Heaven on Earth. It’s more than one of the best pop songs of the 1980’s. (Shot out to Belinda Carlisle…my brief fifth grade crush). Heaven on Earth is something many of us long for and work towards. Even though what we know about Heaven is tiny compared to its true nature.
There will be streets of gold, right? So should we start filling the planet’s potholes with it? Heaven on Earth will mean no more poverty. No more racism. Adios to war. And a radio dial filled with amazing music and talent! Seriously!
If we’re all about making Heaven on Earth happen through our outreach efforts, through our charities, and through our churches, then why not also imagine what a Heavenly radio dial might look and sound like? Just a hunch: given the diverse nature of Heaven’s populace (that whole “people from every tongue and tribe” thing), the current Heavenly choices on the dial won’t be enough.
It’ll be like when you take those long drives in the middle of nowhere and you scan up and down the FM band. In ‘Murica, those long-drive-scans net you Country station after Country station, with an occasional Classic Rock, NPR, or K-Love outlet to break up the monotony. (Obligatory “I love K-Love” mention! Actually, I do. Great product. Great people. Also, I love your station.)
Translate your rural FM scanning experience to a Heaven on Earth radio dial. As things stand today, you’d hear The Fish. WAY-FM. K-Love and/or Air1. Some preaching/teaching. Maybe a few legit local stations playing the same music you already heard on WAY-Fish1-Love. (That’s the fantastic mega-CCM station you get when you stir the big dogs into a Heavenly Christian AC gumbo.) Also on the Heavenly radio dial, if you’re lucky and the reception is just right, a rimshot or translator doing something a little younger or niche’ or adventurous than CCM as we know it.
In other words, if Heaven on Earth (or us in Heaven a billion miles from Earth) were to happen now, your radio choices would be limited to a dozen varieties of vanilla. By the way, that’s no dis to vanilla or to CCM/Christian AC. Vanilla is my favorite ice cream flavor (well, French Vanilla) and I’ve been a CCM fan since shortly after Belinda Carlisle captured my heart for a minute. Vanilla goes well with lots of things and makes billions happy, but it’s not everyone’s favorite flavor.
So why not start offering Earth more flavors NOW? Why must our planet’s radio dials have every evil flavor of entertainment imaginable but only a few flavors of Heaven? You’re already hard at work bringing Heaven to other parts of the planet. Why wait to bring it to more ears in your market?
If I’ve struck a chord and you’re raring to go, get to it! You can stop reading now. I was hoping to end it here, but if you’re still reading, maybe it’s because you need more convincing. Or you haven’t finished eating your lunch at your desk yet and this is mildly entertaining for you.
Obviously, the reason most hesitate to take that next step is numbers. Mainly revenue, and possibly ratings. Christian AC is one of the very few somewhat “safe” options when it comes to attracting operational dollars and gathering large audiences. And I get it! Who doesn’t want safety and certainty?
The problem with that is I can’t find many places in the Bible, or in modern life, where God calls us to do the safe, certain, predictable things. And our definition of success is vastly different than His. We measure by numbers; He measures by faithfulness. Your next radio venture may NEVER be “profitable” or even break even. Do churches ask their outreach ministries or youth groups to be self-sustaining? Or, is it more likely most churches have youth groups and do outreaches because God put it on somebody’s heart? Ministry isn’t business. It’s, well, ministry.
Are we radio stewards being as faithful and bold in our faith as we can with the resources and properties He’s entrusted to us? Or are we the guy in the parable of the talents who hedges his bets and hides his master’s cash underground?
Don’t take this as encouragement to launch a station that will appeal to 0.0000185% of your market. Do take it as a nudge to consider what role you can play in transforming your local share of the radio dial into something that reflects Heaven instead of hell. And when you do it, make it happen with a Colossians 3:23 level of excellence. Thank you for your time. And perhaps for your ice cream.
Mike Couchman is the Program Director at KLJY/St Louis and BOOST 101.9 in St. Louis. He also does freelance work with the SOS Radio Network based in Las Vegas, Solution FM/Bangor, Maine, and Smile-FM in Michigan. Prior to all this he was part of many mainstream Top 40, Country, and Christian stations in Denver, Detroit, and most of Michigan. Reach Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org…