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Unsafe for the Family

posted: September 24th, 2009 by Dave Trout

I was at a Christian radio conference earlier this month where there was a lot of discussion about the slogan "Safe For the Whole Family" and it's multiple variations (Uplifting and Kid Safe, Family Friendly, Safe for the Little Ears). Why does it seem like a huge chunk of Christian music radio has chosen monikers like these? Yes, it's something that can be a distinctive for a radio station in a saturated marketplace. Both nominal and mature believers find common ground in a radio station that chooses to keep their jokes clean and music even cleaner.

One speaker at this conference brought up a great question: "Have our radio stations become so safe that we're actually boring?" True. Show me something completely void of risk, danger, and uncertainty, and I'll show you something as exciting as dial-up Internet. Really.

Woe to You - Matt PapaBefore you tune me out - let me ask a question of my own. Why would we brand our radio stations with a slogan that we would never give to our Bible or to our local church?

If all you desire is a safe Christianity, then you'll become best friends with Mr. Fiskars, given all the verses you'll need to cut out of your Bible. And who among us would say that their local church is "safe"? A church at its worst is filled with gossip, divisions, failed leadership - and at its best is confronting, convicting, taking risks, leading boldly.

The good news is that I've never met a radio manager who has hacked up his/her Bible. However I've met many who are quick to keep a song off their airwaves because it doesn't fit their "safe" image. They take a song of spiritual conviction and label it as "controversial."

This week, I'm playing a song that I doubt will get much radio airplay, if any. Just the title of Matt Papa's song "Woe to You" tends to put us in very unsafe place. Sometimes unsafe is exactly where God wants us to be.

If you want to be progressive about your station's music ministry, or if you want your station to be an on-air Church community, you can contact me and I'll share a list of unsafe songs that will challenge, convict, & inspire.

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