Don't Let YOUR Goal Be THE Goal
June 6, 2014
by Jeremiah Beck/GM
88.7 The Cross/Monroe LA
It's generally a question that anyone associated with a non-commercial radio station wants to know:
"How do we compare to [insert perceived successful station name]'s fundraisers?"
I never like to answer that question directly; I prefer to talk about what the "other stations" seem to do well, and how a fundraiser is really the audience responding because of what happens all year, instead of just during the month leading up to, and during, your event.
Therefore, the objective for your ministry shouldn't be "reaching the Sharathon goal."
The goal should be impacting lives for Christ all year, and doing the deeds the Bible instructs us to do.
The term I've used for years now is "The Indispensability Principle." Find out what your listeners care about, the issues that are in need of an injection of effort and hope, and champion the cause while helping (notice I said helping, not "taking over") those organizations or individuals who understand how best to effectively engage. Volunteer for the thankless jobs. Pray with them. Help them with their marketing (we're supposed to be "experts" at that, right?) In other words, serve them, as often as you can, in the places where the needs are great, and give your listeners and those organizations the credit for any progress that is made (yes, God gets the glory, obviously. That's a given, but I figured I should overtly state it to avoid an impending Jesus Juke private Facebook message.) Talk to them on the air like they are your friend, pray with them, treat them like they're important (don't just act like it, but actually care. You'll have a lot of calls that won't make good phoners. That's OK) and do all of that between their favorite songs of encouragement and worship. Therefore, when you ask for their financial support every year, or six months, or every month in a letter or email, they'll have a hard time imagining what their lives and their family would be like without you. If they can imagine it, then it's clearly such a negative (in their mind and in reality) for them and the community that they will view you as indispensable.
The audience will respond because of what God is doing in their lives, through your staff & the music, throughout the year both on the air, and almost more importantly, in the community. You can begin to view Sharathon goals being met as a symptom of a healthy station -- not a metric for success. Instead, our "success" will be how many lives we're impacting, how many needs we're meeting, how many prayer requests we respond to and most importantly, how many times the Gospel is shared effectively.
The financial outpouring can be seen for what it really is: a blessing from God, through His people, to continue the work that we've proven faithful to start, and persevere at. Your goals should be His goals, and when you couple that with an organization like Share Media, trained to help you ask for help in the right way, and teach your staff how to do it as well, you'll find that the goal is more likely to be met while you were busy caring about the stuff Jesus cares about. It's about as simple as Matthew 10:42, Matthew 25:36, and James 1:27 ... with a little 1 Peter 3:15 for good measure.
Finally: stop comparing yourself to other stations. God has you in place to do ministry in your area the way He called you to do it for your people with your staff. Seek God for your vision, and be true to it.