Radio Days: A Retrospective (Part 1)

I guess I’ve always been a communicator, in one way or another. My undergraduate degree was in radio, TV, and film production. From the start, I wanted to use that degree in a Christian ministry.

My first after-college job was with the Christian Broadcasting Network, at that time located in Portsmouth, Virginia. Although I began as a behind-the-scenes audio technician for the television station, when an opening occurred in the radio ministry, I immediately applied for, and was awarded, the job.

I had no on-the-air experience, just some training in the classroom, but I relished the opportunity. The opening was for the all-night announcer position. That probably explains why no one else seriously applied. At least I could do less harm with a smaller audience. This job was a blessing in a number of ways.

  • First, I learned how to be creative, interspersing music with commentary, making the songs fit what I wanted to communicate.
  • Second, it helped me to focus more on the words I needed to use to communicate effectively; ultimately, it made me a better speaker and writer.
  • Third, while playing tapes of other programs during my shift (which usually lasted from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.) I had time to study. I became a devoted student of the Bible and theology during those years. I probably couldn’t have asked for a better assignment.

Perhaps only one picture exists of me as an announcer at this radio station—this is it. Notice the high-tech turntable in front and the really fancy controls. Well, things certainly have changed. My age in this picture was between 23-25. I looked happy. Most of the time I was.

I am grateful for all the preparation God gave me so that I might do what I am doing today. What’s even more instructive, for me at least, is the realization that life is dynamic, not static. Even though I expected the media to be my career, God used circumstances to change my direction more than once. Yet He will always use elements of what you have done previously. Life is a whole, not partitioned into separate compartments.

There’s another big lesson I learned in this job, but I’ll save that for tomorrow.