WHY STORIES

Dear Christian Radio…

Stories are the oldest way for people to pass the time and stories allow us to communicate and connect to each other. Sharing stories is the fastest way to build relationships, break down walls, and bring people together. Stories don’t just pass the time, they help us communicate purpose, important information, and even inspire our listeners to believe. This is why stories matter.

1) When someone knows their story is being heard they begin to realize they matter.
When someone starts to share their story, listening should be your number one priority. That person is wrestling with fear and doubt while trying to build the courage to tell you something big. Their story is a piece of them that they are about to share and the last thing you need to be is distracted.

Taking the time to really listen to someone’s story shows that person that you think they matter. You could be doing a thousand different things, but in that moment nothing is more important because someone has chosen you to be the one to hear their story.

2) More powerful than the songs we play, are the stories they create.
Each song we play has written dozens, if not hundreds, of narratives in our listener’s lives. The songs are powerful because they are rewriting the stories we’ve written for ourselves.

Listeners will tell themselves…

I’m not good enough…
I don’t look right…
I’m not smart enough…

These are just a sampling of the false narratives Christian music helps to erase. The songs we play counteract those lies by telling the truth about how much we are loved…how we belong…and how we are chosen. When the truth is revealed, a story is created that will one day make its way back to us through an email, a phone call or a message on social media.

My biggest challenge is that I don’t become numb to those stories. After being in Christian radio for over a decade it is easy to hear a new story, shrug it off, and go about my day. I’ve had to check my heart time after time. Each story is unique and special to the teller because God did something just for them while they were listening to your radio station.

3) Stories cut through all the background noise.
Now, more than ever, there are so many distractions coming from all angles that it’s hard to hear the things that matter. This makes it even more crucial that we share stories that are real and express our vulnerabilities. When you have the courage to open up and share stories like that, you will drown out the background noise. Our listeners can tell when it’s real and when it’s not. By sharing real life struggles and truths you will connect with listeners in new ways. You will communicate values, build community, and help others make sense of their own struggles. Stories like that reframe hurt and suffering, as well as doubt and fear to help our listeners connect to the Gospel and live passionately for Jesus Christ. When you share your story you prove to your listeners that you are real and that you struggle just like they do.

In closing, we must lead the way and tell our stories first–only then will our listeners start to share their own stories. Those stories are the revenue by which we measure if we are doing our job well and living out our mission. So, after you share your stories make sure you are ready to listen.

Dear Christian Radio…

     1) When someone knows their story is being heard they begin to realize they matter.
     2) More powerful than the songs we play, are the stories they create.
     3) Stories cut through all the background noise.

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