Christian Radio In The Age Of Trump

Dear Christian Radio,

The volume is loud. I’m pretty sure we’re “pegging out the needles.” There’s rhetoric from both sides. So many are screaming that no one can hear anything.

Welcome to America 2017.

If you haven’t noticed, America is divided. Beyond that, the American Church is divided.

You fall on either side of the division. You have opinions. I mean, you’ve probably shared very convincing memes on Facebook in an effort to persuade 386 people that your way is the right way. But for those of us in Christian radio, there’s a bigger game at play.

We stand in the middle of both sides of the Church as they’re busy shouting at each other. For the most part, both sides of the Church love us. Both sides listen to us. Consider that for a moment…the Church, divided over a president and his policies, finds common ground at our radio ministries.

We have a megaphone during one of the most divided periods in American history. The question before us…“What shall we say?”

Before we tackle that big hairy question, we need to deal with a few facts:

Fact 1: Not only is America divided, but the American Church is divided. I’ve already stated that the Church is divided, but it bears repeating. Part of the Church believes that the kingdom ethic can only be so pervasive until the return of Jesus. The heart of their argument, whether it is acknowledged or not, is that only Jesus can truly build the kingdom on earth.

The other half believes the Gospel ethic should be lived out no matter the situation, or cost, and that there should be no separation between church and state.

Sadly, the Church isn’t calmly discussing it. We’re screaming at each other.

Fact 2: The TV news networks are doing all they can to keep the ratings they had during the election season. Yes, this is true. The cable news networks want to cover every decision, every executive order, every protest and confirmation. Why? They enjoyed enormous ratings during the election season. To keep those ratings, they’re trying to make a non-election season feel like we’re at the ballot box every single day. This adds to the fuel that is burning in our culture.

Fact 3: What is happening across America and the world requires a Gospel-solution, not a government one. I’m sure I’ll get a few emails on that, but that’s okay. We are broken, flawed, selfish, sinful people. We cannot build a perfect government. There is no such thing as a perfect leader. We cannot craft or pass perfect laws. But we do have a perfect Savior who loves imperfect people perfectly. He can make lives whole. He can bring families together. He can bring purpose and unity to communities.

So, Christian Radio, what should we say?

Say this: “I am not enough.”  

Get off the I have to be good enough treadmill. Jesus is our only hope.

Don’t be shrill when you say it. Don’t be preachy or condemning. When on the air, we should simply share stories of our own shortfalls and failures and how Jesus rescues and forgives. Present yourself to the world as broken and Jesus as the solution. Be kind in how you present the truth. People connect with honesty and redemption. Be honest and point to the Redeemer.

Say this: “You are loved.”

While the two sides are yelling at each other and sounding as if they hate one other, someone needs to tell both sides they are loved. That’s your job. They need to know Jesus loves them, because both sides feel hated by someone.

Play the good songs. Share stories of common grace. And point to the good things Jesus does through His people. Most people, even those who are married, rarely have anyone tell them they’re appreciated, believed in, or valued. That’s also your job.

Because we’re created in His image, because Jesus died for us, we all have value.  We are loved. Say it again, and again, and again. And, for the record…thanks for reading this…and remember…you are loved.

Finally, say this: “Help us change the world.” 

Photographer and Christian speaker Jeremy Cowart recently shared this with me…

The world will never criticize us for living out the Gospel, but they will if all we do is talk about it.

Instead of going on the air with an opinion about the President or a policy decision, invite your listeners to help you change the world through a campaign to collect diapers for a local crisis pregnancy center. Partner with World Concern to cure kids in developing countries through its 44-Cent Cure campaign, or find a local rescue mission that feeds and houses the homeless. Then, invite listeners to join you by volunteering or helping to raise support.

Whatever you do, don’t just share the Gospel; live it. When you do, people who were once yelling at each other will end up standing side by side to serve meals, collect diapers, or cure kids.

Maybe…just maybe…God created Christian radio to help remind the Church that it needs to be the Church.

Dear Christian Radio…

  1. Presidents and policies come and go; our message does not.
  2. Your listeners need to be reminded that they’re loved and valued.
  3. Don’t join the fight. Rise above it. Lead your audience to make a difference.

 

The world doesn’t need our opinion. It needs our help. Remember…Easy Never Changed the World.

#ENCW –

Brian Sanders
Executive Vice President
Positive Alternative Radio

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