In the 35 years that I have been in and around the business, we have grown so much. Recently, I have been listening to Classic Christian 24/7, an online station, featuring artist from early Imperials to Twila Paris and Joe English. While their message was great, the production quality today is so much greater than it was then.
In my travels, I have heard Christian Radio stations in about 45 states. Many of them do a good job, but I think there is a danger lurking, and it’s not production quality. We are in danger of becoming narcissists.
We are in danger of self-focusing so much that it eradicates both God and His message from the picture. Missing this means that we will pay a horrible price in the future. The American Heritage Dictionary defines narcissism as “A…condition characterized by self-preoccupation”. We may be approching that in Christian Radio.
We must focus on Jesus. I can hear some of you slapping your forehead saying, “well Diz has lost it, he’s become a crusader”. Nope. Far from it. I have had my share of hate mail and hate calls from people that questioned my salvation, my knowledge and even the marital status of my late parents. Therefore, I cannot count myself among the well-termed “crusaders”. But I do count myself among those that see a warning sign. An indication that Christian Radio is in danger of veering off track.
In the last few years, we have learned to focus on “Becky” or “Susan” or “Lisa” with increasing acumen. We know how to talk to her, how to play her favorite music and how she likes to listen. Yet historically, leaders show us that they follow their own “drummer”, they have different levels of creativity than many do. How many of us knew we needed an iPod or iPad before they became available? How many needed air conditioning before Mr. Carrier perfected it? Who wanted Facebook for that matter? And for that matter, how many needed Christian Radio before the first stations came on in the 1970s?
Could it be that we need to lead “Becky” instead of following her?
You see God doesn’t need Christian Radio. But He can use it. He doesn’t have to reach “Becky” with the proper programming elements and highly researched music. He can reach her right where she lives on a daily basis with a still small voice. But He can use Christian Radio to reach her and lead her to a place that she may think she doesn’t want to go.
Right now, I think Christian radio is in danger of reaching out to the narcissists in our midst: those that are concerned only about their daily walk and about their situation. Even Jesus knew that we were mainly concerned about ourselves when he gave the second greatest commandment in Matthew 22:39, “love your neighbor as yourself”. But that comes after “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” in Matthew 22:37. I think our job as broadcasters is to help “Becky” recognize His voice when he calls and to help prepare her for action, and to help her help others come to know Jesus.
You see, the reason some stations have reached a plateau is that they have focused on the second greatest commandment first. Those that are succeeding in touching their communities are those that are lifting up Jesus first, that are loving God first. Technique cannot beat heart and commitment. Bad technique can quench some of what God is up to, but His heart will shine through. I think we can have heart and technique to be the broadcasters of abundance that we want to be.
So how can we help?
I am proposing a new consulting paradigm. Lazarus Communications Group has been around for over a decade. In that time we have seen Christian Radio soar in reach and ratings. But we are not seeing it soar in influence in the respective communities. Why? Focus. Pure and simple.
So, Lazarus Communications Group is revising our goal. In the past, we have said that our vision is to “take people from where they are to where God wants them to be”, but God has shown me that this is a result of His leading and vision. His purpose for us is to “Enhance the Body of Christ through Media”.
We will use several different means of doing this. In addition to programming and owning our own stations, we also plan on doing several other things:
Traditional Short-Term Consulting
Several of our clients have prospered from this. We mainly concentrate on three things when we are doing traditional short-term consulting: management of staff, programming, fund-raising and board enhancement. We usually do this on a one-time, week-long basis.
We enter into no more than six-month contracts with our stations. In this mode, we become much more in-depth, but the station retains control. This is akin to having several of the nation’s leading Christian Radio experts in house. We will teach management, leadership, programming, fund-raising, vision casting and hospitality, a key in any listener-supported station.
This is much like our long-term consulting, as we do not enter into long-term contracts here, but our fee is based on improvement in the bottom line. So, the fee up front is less with a possibility for growth in the future for both your bottom line and ours. We have been working in some areas on a contingency consulting basis for several years.
We Pay You Consulting
In this, we do much as we have stated above, but we enter into a Local Marketing Agreement (LMA) basis. As such, we guarantee a certain income for the station, and we manage the station completely using your vision with the insights we can bring.
So, want to know more? Fill out the feedback card on the site, and we will get you started being a more “Abundant Broadcaster”