The Single Best Question to Ask Before You Go on the Air
…isn’t “Why are they allowing me to do this?” although I certainly ask that one.
Nor is it, “How can I be entertaining today?” even though that’s a good question, too.
It’s this: How can I be a blessing to people today?
Now, please don’t stop reading. I know “blessing” is a religious-sounding word, and if you’re like me, you don’t use language like that on the air without an explanation.
(In fact, “blessing” isn’t just a churchy word, it’s a Grandma-Level churchy word. Only grandmas can say it. Not even grandpas. You have to be a female, and you have to have kids, and those kids have to have kids, and then you can pull it off.)
But here’s what it means: In the Bible, the word for “blessing” evokes an image of bowing down before someone. It also means to “add value.” The word picture is of putting coins on a scale.
Dallas Willard said this: “Souls are made to be blessed, and cannot survive without the blessing.”
He’s not talking about a throwaway “God bless you.” He’s talking about a deep, meaningful blessing. People are yearning for it. It’s the kind of blessing Jacob and Esau fought for: A father, telling them of his ultimate approval, and how he’s on their side forever. Of a specific, beautiful vision for their future.
People yearn to be significant, loved, and secure.
Every single person turning on your station was made for this blessing, and they can’t survive without it.
In fact, at the deepest level, as we scroll through our Facebook feeds, we’re yearning for significance, love and security. If people don’t receive this blessing from God, we will seek it out through any means necessary. We will keep searching the rest of our lives. It’s that powerful. We’re like little lost sheep without it.
“But Brant, that’s not what it says people are looking for on our survey. No one says they are looking for security, they say they want some Chris Tomlin and the weather forecast.”
Well, sure. We often lack the vocabulary to describe what we’re really looking for. We don’t even know how to discuss it. We’re not sure, exactly, why some things give us goosebumps or make us tear up. We just know we got goosebumps, and something gave us a lump in our throat.
By the way, don’t hear this as a “strategy.” Blessing our listeners–adding value to their lives—isn’t a marketing move. It’s our mission. It’s the whole point.
So how can we add value to people’s lives? For starters, we use our communicative gifts to tell them the truth about how God feels about us. In a real, non-creepy way, we remind them, over and over, that they don’t need to be anxious. We tell them, again and again, that even if they don’t feel God around today, He’s there.
We say it a million fun ways, that God is looking not for great, world-changing feats today at work or school, but that He’s just looking for us to be faithful with the people who cross our paths. We remind them that when we turn toward God, instead of away from Him in shame, He comes running.
We remind them that nothing is new in this world, and that God has seen it all before. He’s still our Deliverer. He’s not nervous. We can sleep soundly at night.
We take the weight off their shoulders, and we add it to the other side of the scale, the side that adds value. We bless them.
So when I prepare my show, that’s what I’m asking. “How can I be a blessing to these precious people today?” (Actually, “precious” might be one of those Grandma-Level words, too, but it’s in the book of Revelation four times, and Revelation also has lots of horses and blood and explosions and stuff. Does it have explosions? It should have explosions.)
“How can I be a blessing?”
That’s the question. Not, “How can I attract attention?” or even “How can I shoehorn ‘Lord of the Rings’ in here, somewhere?”, though I confess I’m adept at both.
There’s a reason we’re in Christian radio. Presumably, it’s not because we’re not good enough to be on other stations, right? Or because we enjoy fundraising? There’s an actual mission, and it’s a beautiful one. Our mission doesn’t squelch creativity, by the way. I’ve found it prompts more of it.
Before your show, ask yourself, “How can I be a blessing for these people today?”
People are looking for something.
We know what it is.
Brant is the host of The Brant Hansen Show, and author of Unoffendable and Blessed are the Misfits. His next book The Truth About Us is to be released in early 2020.