Quick. Name a Christian character on TV.
Let’s see, there’s Angela Martin on The Office who is depicted (as one website suggests) “as a holier-than-thou crazy cat-lady of the office, Angela, only finds pleasure in books like The Purpose Driven Life and people like Harry Connick, Jr. ”
In an episode of Seinfeld, Elaine worries that her boyfriend may be religious after finding Christian stations set on his rental car radio. The episode ends with her boyfriend confirming that he is religious and is not concerned that Elaine is not, because he is “not the one going to Hell.”
Then there is the great theologian Homer Simpson, who has described his religion as “you know, the one with all the well-meaning rules that don’t work in real life. Uh, Christianity.”
Sometimes the examples of not-normal people are even more extreme watching the Christian television with preachers with funny hair, women with heavy eye shadow weeping, or people falling down in the aisles during a healing service while others scream in amazement. Andy Andrews jokes that many people don’t want to go to heaven because they think it will be too much like church.
So, where are the normal people who are believers? Where are the ones that go to the grocery store, watch sports on TV, take their kids to soccer practice, and have normal conversations with their neighbors standing in the front yard?
The answer: They are on Christian music radio.
Think about that the impact of that statement.
Christian music radio is the ONLY place in media where followers of Jesus Christ are portrayed as normal people with the same dreams, hope, and fears as Roy Lee and Wanda Smith down the street.
The calls that you air, the stories that you tell, the authenticity of your station’s air talent. “I feel like I’ve known her all my life”, one listener said.
Identification is one of the strongest human needs. Tommy Kramer says we bond with those like us from the earliest age, “I like bubblegum, you like bubblegum. Want to play?”
My Pyromarketing friend Greg Stielstra talks about the power of Social Proof, defined as “people will do things that they see other people are doing. In one experiment, people would look up into the sky; bystanders would then look up into the sky to see what they were seeing. At one point this experiment was aborted because so many people were looking up that they stopped traffic.”
Here’s a thought: What if your Christian music radio depicted a lifestyle that those inside and outside of the Christian bubble could relate to, but also demonstrated the better life – a better parent, a better friend, a better spouse, a better neighbor – that God has put in each of us?
In other words, what if Christian music radio was “the social proof” of a better life?
It could change the world.