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Radio Interview

                                     

Dusty Rhodes

COO

WAY-FM Media Group

Colorado Springs

 

 

Dustys' Career Capsule

First radio gig was mornings in college in 1974—1978. Midday air talent 1978—1982 at WCHV-AM/WWWV-FM in Charlottesville, VA when they won Billboard Magazine’s Radio Station of the Year. Mornings and PD/OM 1982—1993 at WPIT-FM in Pittsburgh, PA (now WORD-FM).  Won Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper’s Top Morning Personality contest in 1988. Launched and served as Station Manager 1993—2001 at WAYF-FM/WAY-FM West Palm Beach, FL. Chief Operating Officer 2001—Present at WAY-FM Media Group, Inc. in Colorado Springs, CO.


 

1. Tell us about your vision for WAY FM and how you believe it is God's will?

WAY-FM’s evergreen Mission that never changes, guides everything we do,  and which will never be fully accomplished in our lifetime is “WAY-FM exists to encourage youth and young adults in their Christian lives, and to introduce non-believers to Christ.”

But we also have an aggressive and measurable Vision for the next 3 years, called Vision 20:1 which is “Trusting God, we will partner together to expand our outreach to 20 million people by 2007, resulting in a daily, Christ-centered impact in the lives of 1 million youth and young adults.”

It may not necessarily be God’s will that WAY-FM grows bigger physically, which we are doing.  Bigger is not always better.  But I believe we can be confident it is God’s will that “none should perish.”  As long as our chief aim at WAY-FM is to reach more people for Him, we can for the most part be confident that what we are currently doing to accomplish that, is God’s will.

 

2. What is the most fulfilling aspect to you personally about Christian radio?

I’m honored to participate in a radio company that is ministry-minded, and that gets excited corporate-wide about bringing life changing contemporary Christian music into people’s lives.  Since this music is what God used in my own life to bring me to Him in 1976, it makes it that much more fulfilling to see it happen all over again everyday in other’s lives. 

 

3. How has God used you in your role at WAY FM?

I hope He’s used me to help our people grow in new ways and to use their skills for God while finding professional satisfaction.  But you may have to ask our staff for that answer!

 

4. How do you keep the ministry in what you do?

If you mean personally, then I think by keeping the ministry in my life:  a daily devotional life, serving in my local church, hosting a home bible study with my wife Irene, and teaching my daughters what it means to live for Christ in our culture.

If you mean professionally, its by working hard to keep the “main thing” in front of everyone.  There is a business side to what we do, just as a church has its business office down the hall from the sanctuary.  But what is the flavor of the organization?  What do we celebrate and focus on the most?  It starts with our WAY-FM mission and our Core Values which are biblically-based.  It is aided by our intentional recruitment of people with character and integrity to join us, who are competent to do their job, and who’s chemistry will fit our ministry’s corporate culture.  Finally, I think it is manifested by the way we treat and work with one another internally, and the fruit of our labors as evidenced by the changed lives that we hear from everyday.  When one of those powerful emails comes in, it is shared among all the WAY-FM’s nationwide, and we find ourselves “high-fiving” each other and praising God across the internet!

 

5. Why do you think a "non-believer" would listen to WAY FM?

I know non-believers listen, because we hear from them.  I believe, beyond an all-music format that is lifestyle-friendly to anyone who loves our style of music,  it is because our whole team, group-wide, works extremely hard at creating a genuine atmosphere on-air that is inviting and welcoming, regardless of your spiritual commitment.  Without sacrificing the integrity of the message, we attempt to communicate in honest, passionate and relevant ways, so that the listener doesn’t feel left out if they don’t happen to know church language or some “secret handshake.”

 

6. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?

Having the foresight to stay with the technological advances, so that we can continue to be effective communicators of God’s message of hope in Christ to as many people as possible.  But also, in this age of post-Christian and even anti-Christian sentiment in our society, to learn to be “sly as serpents and innocent as doves.”  For example, Christian TV has suffered for years with a negative perception among the general public as being condemning and exclusive.  Christian radio may create its own perception problems if it continues to only care about the culture wars in our society.  We can do better by finding common ground with those we are called to reach, and attempt to first befriend them rather than condemn them. 

 

7. What do you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio air personality today?

After studying Tim Down’s book “Finding Common Ground” and hearing his message titled “Theology of Radio” at the last GMA convention, I believe the primary role is to participate in the forgotten ministry of seed-sowing.  Not that “harvesting” is not important, or that God does not use us to “close the deal” with a listener and help get them saved.  He still does.  However, the word “broadcasting” you may already know, is originally an agricultural term, meaning to broadcast or spread seeds out into the field.  God seems to use WAY-FM and radio in general as a very targeted and effective method of dropping life-changing seeds into peoples’ lives as they go about their busy lifestyles.  I feel so strongly about this aspect of our role in radio that Downs’ book has become required reading across WAY-FM.

 

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