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CCM Radio - The Pros & Cons

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  • CCM Radio - The Pros & Cons

    First, let me say that I don't think that CCM radio is of the devil, and there are certain aspects of CCM radio that I do appreciate.

    Word on the street is, we'll be getting our first CCM radio station sometime soon. To be honest, I'm not crazy about the idea. What I've discovered over the years is, the less time people spend listening to CCM radio, the less time they spend becoming attached to their "favorite" style/artists/songs, which means the fewer barriers there are on Sunday morning to leading people in worship.

    I love that people have their own personal preferences when it comes to music, and I hope that Sunday mornings aren't the only time that our folks are listening and singing to God. But, too often, people get "worship" and "music" confused and end up unwilling to worship freely because they get so emotionally involved in a certain style/artist/song. It's been incredibly freeing up to this point, not having to cater to people in our church/community who are brainwashed by what they hear on CCM radio. I can't remember the last time somebody in our church came up to me and suggested the band learn a particular song, or that I listen to a particular artist.

    I'm not saying that I love having total control over the kind of CCM that people in my church listen to, but I am concerned that CCM radio is going to have a negative effect on the ability and/or willingness of our people to worship God no matter the style/artist/song that we use on Sunday mornings.

    Have any of you experienced something similar? Maybe you've experienced the exact opposite and can tell me why I should be excited about CCM radio?

    Nate
    Practical Worship

    Please Pray For My Wife

  • #2
    One theoretical pro is that when you introduce a new song potentially more people will be familiar with it. I know you are pretty current with artist you use, so it could be helpful.

    As mentioned elsewhere, the songs played are not designed to encourage worship but rather to encourage you to keep listening thorugh the commercials (just how it is nothing wrong with that). Because of that you will get few Worshipful "Deep Track" type and more poppy, catchy, upbeat, and theologically light. This may vary from station to station of course.
    Last edited by travisvwright; 01-27-2010, 02:17 PM.
    I need pictures of your drummer in his booth/cage/room http://drummersbehindglass.com

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    • #3
      Yes, it is a Double-edged Sword...

      I have been thinking a lot lately about the issue of unity, how to minister God's presence through various pre-set conceptions about worship music. It seems to be a problem in almost every church I have attended, probably because of my preferred playing style, which many either love or hate. Oddly enough, secular people have less issues with this, probably because many in the church tend to take on an ownership attitude about this ("We don't do ____ here").

      I have also had to deal with my own prejudices, and to accept the fact that I should do the best I can, even on songs that I don't like.

      Our church is multicultural, so we have more variety than most. Our current Worship leader tries hard to pick songs that go across the spectrum from CCM/Rock to Pop to Gospel, with stops at artists such as Israel Houghton and Martha Munizzi. But still we get attitudes about certain songs even in the Praise Team.

      Like a toddler spitting out a new food, what people like and are comfortable with may not be what is good for them....
      Last edited by betnich; 01-27-2010, 02:41 PM.

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      • #4
        CCM... Yea.

        While I love music performed by Christians, I don't listen to CCM. I don't listen to a lot of radio put on by Christians either.

        I've discovered in my life that the more I listen to CCM the cheesier I became. I became noneffective in reaching the lost because I couldn't relate to them.

        Where the artist's many times have the right motivation, it's the pulling the artists together and calling it CCm that leads to the alienation of the lost.

        Our call is not to preach to the choir, but to minister to the lost. While an artist, singing their heart out to the Lord can, and will, lead the lost to Christ, the collective sterilizes the listeners.

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        • #5
          What's the alternative, really? They can listen to secular radio, and bump and grind to 15 year-olds singing about sex. (shudder)

          Or they can listed to their mp3 players/CD players in which case they will be even more prone to listen only to their favorites.

          At least this way, they would be exposed to new artists or new arrangments, and perhaps be more open-minded come Sunday morning.

          Maybe.

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          • #6
            Its been great for our situation.

            You see, the more "contemporary style of music" is still somewhat new to our church. Not the community as a whole but it is to our church. We have two traditional services that use old hymns and one contemporary service utilizing live bands doing todays music.
            I have found that it has helped us having two or three different CCM's for people to tune in to because they get to know the music. It has opened the door for our bands to introduce different styles of live music where they are more receptive to it. It also gave our band instant credibility. You see, if the music we are playing is on national radio then we must know what we're doing....right? (lololol even when sometimes we're just making thngs up as we go).

            Milepost, I read your original post three or four times but I still don't seem to grasp what your concern is about CCM's playing the music that they do. Maybe its because our stations tend to offer prayers during the drive to work and home and play so many different styles that the song rotation never gets boring or old hat.
            I didn't mean to be inaccurate, but I wasn't trying to be precise.

