On Christian Radio

June 27, 2008

Has anyone noticed a trend in Christian radio over the last few years? It has become downright fluffy. As far as I know, the city of Columbia has one Christian radio station and the overwhelming majority of the time the content on the station is so fluffy it almost floats away. A few years ago it was not like this. However, I have noticed that Christian radio stations in three different metro areas that I have familiarity with in the Southeast have been becoming increasingly sappy. The reason for this is fairly simple: the target audience of these stations is a mother in her 30’s that drives a mini-van. I spoke with a representative of a Christian radio station and this person openly admitted to that person being their target audience. I have nothing against Christian women in their thirties that drive mini-vans, but I am not one of them.

Additionally, I do not always want to be fed content that is “positive and encouraging.” Sometimes I need to be convicted of sin and draw close to Jesus. Sometimes I need to hear some intelligent conversation about Christian topics. Sometimes I need to hear old Christian hymns of the faith. Sometimes I’d like to hear Christian rock that is not mainstreamed. In short, a Christian radio station that is consistently programmed towards “positive and encouraging” sappiness with talk shows that include a twenty minute story about the host’s “build-a-bear” experience is missing out on a very large segment of believers: men. And those men are turning their dial to sports talk or Fox News on their way home to and from work and turning off the Christian sappiness.

The point of this rant is that Christian radio that is “positive and encouraging” is a good thing. However, it does not encompass the totality of Christian life. In fact, it alienates a large segment of its potential listener base and gives a very “pansy” vibe to those unbelievers that may tune in interested in what a Christian radio station is like. In a world where men are consistently being feminized and domesticated, it does not help that our Christian radio stations are not far behind. The only answer to this problem is for radio staions to (a) diversify its target audience or (b) listeners to start new and supplementing stations.

Again, I’m all for being positive and encouraging. But the Christian life is not a walk in a park on a sunny day. It is full of real issues that cannot be pushed under the rug. And the more we push and hide real Christian issues the more men will be turning the station.


2 Responses to “On Christian Radio”

  1. Marc Says:

    Amen! I used to listen to the local Christian station all the time, even sent them money when they begged for it on a couple of occassions, but they changed formats. Now there’s no substance that I can tollerate listening to. Certainly we should protect our kids from what they see and hear, but what better way to discuss “things in the news” when they hear about it on the radio and we can open a dialog on how it fits in with God’s world in a biblical worldview. Now we just listen to CDs in the car…

  2. Marc,

    Thanks for the comment. I do think that part of the problem with Christian radio now is that the end goal of the programming is to only speak of “happy fluffy” things in order to insulate our children from the world. I think that there is a difference between offering quality Christian programming and keeping our children in a bubble. Like I said, I understand why the programming has gone this direction but there is a need for an alternative.

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