International (MNN) — Radio reaches around 70 percent of the world population today. In developing countries, radios remain a primary source of information since they are readily available, affordable, and don’t require literacy.
With such a large portion of the globe accessible through radio, organizations like Ron Hutchcraft Ministries are utilizing radio to share the Gospel message.
Rick Whitmer with Ron Hutchcraft Ministries shares, “We are passionate about using the power of radio to get to lost people with the Good News of Jesus Christ. There are literally people all around this world where radio, for them, it can become a lifeline.”
A Spiritual Lifeline
Ron Hutchcraft’s broadcast devotional called A Word With You is available in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Hindi. Currently, the ministry is also translating A Word With You into Arabic.
Whitmer says believers around the world — especially in smaller or rural communities — experience great spiritual benefit from Christian programming on the radio.
“Our missionary radio partners have described to us how in China, you might have these house churches that have one shortwave radio transmitter that they share. They describe to us these small groups of people who will huddle around this radio just to get their lifeline of biblical teaching to help them understand how to really live an authentic life for Jesus Christ.”
And for Christians in closed or regulated countries, radio plays a critical part in their faith since broadcasts can go where traditional Bibles and missionaries cannot.
“Many of them [listen to Christian broadcasts] under the duress of even getting caught and knowing that maybe their actions are even illegal by listening to this radio.”
Apologetics Versus Empathy
So how does A Word With You have a spiritual impact across borders and cultures? While apologetics is a good tool for discussing the truth of God’s Word, it may not always be the most effective tool.
“If we’re talking about my religion versus your religion, that tends to be a closed door,” says Whitmer. “Hearts are very closed when you start getting into my tradition and my belief system. There are some people that might respond to that; but [with] most people, that tends to be a closed door to their heart.
“What we have found is that there is an open door to hearts all over this world when you tap into needs that they care about…. People can relate to stress. People can relate to issues of relationships. People can relate to issues of any number of things that will allow them to say, ‘I can connect with that.’”
When Hutchcraft goes into a radio devotional in A Word With You, he often shares personal stories and reflections that anyone can empathize with. Whether you live in Dubai or New York City, Brasilia or Nairobi — the feelings of loneliness, worry, failure, and heartbreak are the same.
“When we can show people that Jesus ultimately can help them with the issues of their life that they really do care about, now we’re getting somewhere.”
The Power Of The Story
These relatable and empathetic stories in A Word With You are always tied into Scripture and include practical applications for the Christian life.
“Ron is very committed to presenting the Gospel, not assuming that just because they are listening to this radio program, that they already know Christ. Ron wants to make sure that everyone who hears this program can know how to begin a relationship with Christ,” shares Whitmer.
“We have people who tell us all the time, ‘Ron, you introduced me to my relationship with Jesus Christ. When you shared the Gospel that day and tied it into my stress or loneliness or relationships, it made sense to me and, for the first time, I understood what it means to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.’”
Ron Hutchcraft Ministries plans to continue advancing the Gospel through radio devotions because, as Whitmer points out, the story of Christ is an urgent one to share.
“When Jesus gave the Great Commission 2,000 years ago, do you know how many people were on this planet? About 300 million. Today, there is 35 times that number living on this planet — 7.5 billion people — most of whom if they were to die today, they would go into an eternity without Christ. If it was a Great Commission when Jesus gave it, today, I mean, this must be the Gargantuan Commission!
“We have nothing more urgent to do than to accelerate and get this Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ delivered to a world of people who need the hope of what Jesus has to offer.”
You Have A Part To Play
If you would like to be personally encouraged by Hutchcraft’s devotions, click here to learn more about A Word With You!
But Whitmer encourages, “Please, don’t stop there. Be reminded that there are folks just like [you] who have been struggling with these same issues around the world in China, in India, in Latin America, in Arabic-speaking countries, and we need to be able to deliver this Good News to them.”
In light of this reminder, please pray for this strategic tool to continue reaching the right people listening to their radios who need the truth and love of Christ in their lives. Ask God to stir hearts and open eyes so that his Kingdom may come.
If you would like to support Ron Hutchcraft Ministries and their Gospel outreach through radio, you can give at their website here.