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Glenn Goodwin
Air Personality

When Christian Radio Is Misused and Abused



Yup, you read that right, the title of this article is entitled 'When Christian Radio is Misused and Abused.'


You may think to yourself surely THAT can't be happening can it?  I mean, it's Christian radio, and isn't it there to spread the Gospel and be a light in a dark world, and a safe place for the family and not have to worry about all the crap that is part of 'the world'?


Well sure, Christian radio is there for all those reasons and many other great reasons. I mean, I've heard the stories about how listeners have tuned in to Christian radio at the exact right moment and heard the exact song at the exact time that they needed to hear it.  The times that someone had a gun and was ready to take their life, or had just experienced a loss of a loved one, or were going through a divorce, or a great depression, or some other life altering crisis.


Those are definitely God moments when that happens and are very much a part of why Christian radio stations exist, if not some of the most primary reasons.


But just like mainstream radio or any other high profile business, it is run by humans. We have all fallen short, and thank God, He gives us grace and mercy, because we need it just like the worst criminals on death row.


Ok, so radio is cool, right?  Radio is fun, right?  Most of us that are in or have been in radio would definitely say yes to those questions.  There may be caveats about it being difficult in different areas, but that's ok, because it is still cool and fun.  And don't forget that you were called into Christian radio, so it's all worth it in the end.


So those that are in Christian radio are part of a ministry, and with that we are looked up to.


Ok, now that I've said all that, let me point out a few areas in which I would like to caution the Christian radio employee, to the misuse and abuse of the Christian radio medium.


The areas that I want to focus on are that of the on air personality. With this role we are to engage the listener, connect with them, walk with them so to speak, and share our life in a way that is relatable, approachable, and real.

Cool, that's what it's about to be a personality.

Here are the things that I want to caution you about: with that role it is easy to allow yourself to become somewhat of a 'star'. That's understandable. That is what a DJ or air personality might become in most other radio worlds. But here is the kicker, we have to keep reminding ourselves who the real star is.  Are we the ones that the listener originally tuned in for?  Or based upon what we've covered here earlier, is it about something other than us?  I think we would all agree that it is about God and His purpose, and we are just the vessel God is choosing to use. A vessel to enhance what God is doing through the ministry of Christian radio. And thank God that you are allowed to be a part of it.  So I would mention to you:  be mindful of why you are doing what you do.  Is it for your ego?  Or is it for the Kingdom of God?  Do you get a 'high' when in front of people because they are praising you for what YOU do, or do you take joy that God is using you to make a difference for Him?  Keep these things in mind. Check your ego at the door....daily if necessary. Let's not misuse or abuse the role in that way.


The other point that I would like to mention is in being a radio personality, real life is often some of the best show prep. I get that, and the listeners appreciate that open honest diolague.  It creates trust and a relationship with the listener through the air personality, and that is a good thing.

Now here comes the misuse and abuse: there is a line when real life can hinder the common goal. When you start sharing your personal needs and wants, you must be extremely careful. It's ok to share a little, but when your listener starts to become a resource for YOU, then the roles just reversed.

I've seen it happen.  This is not why the air personality is there.....or at least it wasn't initially. Nor should it ever become that.


If you as a personality have shared your own needs in a way that listeners feel compelled to reach out to you to give you something without the station's involvement, then guess've just misused or abused your platform. Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't you there to be used as the vessel to help God's greater purpose, and not yours? 


If I said to my listeners that my car has broken down and I need $500 to get it fixed, and a listener contacts me to 'help me out', should I reap the benefit that others can't just because I have a platform that they don't?

What about things like: I need a new washer, I'd love a (insert favorite sports team) hat, wow- I'm hungry, donuts would be so nice.

A couple of these May sound a bit extreme, but also dropping hints to your listeners is a big no no in my book.


If it's important enough to need help with, then talk to your station manager or owner, or maybe better yet your friends and family.  And don't forget that God knows our needs and cares about our needs, so don't forget to talk to God first.


Let's keep our focus on why we started working in Christian radio in the first place.


What do you think?


If you would want to chat about any of this, feel free to reach out to me.  :)


Glenn Goodwin is a radio veteran of Christian and mainstream radio and has served in many roles including marketing, promotions, on air, operations, and more. You can reach him at


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