would have the same outcry when we heard this week that Saudi Arabia shreds Bibles when they're found in luggage as people go through customs. I wish the world would get upset when they hear that Bibles are being burned by Muslims in Iran. I wish the world would get angry when we hear Christians are being imprisoned, why??? For worshipping Christ in their own home with family and friends.

What a double standard. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. The Bible says this will happen. But, this simply means we as Christians need to be more vocal about God's word and Christians need to fight Biblical illiteracy that's rampant through the church, especially here in the United States.

What do you think?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Politics anyone?

I don't think I've ever gotten political on this blog, but I'm going to this time. I think most people know my political bent. I've never been very quiet about my conservative views. So, you'll probably won't be surprised at what I'm about to say.

I can not understand what the moderate mindless Republicans were thinking when they bowed to the pressure of the minority Democrats and brokered an agreement that would yield to the Democratic party. One Senator, who said filibustering the judicial nominees was unconstitutional, was one of the few that brokered the deal. These people have no convictions. They ought to be ousted from the Republican party. I can almost guarantee that those Republicans will face a stiff challenge in the next primary. I steal a line from a well known political commentator, "They found defeat out of the hands of victory." They're the majority. Why would they do this? I just don't understand it.

The other thing I don't understand is why the Republican lead house voted to relax the rules on stem cell research. They have a president the was elected with a clear mandate (receiving the most votes ever in a presidential election) and then they deal him a bill like this?? I can't believe it. This will be the first time the President will veto a bill. Thank God for a man who has a spine.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Getting ready for summer

With summer approaching, MNN is gearing up for coverage of some pretty important stories. In July, I'll be heading to India with Gospel for Asia to look at the affects Christians have had on tsunami victims there. I'll be providing coverage on MNN, but I also hope to provide MP3's of my reports for use by other stations. Write it down, the trip begins July 17th.

Then in early September, I'll be traveling to Beslan, Russia for the anniversary of the terrorist attack on the school in Beslan. I'll be traveling with Russian Ministries to get reaction from the people there, but also get an update from Christians on how this tragedy has given them more opportunities to share the Gospel.

Midwest National Religious Broadcaster will be July 13-15 and I'm taking my entire staff. I'm looking forward to that.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Interesting survey

http://www.radioink.com/headlineentry.asp?hid=128845&pt=inkheadlines

The above link has some interesting information about listening habbits. I'm not sure what this means for Christian radio. I wish there was someone out there that could do a survey on Christian radio listening habbits. Focus in on the P1, P2 and P3 listener. I think Christian radio listeners are different that your typical radio listener.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Christian radio getting better?

A few weeks ago I received an email from Barna Rearch that made me wonder a number of things. I was reminded of it today when I came in today. A friend e-mailed me, wondering if I had seen this.

He writes:

"If Christian radio is getting better, why aren't more people listening? This is from a Barna report dated March 14, 2005. Have you seen it? http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdate&BarnaUpdateID=184


The total audience for Christian radio, however, has declined from 56% of the adult population in 1992 to its current 46%. While population growth has muted the effect of that decline, the bottom line is a net loss in listeners over the past 13 years. The research shows that the loss has been mostly among the non-Christian audience, which has dropped from 42% of the listening base in 1992 to just 28% today."

If this is true, then non-Christian Christian radio listeners aren't listening as much as they have been. Why? Is it because we're now sounding more like everyone else that they don't stop and listen? Is it because the vast majority of non-believers just don't want to hear Christian radio and they shun it completely?

This is only an opinion, but my guess is because the Gospel has been watered down by so many Christian radio stations that the power of God's Word isn't as visible, thus it doesn't attract people. They just stay away because there's nothing special to keep them listening. What do you think?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

I wonder about who's coaching

I've received a couple of e-mail invitations recently about announcer coaching. One conference is having one-on-one critique sessions. Midwest NRB will having talent coaching by Christian Music Broadcasters. What type of coaching will they be receiving?

I'm not saying announcers don't need coaching. While Christian radio is getting better, I think we all need coaching. But, my question is, are they getting the coaching they need to be better CHRISTIAN broadcasters (which I consider a higher calling).

Yes, there are some people that just attract people to them. You know the personalities. For me, it was JP McCarthy at WJR in Detoit. He was the most well read, informed, involved, communicator I knew. At least that's what you believed. I've always tried to emulate him. Obviously, News-Talk is a format that doesn't 'fly' in Christian Music Radio these days. But, that type of announcing is needed in Christian radio today. Someone who's well read, involved in the community, that can communicate the Gospel in a way people can clearly understand.

The nuts and bolts are good, but what you do with them is what's important.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

"Working" radio

By the title, I bet you're thinking that I'm going to talk about working for a station station or network. Well, that's not really what I'm talking about. I'm talk about other's 'using' radio to further their mission.

I truly believe we as Christian broadcasters have a responsibility to make air-time available to groups who really need it. I'm not talking about the groups who can afford to pay for it. I think if they can afford it (even for non-commercial stations) they should contribute to keeping the station on the air. But, I'm talking about organizations that are doing great work, but are so small paying for air time would mean not able to keep a radio station on the air, an orphan fed, or telling someone about Christ.

