From 1975 to 2004 I worked for New Life Media in a variety of
capacities; including 17½ years as their Network Director for Radio
Ministries. In July of 2004 we took on a new assignment and moved
to Des Moines to help pioneer a new station (Life 107.1/96.1) for
Northwestern Media. We are truly blessed and grateful to be a part
of the Northwestern Media Family and the incredible team at Life
Personally how do you keep the ministry in the “business”?
think it’s as simple as – put God first! Matthew 6:33. So for me
it has to do with having both a personal mission in life and a
corporate mission – to reach people for Christ! I am grateful that
I have worked for organizations (New Life Media & Northwestern
Media) whose focus has been on changing lives for Christ and being
good stewards of the resources God has given us.
2. Overall, how is Christian radio different today, from 5 years
In my opinion, it’s amazingly different and better! Specifically -
stations are utilizing proven radio concepts and principles to
impact their markets. We have affordable access to music research –
(thanks to online testing) and we are doing less “contesting”
and more target-friendly & focused promotions!
3. What do you think are the main characteristics of a Christian
Today’s GM is less of a “manager” and hopefully, more of a
leader! He or she should be passionate about the purpose of the
station, the product (on-air/programming) and the potential you have
to make a difference for Christ in your community!
I also believe you must value your staff! Never take them for
granted; give them opportunities to grow AND reward success.
Last, but not least – servant leadership is demonstrated
leadership; it’s about being willing to do whatever it takes – from
taking out the garbage to staying late to participate in a station
remote or event!
4. What ways or methods do you think work best to keep your staff
For the most part it’s fairly simple – after a living wage; make it
a habit to catch staff doing things right; express your appreciation
often; recognize they have a life outside of work and surprise them
with an occasional gift certificate or by letting them go home an
hour early. And always bring Starbuck’s coffee for staff meetings!
5. What kind of promotions work best for Christian radio?
I think the best promotions today have three common elements –
1. It must be simple to enter and/or easy to participate in. (She
has a life and doesn’t want to spend a lot of time figuring out our
2. The benefit is for others – not your station and not even
3. It is something “she” cares deeply about; or has a
heart-felt connection to.
6. How do you think Christian Record labels can better serve
I’m thrilled and grateful for all of the support and help we’ve
received at Life 107.1; I’m not sure what they could do to better
serve Christian radio.
7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian
I think that many of us would say funding and new
technology are our biggest obstacles. As for funding (assuming
your product/programming is on target) keep focused on your mission;
keep telling the stories of changed lives and encourage your
listeners to recognize the opportunity before us to reach people for
New technology is not something we should fear, but as we are
able, embrace! Having said that, my encouragement to station
leaders would be - don’t worry about being on the “bleeding edge”
but set your sights to be on the leading edge! I would also suggest
that you don’t take on more than you & your team can effectively
handle! New technology done poorly is of no benefit to you, your
listener or your station!
8. What do you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio
Aside from what we often hear – be timely, relevant and thoughtful
in your presentation. My personal opinion (and concern) is that
while more and more stations sound mechanically correct (music,
imaging, liners, voice talent, etc) they are devoid of personality
and if we aren’t careful, we will only sound slightly better than a
9. What (if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as
There is the usual list of stations in major markets – but honestly,
the good news is - there are more & more stations in small & medium
markets that are innovative too!
I am grateful for the innovative & supportive people in my life – my
wife, Jayne; co-workers Reid Holsen, Dave St. John & Dr. Paul Virts;
John Frost and friends, Chuck Pryor & Paul Anthony!
10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
I’m encouraged to believe that you will still “hear” Christian radio
in 5 years and it will be better than ever before!