I began my broadcasting journey at a
small AM station in a Minneapolis, MN suburb back
in 1978 where a friend of
mine and I bought air time for a weekly CCM
music show. Since
then I have been blessed
to work at stations in MN, IA, MD, FL, and now GA/SC at WAFJ. I have
hosted mornings and afternoon drive, done promotions, music, and now
sit in the GM's chair. Most of the stations I've worked for have
had a Christian format. I have been blessed to see God use Christian
music to impact people's lives in lasting ways.
Personally how do you keep the ministry in the “business”?
Those that know me know that one of
my favorite words is
All have it available, few embrace it. The
truth is that we do what
we want to do! It takes purposeful, prayerful intentionality to stay
ministry focused personally -
It has to start with me, before I can help direct the station and
our on air messages and
presentation . It begins
with my personal time with the Lord. I know VERY quickly when I am
trying to make things happen on my own. Without
the focus being on ministry, we have nothing lasting or valuable to
offer our listeners.
2. Overall, how is
Christian radio different today, from 5 years ago?
There continues to be an increase of
quality music. The focus on worship music continues. There is a ton
of fantastic young talent. I am
not sure if we're
making forward progress in terms of radio's reach and impact. With
all of the music delivery platforms available including HD, our
distinctive continues to be our message of hope and a
life complete through
Jesus Christ .
We have the ability to
touch our audience- through personal contact,
prayer, and involvement in the communities we serve. Never has it
been more important to intersect regularly with our listeners!
3. What do you think
are the main characteristics of today’s Christian radio PD?
Vision, flexibility, teach-ability, personal spiritual
growth, humility, a good ear for great songs, a heart
to serve the station's staff and listening family plus
a real love for people .
4. What criteria do
you require for a song to be played on your station?
That's a lot like
asking "What makes a great piece of art?"
Here are some of the
things I look for:
1) Clarity &
relevance of the message
Sing-along-ability (ok, maybe not a real word, but you know what I
4) Current mix of
5) The heart of the
6) Production value
7) How does it make me feel?
8) Song tempo &
9) Is it happy and
10) I definitely ask
for the Lord to help me add the songs that will be of most impact
to our listeners .
5. What kind of
promotions work best for Christian radio?
*Those that involve
the listener in reaching beyond themselves.
*They need to be
memorable. (It's best when it's something the listener can't get
to understand and easy for the listener to participate
* It should be fun for the
participants and those who just choose to "listen in" from
the sidelines as well.
6. How do you think
Christian Record labels can better serve Christian radio?
I think they're
doing a terrific job and are
dedicated to their mission. It
seems to me that there are too many new "unproven" artists
being pushed in to the spotlight. Some more "seasoning"
would be a good thing. I love having lots of great music to choose
from, but I also believe that "less is more". Do we really benefit
the industry, our stations or
listeners by having 65-70 new releases every 4 weeks?
By the way, I always want to have
the lyrics available. Please always post the lyrics of all
7. In your opinion
what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?
Small vision, and
perhaps a lack of original ideas. It's so much easier to copy an
idea than to create one. I think at times we still struggle with the
"We're just the Christian station" second class mentality and are
apologetic instead of pro-active in our communities. Too often we
value activity (busyness) over worthwhile accomplishments and
don't value the the time necessary to pray, dream, brainstorm and
seek God's vision and mission for our stations. I believe we have
enough tools to impact people under our signals profoundly but don't
frequently "seize the day" when it comes to opportunities. Often we
lack visibility. Keep in mind the folks under our signals will not
come to us, we need to choose to go out and intersect with people
where they're at. Yes, it takes time, effort and intentionality
(there's that word again) but it's worth it!
8. What do you
believe is the primary role of the Christian radio air personality?
To serve God and
share the gifts God has blessed you with.
On the air the
primary role is to be an authentic friend to the listener. We
need to remind listeners that Jesus is Lord and that real life can
only be experienced through a personal relationship with Him.
Additionally we're often the connecting point between the station
and the faith community.
9. What (if any)
Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators today?
I am sure there are
many stations that are leading the way in terms of technology and
finding ways to be good stewards of the platform God has blessed
them with. There are some that are known within the industry as
leaders including KCMS, KXOJ, WPOZ, The JOY FM, KLTY, KSBJ, KTIS,
WMIT, as well as KLOVE, and the WAY FM networks. I rejoice when I
hear about the good things God is doing through these stations, They
certainly encourage us to do all we can with all we have for God's
glory! Even as I say that I am reminded that the measure of our
station's isn't industry recognition, but faithfulness to God's call
in the market(s) you are called to serve in, whether or not others
(outside of your market) ever hear about your station. Be faithful
to God's call where you are! (Colossians 3:23).
10. Where do you see
Christian radio in 5 years?
I pray that we are
all faithfully serving the King and anticipating Jesus'
return! I prayerfully believe that our stations will be embraced by
more and more people. I also think we will choose
to use emerging technological platforms available to us and
become more and more accessible to people in ways that reach
beyond our air signal coverage .
Whatever happens, I am confident that the Lord's plans and purposes
will accomplished. I pray that we'll always be open to what HE has
in store for us. It's a great time
to be alive! I am thankful the Lord chooses to use us for HIS plan