That’s what I had to be told yet again this year. And I’m sure at some point, I’ll have to be gently told again next year. Here’s the deal . . .
I’m not a fan of playing Christmas music as early as we do. But here’s the reality – the numbers don’t lie. Each year, when we get the “numbers” back (term that measures “cume” – number of people listening and “TSL” – time spent listening – bet you didn’t know radio was that technical, huh?) we see – once again . . . in black and white . . . that our audience doubles (sometimes more than doubles) in the month of December. What we’ve come to see in the last several years is that people are searching for Christmas music. And the place that they’ve found it has been other mainstream radio stations. Now, please don’t hear me say that mainstream radio stations are bad. Many are not. But . . . if we are a Contemporary CHRISTIAN radio station – why should all these potential listeners have to find Christmas music at a station that doesn’t celebrate Christ’s birth the other 11 months of the year?
If our whole mission is about spreading the love of Christ, and celebrating His birth, and resurrection, then why wouldn’t we as Christians not want to offer them something that they are searching for? Perhaps the reason they are searching is because deep down they know that there is something much bigger than Christmas itself as just another holiday, but perhaps that there is a hope that can be found. A hope in the child. The child that was born to die. To die for our sins.
What it came down to was simply this: the ministry potential of playing Christmas music outweighs our own personal taste – in other words, this few weeks of Christmas celebration is not so much for US as for the documented thousands of folks who are not regular listeners who WILL listen during the holidays.
A couple of additional notes:
1. We are NOT in any way starting Christmas music early to keep up with retailers or merchandisers. THAT I can promise you!
2. We choose to play some of the classics mixed in with the sacred – Classics such as Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” or Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song”, and others in hopes that new listeners will hear some of the songs that they recognize, and will perhaps “stick around” for a few more songs. No one likes to listen to all unfamiliar tunes.
3. This is a well thought out, prayed over decision.
For additional questions and answers, visit our website at http://www.thejoyfm.com/.
Think of it as giving up your seat at the 11 a.m. service at Easter, and attending the 8, so that those who don’t normally come to church will have a place to sit and hear the message at 11.
So – will you join me in letting it be about them . . . in hopes that they’ll hear about HIM?