I've been in radio since Mother's Day 1972 which means that this year will mark 40 years in the wonderful world of radio. During those years, I've been a disc jockey, read news and sports, did some hockey play by play and even described the start of a dog race. Early in my broadcasting career I learned that my strengths were in advertising sales and promotions which took me to radio station management and ownership. But it's only been in the last half dozen years that I've really sensed that God's call on my life is much more than starting and then running a successful radio station.
As a Christian broadcaster / businessman, I've been able to connect with the business and faith community and the community at large in exciting and creative ways. I believe God has called me to be a 'Christian broadcaster ' and I believe He has even gifted me to fulfill that call. For many years I have not understood that call and was even confused about how to bring my passion for radio under His influence. Our creative Father has taken care of that with continual divine connections to the local business community, connections that have even been used to bring unity amongst denominations and unique opportunities to pray with and for businessmen.
Media plays a significant role in influencing and even shaping society. I'm a radio guy and for 4 decades I've recognized the power of radio because it really is ' theatre of the mind '. A small example .. a radio station starting to play Christmas carols in late November rather than starting a week later will impact how people begin to enjoy the Christmas season. A radio station playing our favorite Christmas carols will often bring back both fond or difficult memories of past Christmases. I realize that television and film technology can create many powerful images, some positive and some negative. But that creativity pales to what each of us have been given by God and exists 'between our ears'. There is not a film producer alive who can compete with the things we think about and these thoughts are often triggered by what we hear. The challenge I encounter is to get the organized church not to be afraid of the media but to embrace creative strategies and take advantage of the influence of media , particularly their local media.
In conclusion, as a Christian broadcaster/businessman, I know that God is using me personally and corporately with the Christian radio station he has called me to lead to 'make a difference' for His glory and honor in the province.
What is media and why is it important to God? Loosely, media is a combination of all industrial forms of mass communication. Because media impacts a mass audience, it plays a major role in what we think, how we respond individually or corporately and God is very interested in what occupies our minds.
>“Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – mediate on these things.” Philippians 4:8 When many of us think of the various forms of media that are readily available, this scripture would not come to mind. Media is rampant with bad news reports, tragedy, loss of hope and the bizarre. The anomaly is a silver lining to a tragic event, the element of hope or redemptive connection in the story which are a small percentage held up against the enormous media produced daily.
The Apostle Paul makes it very clear that what we focus on affects how we respond to situations around us and increasingly the media is playing a larger role in what we hear, read and see. With the increase of internet websites, growing TV audiences and no shortage of radio, magazine and newspapers, the “airwaves” of our brains as well as the literal airwaves of our nation are being filled with negative messages and in turn our souls absorb this negativity.
Even as forms of media increase and change, we are seeing the next generation grow up with the norm of the internet yet, this form of media is virtually untouched by ways of control or guidelines. We are now living in an “anything goes” media culture with a dramatic impact on us individually but also as a society. 73% of all Canadians age 16 and older are using the internet for personal usage with 64% regularly visiting news sites.
Media can be found at the root of many social and economic changes and is known to cause otherwise unimportant social and political issues to rise to the forefront. It has the power to make or break an election, changing individual views without the average person realizing the change came as a direct result of media influence. This is why prayer in the Media gate is crucial. The word of God uses the phrase “Good News” several times. Isaiah 52:7 speaks of those who “bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion “Your God reigns!”
Acts 5:42 reads, “Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ. Filling our airwaves with “good news stories” that speak about truth, justice, hope, and praiseworthy things will lead to a spiritual climate change. Good news conditions people’s hearts to the One who is good. The Lord knows the affect continual negative news has on a person. It will drag you into the mud, bring fear and immobilize you unless it is balanced with a message of hope or redemption.
When Goliath taunted the Israelites, he was really filling the airwaves with bad news reports. David stepped in and declared “This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand” (1 Samuel 17:46) and immediately defeated Goliath. It is important that we begin to release messages of love, faith and hope and so we need to begin to pray that His truth would begin to shine through in the media. This is not about deceiving people and reporting that we have no tragedy, but rather, reporting the news factually and ensuring at the same time that those receiving it are also receiving God’s message of grace, redemption and good tidings woven through it.
Because of the tremendous influence media has over a mass audience, it is hard to know where to begin to pray. Those currently working in media would be an excellent place to start because they carry a tremendous weight of responsibility and need God’s blessing, favour and wisdom. In Saskatchewan alone we have over 80 small community newspapers, two main newspapers, twenty-five plus local radio stations as well as hundreds of radio and TV stations via satellite and internet web sites. Now is the time to take back the airwaves for God and release his message of “Good News”.