Thursday, October 01, 2009

Support Your Local Gunfighter

Right now is the Fall version of Air1's drive to cover their operating costs. Air1 is listener supported radio, so it runs ad-free. I've written before about how expensive it is to operate Christian Radio and strongly encouraged supporting stations and programs that minister to you.

But there's another side that in my cynicism I often neglect. These stations may encourage and minister to you, but it's just as likely they're encouraging and ministering to someone else. If you listen to Air1 you've heard the testimonies: people overcoming struggles in their marriage, people coming to Christ, et cetera. I'm admittedly cynical against someone listening to a song by Matt Kearney and suddenly accepting Jesus as their savior. But it cannot be denied that this music encourages those who listen to it.

My wife and I have our own testimony- listening to Christian music has re-sensitized us to worldly music. I'm a big fan of classic, hard, and alternative rock. Most of what I enjoy listening to is mildly encouraging (i.e. not down, depressing, nihilistic) but still worldly on the subjects of life, love, and sex. It's hard for us to listen to mainstream radio now because the worldliness is made more clear.

I also have another standard when pledging my support. Besides ministering to me, I strongly encourage support when a ministry is calling Christians to a higher standard. This relates to my cynicism against the evangelistic value of Christian Radio but also consistent with the theme of this blog. That's why I support Living On The Edge even though I don't necessarily agree with all their doctrine. Air1 not only calls us higher through the lyrics of specific songs but also through ministries that "advertise" between sets. Groundwire, Walk The Way, and Teen Challenge are all examples of this.

Moral of the story, if you're a fan of this station, give. Support their supporting ministries. Pray for those who are listening. Allow the Holy Spirit at work through this style and genre of music to work in you as its worked in many others.

"Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 5:19-20)

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God." (Colossians 3:16)

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