“A man would do
nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could
find fault.” ~ John Henry Newman
I would love to be
perfect in everything I do on the air. When I visit with my co-host
I would love to have the perfect follow up line every time. When I
share from the heart I wish it wouldn’t pause for station
identification. When I open the microphone I want my brain to be
fully functional, not a quart low.
There was a time in
my own life where I worked hard to instill a sense of perfection
among everyone I worked with. My own family caught the sense that I
had greater expectation than frail dust was able to provide. Grace
was a great commodity for me, but it wasn’t always something I
thought others should experience.
I know, this is
supposed to be an article about broadcasting. I promise everything
will make sense in the end. Stick with me.
Maybe it’s the
economy, maybe it’s just what I came to conclude on my own, but we
live in a world of messed up people suffering from messed up choices
looking for less than messed up answers.
I have observed far
too many of the faithful who are fearful that if people knew they
were less than perfect they would be booted out of the church and
labeled, “Unacceptable”. Many churches are filled to the rafters
with people who indicate everything is fine, life is good, not a
care in the world, God is good, and I’m taking it one day at a time.
Inside, some of those people carry the stench of death.
Yes, we should
strive for perfection. We should want to be like Jesus with every
fiber of our being. We should make our lives a living love note to
the God who saved us, and refuses to abandon us – but we don’t do
that by lying to others – by lying to ourselves.
Do you think it’s
possible our listeners are tired of hearing air personalities that
seem to know the answer to every problem, have perfect lives,
children, spouses and church?
I think Becky,
Sarah and all the rest of your listeners are wanting to hear from
authentic individuals who admit they don’t know it all, but they
know who does – who suggest they have questions, too. They admit
some universal struggles and are willing to place themselves in the
role of the average listener.
Sure, we all want
to hear from those who have wisdom and insight into the issues we
face, but for radio stations this can be covered through short or
long-form programming from accepted experts in the subject.
Don’t get me wrong.
I’m not saying that I think you should live a sinful life so you can
identify with every listener – just admit your own humanity.
Strive for godly
perfection, but be honest about your own life. You don’t need to
know it all – listeners tend to resent it when they think that’s
what you’re saying.
Send along some
encouragement, but let some real life show through. It may sound
derogatory, but we Christians exist on an island of misfit toys. We
are all broken, we struggle, we have been hurt, and sometimes we
If your audience
can identify with that in you – and still see that God loves you and
works in and through you then hope might be the spiritual fruit of
And to think – they
heard it on the radio.
Some questions to
Are the staff
members at my station authentic? Why or why not?
Will the listener
relate more to someone who admits imperfection or one that will
never admit making mistakes?
Are we looking to
rescue the perishing or show off honor badges?
How authentic is
Do any of your
staff members remind you of Cliff Claven? Is that a good thing?
Hascall is station manager for KHYM and moderator of the Fellowship
of Christian Broadcasters email and Facebook forum. Winner of
multiple broadcasting awards including a Gold Addy, Telly Finalist
for documentary work as well as multiple state awards.