In the song, Bare Necessities, from Disney’s The Jungle Book, Baloo the bear says, “If You Act Like That Bee Acts, You’re Working Too Hard!”
That seemed to be the way it was when I arrived in Christian radio, employees clocking long hours each day, and wearing it as a badge of honor and proof of their commitment.
When I had arrived at WAY-FM as PD in the late Summer of 2014, I was in my first week on the job, and the time quickly got to 6pm, and with a pregnant wife at the house I started packing it in for the day. As I waved bye to Carlos Aguiar and Joy Summers, the PM Drive team, at the time, I saw Steve Shore (now WAY-FM’s APD) slaving away on some production in a nearby studio.
I walked in and said, “Go home.” He began explaining why he’d have to be there late that evening, and I simply said, “Go home. That work will be here when you get in tomorrow.” He listened and began packing it up.
That same scenario would happen about three more times in the next two weeks, and my reaction was always the same, “Go home.”
I hadn’t been at WAY-FM for three weeks yet, when Steve Shore came in and declared, “My wife hasn’t met you yet, but she likes you already!” I didn’t send Steve home to win over his wife. I sent him home, because he had already put in an honest days’ work and when you do that, I know what God does with it. He blesses it and makes it fruitful.
And when you don’t let work own you, and you go home to be with your wife and the kids, he’ll bless that too, and the compliment his wife gave to me in those days, second hand albeit, was an overflow of her appreciation that her homelife wasn’t going to be just waking up, watching her husband leave, then having him walk in just in time to call it a day. And she was right about that.
With God, there should be order, and if there’s not order, you must be honest with yourself and ask are you really following the leading of God? The world’s template is work, work, work, but God says, his yolk is easy, and his burden is light. (Matt 11:30)
God doesn’t lie.
There are two instances in the Bible where Jesus tells the fishermen to cast nets after they’ve toiled and toiled with not much to show for it. In the first instance, where Jesus hijacks Simon’s boat so he can preach to the multitude, he asks Simon to take him out in the deep, and once there tells him to lower his net. Simon begins to grumble, ‘but we’ve already fished our day away and have nothing to show for it, but okay…alright, if it’ll make you happy, there you go.’ (paraphrased)
The next time, after his death and resurrection, Jesus makes an appearance on the shore and tells the fishermen to cast their nets on the other side of the boat. They had already fished the night away, but this time, the story doesn’t talk about any grumbling, just that they listen and drop a net on the right side of the ship.
Both stories end in a similar way, with nets full of fish, so heavy it would take many men to pull it in. In the first story, where Simon gripes a tad, the net rips. In the second story where they gripe not, the catch is massive, and the net suffers no damage.
In both stories, the men witness that when you listen to Jesus, the work becomes as simple as knowing which side of the boat to fish on. So, when you’re full of the Holy Spirit and you know that hearing God’s voice and listening to His leading will free up a whole lot of your day, it’s pretty simple to tell those who work for you to go home, that tomorrow will have enough time in it to do what needs to be done.
Go To Where The Fish Are
When Steve Shore became my APD, we would spend about three hours a week planning the entire week, month and sometimes the quarter, and then we would go our own way and in no time, would return with nets full of accomplished tasks.
In my 90-day review at WAY-FM, my boss Faron Dice wrote, “You did more in 90 Days than your predecessors did in 5 years!” It wasn’t I, but the Savior who kept my sights on the right side of the boat.
The Christian format shouldn’t look like the mainstream world in their toiling and toiling, but instead they should be able to know you belong to Him by your fruit, which should be so obvious, and if you want the secret for making that so, it lies within this verse.
Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Beware of the Prickly Pear
You’ve heard the phrase, ‘Work smarter, not harder.’ Nothing in that phrase says you’re not working, but instead indicates you’ve found a way to make the time you put into your work, effective, powerful, meaningful.
Like that bear that floated on his back, teaching that lost human kid how to have faith while you wait for the things you need to come your way, the bare necessities of life WILL come to you. When you believe in Jesus, hear His word and obey; yes, they certainly will.
Since 1991, Rob Wagman has been known first by his faith, and then by his skills in the secular side of this Industry, and now is known by his versatility, having succeeded in both radio and records in multiple formats from Christian Contemporary, Rock, Alternative, Top 40, Rhythm, Urban and Hot AC, in various roles from On Air to Programming to Marketing and Promotions.
Wagman has worked in all of the Top 3 markets, LA, NYC and Chicago, and returned to LA in 2012 as his entry way into CCM, in PM Drive at KFSH, 95.9 The Fish before becoming the Network PD for WAY-FM.
In 2013, Wagman launched Straight Path Media + Entertainment, a consulting firm which hyper focuses on talent and each station’s greatest need for growth, supplying a la cart programming services for branding, from music strategies, promotional and marketing think tank brain storming, promo and imaging creative, talent coaching and airchecking. Wagman presently coaches 27 air talents, consults 13 stations plus 4 clusters.
Contact Rob Wagman at StraightPathMandE@gmail.com