Playing “All the Hits” in the World of Christian Music

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Usually, when I drive in my car, I don’t listen to the radio. I like the silence and the chance to simply take in the scenery. Lately, however, H has taken to driving my car around town, and he’s a big time music person. The radio is always on with him, proving once again, that opposites attract.

Today, when I got in my car to drive to Omaha to fortify my supply of the only foundation in a one hundred mile radius that matches my complexion, I discovered H had the radio on a new-to-me radio station. And I liked it. I really liked it! I listened and sang along, all the way to Omaha, turning up the bass and the volume and not caring if anyone saw me as I passed by on my way to the mall. And then, I did the same thing on my drive home to Lincoln.

At one point, I tried to call H because I couldn’t remember who sings, “Somebody’s gonna hurt someone, before the night is through…” but he didn’t pick up his phone (it’s the Eagles). I sang along with Elton John and Billy Joel and The Emotions and Cindy Lauper and The Doobie Brothers and James Taylor and the Commodores and Stevie Wonder and the Captain and Tennille. I’m telling you, this station wasn’t missing a trick. They had something for everyone…or, at least everyone who grew up in the seventies and eighties.

So then, of course, halfway between Omaha and Lincoln, I started to wonder why the Christian radio stations aren’t more like the “all the hits” station I listened to today on my drive. I’m going to be honest with you. I quickly get my fill of those popular Christian music stations that cater to one demographic, enforcing the demographic divide we see in churches each Sunday morning. And (naturally) I can’t figure it out.

I’m guessing your Christian music playlist looks a lot like mine. You’ve probably got some Lecrae and Tye Tribbett mixed in with Hillsong and Matt Redman. But, I can’t think of a Christian radio station that would play these artists together in the same set. Everybody’s singing about the same Jesus (right?), but for some reason, it doesn’t seem to work to get everyone together on the radio waves.

It’s the same thing I keep wishing I didn’t have to keep talking about. I really wish I could put this whole thing to rest, you know? Just when I think I’ve said my last “going there” word, I realize all over again we’re not there, yet. It’s as if God says to me, “I’ve got one more thing I’d like to point out…” And when these things happen, I’m always hoping someone will chime in and say something like, “You’ve got it all wrong! The Christian radio stations in my car are mixing it up! They play Hezekiah Walker and Bill Gaither and Amy Grant and Shane and Shane and Yolanda Williams and Donny McClurkin, and all in the same set! Get a life, girlfriend! Lighten up! It’s all good out here! Seriously!”

So, I’m wondering if you can help a sister out. Is there a popular Christian radio station out there that plays music by a diverse selection of artists? I know radio is a business, and the stations have to watch the bottom line. But what’s the chance a Christian radio station could truly play “all the hits” and still find they’re being good stewards of their resources, making good business decisions, and modeling something new in the world of Christian music? If you’ve got a station you can recommend to me, I’d be so very grateful if you’d share in the comments. Thanks!

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