In just a few weeks many Christian music radio stations across the country will be turning their format upside down and going all-Christmas.

E-gads! What’s with that?

for King & Country will give way to Nat King Cole, Plumb is swapped for Bing, and Michael W. Smith is replaced by, well, Michael W. Smith.

And we all understand why. To attract more listeners.

Or, to put it another way, for our stations to be more accepted.

Acceptance is a powerful idea. It’s often the basis for our friendships, the groups we hang out with, and even the church we go to.

The opposite is also true. Lack of acceptance is often what divides political parties, causes people to go to court, and fractures families and friendships.

Andy Stanley recently shared the idea that acceptance lowers resistance. It is the groups that accept you that often have the greatest influence, whether your college fraternity, your Harley rider’s club, or your small group at church.

Notice the sequence – acceptance happens before influence. You probably didn’t have your first cigarette alone, Andy Stanley observes. It was being with friends, those that accepted you, that lowered your resistance and allowed their ideas or behaviors a foot in the door. Every parent instinctively knows this to be true, which is why we’re so concerned about who our kids hang around with.

So if acceptance leads to influence (positive or negative), and Christian music stations exist to have greater influence, then it seems to me that figuring out how to build acceptance into your station would be a pretty important deal.