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Tim McDermott “Stay In Your Lane”

It’s been a while since I got a new car and I just got one.   It amazing how much technology has changed in 10 years.   One of the features on my car is “Lane Assist.”  With the electronic eyes on front of the car, it will warn me if I go out of my lane with flashing lights and beeping noises.  It’s there as a reminder for me to stay in my lane.  


I have been in Christian radio for a long time – and I have been a part of and observed some wonderful Christian radio stations who are cruising on the superhighway of ministry.  Ratings are good, money is coming in and ministry is being accomplished.  But there is a danger that lurks on the road – people are going out of their lane.   Now I am not saying people should only do their jobs.  I really don’t like the “it’s not my job” mentality.   People who adopt that are limiting their own potential and the potential of the organization.  I am talking about staying in the lane you were called to be in.   


Since we are talking highways, let me give you two lanes to stay in for your organization to grow.   


The Christian Lane


As a boss for a number of years and a person who has served in this industry for 40 plus years, it still is surprising to me the number of people who talk about others in a gossip or put down way.   The last time I checked “gossip” was still up there with all of the other really bad sins, but somehow, even as Christians, we tolerate it.  The Bible give us principles on how to treat each other – “they’ll know we are Christians by our love” – yet we go out of the Christian lane to not show grace and mercy to each other.   Scripture gives us clear guidance on how to resolve conflict, but again, we choose not to follow that guidance and instead take our hurt and rejection from one job to the next.  We think we are telling the new staff what someone from our past is like when in reality we are telling the new staff what we are really like. 


If as you are reading this, someone from our industry pops in your brain whom you need to forgive, do that.  Call them and let them know you have been harboring unforgiveness and make things right.  We all love Jesus.  Let’s act like it and treat each other with that love.   Get back in the Christian lane!


The Job Lane


I was doing some board consulting with an organization where the CEO and Board Chair were having challenges.   They each saw an issue differently and it was causing division between them and the organization.  They reached out to me to see if I could help them.  I realized the issue they were facing wasn’t the issue, but something deeper was going on.   We scheduled a board planning day to talk about the future and also see if we could resolve the issue at hand.  That morning the Holy Spirit showed up!  During our discussion, in great humility the CEO, in front of the board, expressed they had been a board chair and had expectations of what a board chair should do.  The board chair wasn’t meeting those expectations, so the CEO started doing the job of the board chair.  The caused mistrust between the two.  The CEO asked the Board Chair for forgiveness and there was instant reconciliation.  The other “issue” was quickly resolved.  Trust was restored.  

So often we get out of the job lane – especially when we want to be in control.  We feel like a person (especially in authority), isn’t doing their job right or the way it should be done.  We gossip about them to coworkers (see above) or because we are frustrated we start doing their job.  To me the key difference between being a great employee whose serving and helping others and this behavior is the attitude of the heart.  If we are doing things out of frustration or selfish ambition, then we need to step back to examine our hearts, repent and ask God for direction.  It’s amazing how many times I have given my care, concern or person to God and He has taken care of it. 


God has created you and me for a purpose. Daily, we are to walk in the purpose.  You are a Christian first at your radio station.  Don’t get out of that lane – especially when you are hurt or under pressure.  Let’s stop hurting each other.  I pray if you begin to stray, the Holy Spirit will create flashing noises and loud beeps to remind you to stay in your lane.


Tim McDermott is the COO of PraiseLive.  He is also a broadcasting and board consultant and can be reached at tmdermott.cpa@gmail.com