Here are just a couple of examples:
1. Little Samaritan Mission. They help more than 10,000 orphans in Moldova. The government respects them so much that they've given Florin Pindicblaj special creditials to help him get in and out of the country (through customs). Those credentials also give him more credibility in talking with orphanage directors and others who work with these needy children.
Little Samaritan also has 13 Christian radio stations in Moldova proclaiming the gospel. Not only are they working in Moldova, but they also have 18 radio stations in Romania, Florin's home land. He also has licenses for eight more, four of which must be on the air in June. He needs $22,000 to do that.

Who's helping them financially with no strings attached? Nobody. He's trusting the Lord. Not only are they JUST holding on, his wife is now dealing with cancer. What a load he's carrying.
He could really use your help, with no strings attached. If you're looking for a project to help children through their 'Face of a Child' program or putting Christian radio stations on the air, please contact me.

2. For Haiti with Love is another group that's been largely forgotten. They do one thing; help the people of Haiti. It's an incredibly poor nation with such spiritual needs. They're also going through sickness. The founder, Don DeHart, is very sick and could use your prayers. The organiation need funding to send food and medicine into Haiti. As they do this, they're able to share the gospel with those who are hungry physically and spiritually.
If your station is looking for a service project. These two ministries could really use your help.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Global Day of Prayer

What an event. I wish all churches would have participated in it. The Global Day of Prayer was incredible. I've never been a part of anything like it. It was like a slow moving river, circling the globe.

If you're not aware of what happened, 250-million Christians form 150 nations gathered to pray for global transformation. It wasn't a one day event. It's actually a beginning. 11 days ago, Christians began praying 24/7 for global transformation. Then the Global Day of Prayer actually became the day in which Christians we encouraged to transform their community first, and then reach out to the rest of the world. It was patterned after Acts 1-2 and what happened at Pentecost.

If you haven't heard some of the audio, go to http://media.gospelcom.net/mnn/interviews/GlobalDayPrayer2005.mp3 and listen to some of the reports from around the world. It was great! I wish every church would have participated in some way. What a wonderful concert of prayer it would have been. I know there were a few radio stations that covered the event, KCBI is just one example. Thanks for doing that, guys.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Arbitron Numbers out...do you care?

I was sitting around the lunch table today and the topic of Arbitron came up. For those that don't know, that's a "measuring stick" of sorts. It helps radio stations get an idea of who's listening to their radio station.

Many more non-commercial Christian radio stations are receiving these numbers. Many claim it's a 'tool' to help them figure out how they're doing. My question is; what determines how you're doing? Is it if you have more listeners than you had the previous quarter? Or, is it if you're seeing more people come to Christ or seeing lives changed because of your ministry? Or a combo of both?

I'm not so sure this is a good guide-post for Non-com radio. I'm not saying we shouldn't be doing good radio. I'm all for that. What I am concerned about is that we're so worried about getting more listeners we water down the 'ministry' part of radio for fear the gospel will offend some of our listeners. Since many non-coms have access to Arbitron reports (because of the consultants they've hired) Christian radio may be heading in that direction.

Does your station use Arbitron? How do you use the information?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

While I'm on the topic

You know what I can't stand? A radio station that says they have a 'news room' when in reality they have nothing but an AP computer sitting in one corner printing out stories they print out at 5:30 am and read the same story over and over again. Why waste the time?

This morning I was listening to a radio station that aired a network feed for two minutes and then broke in with 'the latest news' from their news room. Unfortunetly for this 'news room' they failed to watch television or monitor other radio stations. Had they done this they wouldn't have continued airing a story about looking for a suspect that had already been found by police on the other side of the state.

Just goes to prove, a good news department makes the radio station. It's a very important part of Christian programming.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

More stuff

Ever noticed how just about ALL radio stations are 'family friendly'? There are so many. I was recently traveling to South Carolina and I listened to just about every Christian radio station between here and there. I must have heard a dozen 'family friendly' radio stations. I think it's good there are so many, but it seems like radio stations would want to tell people what makes them unique.

What makes music stations unique? What makes combo stations unique? What makes your station unique? I think all groups need to know what makes them unique and focus on it.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Good day in radio

I guess you could say it was a good day in radio. It's always a good day when you can add a radio station, prepare for taking your news to another level and ad funding to what you're doing at the same time. Well, that's what's happening these days here at MNN. It's great to be a part of this animal called Mission Network News.

Here's what's going on:
1. We hope to be translating MNN (daily scripts) into Spanish in June. That actually begins the process of of seeing MNN's full broadcast into Spanish by 2006. That would be a great answer to prayer. We're currently working out a plan to raise money for that project.
2. We're working with a group in Colorado Springs that could do the same in Korean. This is huge as per capita, Korean believers are the largest missionary sending group in the world.
3. We're currently on 950 radio stations, on networks in New Zealand, Romania, Moldova, Ecuador and more I'm sure.
4. Our web site is averaging about a half-million page views every month.

And people say missions is boring. It's great! I can't immagine doing anything else.

Thanks to all of you who have a part of this.