I don’t know about you, but I still find myself listening to speakers from previous NRB conventions. One that really caught my eye was when NRB member Chuck Finney, founder of Finney Media, spoke in 2017 on the reasons why people listen to Christian radio. Finney conducted a survey to explore this question, and he heard from more than 23,000 respondents. But what captivated me was not the statistics. I was more drawn to the first five minutes of the talk when five of those respondents gave their testimony to why they listen to Christian radio.
“I listen to Christian radio because it is uplifting for me, especially during tough times,” one respondent said.
As we continue to face a global pandemic that has no doubt brought its challenge, we may at times feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. For many, there was at least a time that we could not even have in-person church services to be with our local community of believers. Despite the uncertainties around us and the inconsistency in our ability to gather, Christian radio has been constantly meeting people where they are.
According to the Radio Advertising Bureau, more than 20 million people tune in to Christian or Religious radio each week. These stations remind listeners that there is light and give us an encouraging message to keep going. There is no better message than that of the hope of Jesus.
“I listen to Christian radio because it helps me stay in my walk. Not only does the music have great meaning of course, but also the people who are presenting it,” one Christian radio listener said. “It’s not just an artist singing a Christian song but a Christian singing a Christian song, so it has more meaning. There are days whenever you are really down, and you feel as if the Lord spoke through a certain lyric in a song just to get you through it.”
Christian radio disciples and shapes the lives of believers. As Christians, we need to constantly be reminded of how great our God is.
“What I like most from Christian radio stations is that they are allowing people to share their raw testimonies…like what really brought them to Jesus? What brought them to this station?” another listener said.
It is so fulfilling as a believer to hear how other people went from death to life due to the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The gospel becomes more real when you hear the testimonies of others and how their lives were transformed by Jesus.
While the number of overall radio listeners declined during the initial pandemic as fewer people commuted to work, these numbers are now returning to pre-pandemic levels.
“Listening to the Christian radio helps me to stay positive, get a good message, and a good feeling throughout the day,” one listener said.
Christian radio points listeners back to the Bible and reminds them of how faithful God is. This reminder of God’s faithfulness help listeners to find joy in the midst of trials. With so much chaos in the world around us, Christian radio is instrumental in sharing true messages of hope.
“I lost my job unexpectantly. I got in the car, and my favorite band happened to be on—Need To Breathe. And at that very moment, I started singing along to it and remembering that He is a difference-maker, and I can shed that same happiness and light onto others.”
For many listeners, Christian radio has stepped in to change their outlook on life when they were at their lowest moment. Whether it’s the right song at the right time or the right teaching at just the right moment, Christian radio has a unique opportunity to speak into the listener’s life, meeting them exactly where they are.
According to a 2021 survey by Finney Media, the number one reason people listen to the teaching segment of Christian radio, is because it helps them grow spiritually.
“Christian radio has had a powerful and immeasurable impact, both leading many lost listeners to saving faith in Christ and building up the body through life-changing Bible teaching,” Daniel Darling, Senior Vice President of Communication at NRB, said. “Radio has a unique and intimate bond with the listener. As someone who has been shaped by Christian radio, I am thankful for those who have invested their time, talent, and treasure inti this vital ministry around the globe.”
Christian radio plays a valuable role in helping people who are seeking to grow in their walk with the Lord. Millions of listeners have been shaped and discipled by faithful Christian radio ministries.
If you work in Christian radio, keep encouraging; keep inspiring; keep uplifting; keep discipling; and more importantly, keep proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ.
The world so desperately needs it.