Nov13TueNovember 13, 2018
“Testing, testing. Can anyone hear me?”
In radio ministry, it would be so easy to simply broadcast our programs, sending out the gospel message hoping that plenty of people are listening. And then, that’s it. Let God do the rest. But we can do more!
What makes ministry effective? Can we just hope that someone is listening, hope that they can understand the message hoping that it addresses their needs and questions and brings them to a deeper knowledge of God?
At TWR Canada, we don’t stop there. We can’t. We know that God wants us to lead people closer to him in any and every way we can. We need to find out who is listening, what their needs are and how we can address them and speak truth in a culturally-sensitive way. We want to give every listener an opportunity to have a personal connection to a church or to other believers who can help them in their walk with Christ. To do that, all of our programs have an on-the-ground local component. This may be achieved through the radio producers, who form connections with listeners when they call in, or it may take the form of relationships with local churches and ministries. These people provide follow-up and answer questions, developing relationships as they guide listeners in their faith. Through these relationships, we also start to know our audience’s needs, learning if the programs are effective and what we can do to make them even more so.
This is a newer concept in some areas, and our teams are excited! In Africa, this often takes the form of ‘listener engagement projects,’ which we have given local staff and volunteers the freedom to conceptualize and carry out in ways that make most sense for the people and their culture.
In Burundi, listener engagement projects have included Bible and literature distributions as well as radio contests and social media campaigns. These books are distributed to listeners who call in, as well as during TWR campaigns carried out in schools, churches and even in a military camp. (Read more here!)
In Mozambique, Bibles, radios and audio Bibles were distributed to listener groups, often through a local church pastor. The intent of this was to encourage relationships with churches as recipients listen and read and questions arise.
New children’s programming in Kenya has been developed with listener engagement as part of the broadcast. These Bible stories allow children to call or text as well as visit in-person to participate in the show. The program has received significant feedback from children all over the county. Because of the program, TWR Kenya has been invited to the children’s villages and schools to share the Word of God.
We are excited for these listener engagement projects in Africa and to see our local staff and listeners become even more excited about what God is doing through TWR. Please pray with us as we seek to engage listeners to meet their needs more effectively and form relationships that will ultimately bring them closer to God.