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Radio Interview


Rick Snavely


Family Life Network

Bath, NY



Rick's Career Capsule
I have officially been with Family Life Ministries for 32 years, however, technically I’ve been part of the ministry for my entire life as my father, Dick Snavely started the ministry in 1957.  It began as a Youth for Christ program reaching teenagers for over two decades before the ministry expanded its outreach to the entire family.

In the late 70s the ministry began looking at radio and in 1983 the flagship station of the Family Life Network, WCIK began broadcasting licensed to Bath, NY.  Today the Network has nearly 70 signals on the air throughout NY & PA.  Our theme continues to be “To God be the glory!”

I began overseeing the programming of the radio ministry from the very beginning.  In the late 90s I was moved to General Manager and in 2002 I was appointed to succeed my father as President/CEO of the entire ministry which has ministry departments for youth, adults, performing arts, and counseling along with radio.  My wife Sherri and I have been married for 31 years and have two grown children, Chad and Rachelle.

1. Personally how do you keep the ministry in the “business”? 

There are business elements to any organization as we seek to be good stewards of what has been entrusted to us, but frankly, it’s all about ministry!  If what we are doing is not being used by the Lord to touch hearts, impact and change lives, and strengthen the family unit, then we have no business being in ministry.  It’s not about numbers, it’s not about ratings, it’s all about doing the best job you can to reach more people for Christ and to bring Him glory!           


2. Overall, how is Christian radio different today from 5 years ago? 

There are some very good things.  The professionalism of many more stations is apparent.  There is a focus on doing things well and reaching more people.  That’s the good news.  A potential negative consequence of that is the “dumbing down” of Christian radio in that we can become so seeker-sensitive that we are not saying anything.  When “experts” are saying that we better not say too much about Jesus because it might turn away some prospective listeners then something is desperately wrong!  I love it when we run across people who love radio and want it to be the very best, but also love the Lord and want to use the tool that radio is to tell their world about the Savior!


3. What do you think are the main characteristics of a Christian radio GM? 

I look at the importance of my role in helping the staff keep its focus on the reason why we do what we do.  It’s easy to get caught up in working hard to do a good job, but it is so important to daily remember why we are doing that work.  I also have to be a cheerleader, seeking to encourage those who have been called to the ministry.  Making the work place enjoyable, fun, and challenging is part of what I need to do daily.


4. What ways or methods do you think work best to keep your staff motivated? 

Public acknowledgement is important.  I love “bragging” about the staff in a public setting.  I like to single out someone during a staff meeting and acknowledge something that they have accomplished.  One of the hardest things for me to do is to keep my hands off of things when I see that they aren’t going right.  But I’m learning that I can do more harm by jumping in and fixing the problem instead of letting the one in charge of it do the fixing.  Letting the staff have a say in big decisions that will affect them or their department is also very helpful in keeping the team motivated.


5. What kind of promotions work best for Christian radio? 

Promotions that connect with the audience and cause a greater connection with the radio station.  It’s not all about give-a-ways and contests, as fun as they can be, but doing things with your listeners that make them feel a part of what the ministry is all about.


6. How do you think Christian Record labels can better serve Christian radio? 

Diversify!  So much of the music that is coming out today sounds the same.  It appears that very few labels want to run the risk of providing something unique and refreshing.  Personally I love when an album comes out that is not totally guitar and percussion driven.  There’s something about full orchestration that is inspiring, but they are few and far between today.            


7. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today? 

Finding talent that is both qualified and has a passion for ministry is always a challenge.  Providing compelling content that engages the listener while balancing it with Biblical teaching that is relevant and uncompromising is essential though not easy.


8. What do you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio personality? 

Connecting with the listener by being real, friendly, and encouraging.  Sharing the love of Christ in a way that is relevant.  Speaking truth without being judgmental or pious.  Having fun and accenting the positive.


9. What (if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators today? 

Any station that is willing to step out of the mold and be creative without losing the focus of being used by the Holy Spirit to draw listeners unto Christ.       


10. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years? 

I think that Christian radio needs to address both the younger audience through cutting edge internet broadcasting and the aging baby boomers with quality inspirational radio.   Continually striving to be professional yet personal and ministry focused will always be our challenge!



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