CCM Coaching Tip #7: How To Talk About Jesus On The Air
January 8, 2016
by Tommy Kramer, KramerMedia.net
When John Frost and I were staffing "The Fish" station in Chicago years ago, John would ask prospective jocks, "How would you feel about working at a Christian station where you didn't talk about Jesus?"
The reaction was often...puzzled. A lot of people were downright indignant about it, saying "But that's the reason I got into Christian radio in the first place!"
We weren't saying you couldn't-or even that you shouldn't-but wanted to rule out people who only saw the radio station as a pulpit.
To be a really successful CCM station you have to remember that you ARE a ministry, but you're NOT a church. When people want church, they go to church. When they want Chris Tomlin, they go to you.
Now don't panic. Of course you CAN talk about your faith on the air, but just like you have to learn how to hold a golf club if you want to hit the ball, there are basic things you need to know. Unfortunately, not many people are teaching them.
So here are four guidelines:
1. Never say things like "God told me to (do something)..." or "The Lord led me to..." something. While the small percentage of "Crusaders" among your listeners might love it, the casual or new listener certainly may not, because  it smacks of an agenda, or  it can come across like "We're closer to God than you are." Sounding pompous is not one of our Core Values.
What you should do is say something like "It actually felt like I was being led to do this..." or "It was almost like I could feel what God had in store for me." That's a sharing of something deeply felt, but not framed as "God spoke to me."
2. Don't quote scripture to me unless it makes sense to do it, like in the course of an everyday conversation. When you use it as a weapon or sound like a theology professor, you're automatically talking down to the listener. Remember, SHE has the power. One click of a button and you're gone.
3. Use short, simple ways to show your faith. I remember being on the air at KLTY in Dallas and referring to something that someone had said that was in the news that day, adding "Look, I'm a Christian, so I just don't see it that way." The listener knew clearly where I stood, but there was no "holier than thou" risk. Another great phrase is "As a Christian..." which takes you anywhere from a specific point of view that your listener can easily bond with. It's all about the vocabulary.
4. Every single time you open the mic, consider the likelihood that right now-right this moment-someone is tuning in for the first time. If you strong-arm them with "Christianese" language, it's like she's walking into a café where everybody speaks French-except her. Maybe she isn't even a Christian....yet. But what we do can open that door for her.
Just remember that Christian radio is, first of all, RADIO. A companion in the car or the office. The MUSIC-you know, those songs that sing about the greatest message ever told, in every song you play-that's what does the heavy lifting.