Over the last month, we’ve focused so much on helping churches live stream through the lockdown, that I’ve hardly spent any time talking about Christian broadcasting. However, the lockdown is having a positive effect when it comes to radio and TV audiences! I’m hearing such good reports from so many radio and television ministries, I thought I’d share why this could be our greatest moment in a long time:
1. Viewership is up. I’m getting a lot of reports from various Christian TV networks telling me the plus side of the lockdown is that viewing of Christian TV is up. People are stuck at home and they’re looking for hope. As a result, they’re not just binging on Netflix and Amazon Prime, they’re curious about Christian programs as well. That’s why this is a time when your TV program could really gain traction and make a very powerful impact.
2. But that’s also why this isn’t time for business as usual. That means forget your regular scheduled programming. This is the moment to produce original programs that focus on this crisis. So many people are asking questions: “How do we get through this?” “Where is God in this situation?” “What do I tell our kids?” It’s your job to answer those questions so let’s get on it!
3. Show the impact you’re making during the crisis. I’m actually getting stories of radio and television ministries who are experiencing a rise in donations right now. That’s because they’re doing a terrific job of sharing the story of how they’re making an impact at this moment. What is your ministry doing to help us get through this crisis? Feeding people? Helping the homeless? Providing medical care? Whatever it is, you should be shouting that out. It’s not about ego or personal promotion, it’s about keeping your viewers informed. I’m seeing that the TV ministries doing the best job of sharing their work with donors and supporters are the ones inspiring their donors to give.
4. This is the moment to appreciate your communication and media team. I’ve seen far too many television ministries that treat their media team like factory workers. But the truth is, of all the things your ministry does, the one thing that’s critical right now is to get your mission and vision out there. When was the last time you told your team how much you appreciated their efforts? Today would be a good day to start.
5. I strongly recommend you don’t pull back your broadcast coverage. Honestly, it would be tough to count all the media ministries that have come to me over the years because for financial reasons, six months, a year, or two years earlier they had cut back or dropped their TV ministry – only to find it had been a terrible decision. Without realizing it, they had cut their lifeline to their donors and supporters. As difficult as this moment may be right now, I would encourage you to stay in the fight. It will cost far more to re-start a shuttered media outreach than it will to keep it going – even through this crisis.
Plus, from a ministry perspective, this may be the most important time to be offering a message of hope to millions of viewers out there.