Ecuador/United Kingdom (MNN) ― HCJB World Radio celebrates 75 years of ministry because of innovation and vision.
In today's story, we're focusing on one such ministry that is breaking the traditional mold of missions. Colin Lowther is the point man behind 'Whistling Frog Productions', an initiative of HCJB-United Kingdom.
The company releases productions that explore spiritual issues in a commercial radio format. Their ethos is simple, explains Lowther. They produce creative, 'non-cheesy' radio for a secular audience on Christian themes, making sure the final product is entertaining, thought-provoking and not preachy.
As the company grew to gain respect and airtime, they launched 'audiopot.org'--a sort of 'library of sound'. Why? Because of the average listener that makes up their audience in the United Kingdom. "Would he ever, ever think of turning on a Christian radio station? He just never would, unless he was seeking. Maybe God is working in his heart and he's thinking 'what is life all about?' Maybe that would drive him to switch on a Christian station, but by and large, he's listening to a station that plays the music he likes, so it's not Christian music. He's there for the sport, for the news, for the chat, for the laughter for the humor."
While not overtly evangelistic in nature, it is a nudge in the right direction. Many times, listeners are already thinking on issues and respond to a little directional push that the spots provide.
It's then up to the church to guide the rest of the way. Whistling Frog Productions and audiopot.org are both aimed at three primary targets.
Lowther says one audience is the average listener. Another is the religious education teacher. Often, such educators can download pieces off audiopot.org to use as discusion starters as they delve into their curriculum.
And the third part of the audience is the church. Lowther says their downloads are frequently used to illustrate sermons, talks, youth events and other forums where they serve as a springboard for the theological aspect of the discussions.
Stressing again that their work is not 'evangelistic', it does meet people where they are and drives truth home. As the annniversaries of the Lockerbie bombing and subway terrorism arrived, their production team was busy with programs dealing with the ultimate forgiveness.
Testimonies from victims and familiy members who are also believers provides much of the framework for the prod 'home'.
According to the audiopot.org website, the reason they exist is challenge a non-Christian audience. Most of their material consists of thoughts, interviews, features, vox pops, drama, faith stories and Christian commercials, all of which are creative, thought-provoking and rarely longer than 3 minutes.
The company also offers professional radio training so that even more people will hear the good news on their local radio station. And again, neatly dovetailing vision and ministry to the greater community...or, operating as Whistling Frog Productions does, under the simplified Great Commission call to 'Grab your neighbor's ear.'
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