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            • #7
              couple more positive things about CCM

              everyday they play songs that I would not have heard...ever....never. Also, they play older songs..you know the ones...the old days.....90"s early 2000's. lol. The ones we all forgot about but when they play them you pull the chord charts out again and do em once in awhile.
              I didn't mean to be inaccurate, but I wasn't trying to be precise.

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              • #8
                Shaun? cheesier?

                Not sure how to take that considering I like CCM radio. I hate country music stations and the stuff on there. Its crazy because I grew up country and played professionally in a tex mex band in the late 80's early 90's and used to listen solely to that music. Now tho....can't do it! just can't do it! There is no originality to country music at all. its all been said and done hundreds of thousands of times.
                And while I'm on a roll here....I really enjoy Disney Channel and shows like Hannah Montana but have ya ever noticed everyone of those shows, songs and girls sound identical. Take a listen tonite on Disney channel to Wizards of Waverly place, hannah montana and Zach and Cody the suite life while the music and videos they flash on screen come up. Listen. They all say the same thing and sound identical!

                sorry guys. i was on a roll. buttered on top and I fell off. finaly! )
                I didn't mean to be inaccurate, but I wasn't trying to be precise.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by mikeymo1741 View Post
                  What's the alternative, really? They can listen to secular radio, and bump and grind to 15 year-olds singing about sex. (shudder)
                  Actually, (short of the bump and grind) we encourage our folks to listen to secular radio. IMO, that's a better alternative on some levels.

                  Nate
                  Practical Worship

                  Please Pray For My Wife

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by chipshot0701 View Post
                    Milepost, I read your original post three or four times but I still don't seem to grasp what your concern is about CCM's playing the music that they do. Maybe its because our stations tend to offer prayers during the drive to work and home and play so many different styles that the song rotation never gets boring or old hat.
                    It's not that I have a gripe about the style...I typically enjoy most of what I hear on CCM radio. What I am concerned about is most CCM stations tend to play the same 25 songs over and over, and I'm not keen on our people getting stuck in a musical rut because of it.

                    My first full-time church position was in a very large metropolitan area with at least a few CCM radio stations. I can't tell you how many people in our church would ask me to play certain songs (always by the same two or three artists) because that's all they were listening to throughout the week. I love that people connected with radio music that speaks of and to God, and I didn't mind at all using songs in church that people are familiar with and will connect them with true worship. But, too often, when our band would try to introduce something new that wasn't playing on their favorite radio station, people in our church just wouldn't be willing to give it a try. I'm not saying this is true for every church and every community with CCM radio, but it's been true in my experience.

                    I can't prove this is true (although maybe I will be able to in a few months), but I'm pretty certain that people in my current church are so accepting of (and excited about) new music from any number of artists in large part because they aren't being hammered all week by the same 25 songs on their favorite CCM radio station.

                    Nate
                    Practical Worship

                    Please Pray For My Wife

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                    • #11
                      I knew you would clear things up for me.

                      I've been on this forum for a long time and I have read many of your posts and knew you had a great theory! Its true what you say about some of them getting into a group or song rut..
                      I get that way too.
                      I didn't mean to be inaccurate, but I wasn't trying to be precise.

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                      • #12
                        I liked CCM a whole lot more before I got access to CCM radio.

                        Here's the thing: CCM is not about music. It's not really about lyrics. It's also about music distribution. A professed Christian artist signed by a secular label will never get played on Christian radio. A secular song that has Christian overtones will never get played on Christian radio, until an inferior cover is done by an artist signed by a specific Christian label.

                        That means that if you are a Christian band that skewers toward the more creative, the more alternative, the rockier, the critically-acclaimed, the Cornerstone-Music-Festival set, forget it. CCM radio was not created with you in mind. Most Christian bookstores were not created with you in mind either.

                        Articles from Christianity Today have demonstrated that CCM radio targets only one type of person: a thirty-something soccer Mom. Her code name is Becky. And her interests are not about plumbing the theological texts of the ancient Christian Fathers of the church; nope. She wants something "safe" for the whole family.

                        I've got a toothache.

                        Nick
                        Nick Alexander
                        Host, The Prayer Meeting Podcast
                        Worship that is Contemporary, Traditional, Charismatic, Contemplative, Spontaneous, based on the Church calendar, play it whenever you want.
                        Find out what Nick Alexander can do for your conference, retreat or workshop.

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                        • #13
                          Is that why you never hear Paul Baloche on CCM Radio? I've often wondered about that.

                          Smitty
                          Love ONE woman...MANY guitars!

                          www.davidsproblem.wordpress.com

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                          • #14
                            "Safe for the whole family?" Nick, I hope you spent some time in the DFW area - I hate to think they're using that same slogan elsewhere.

                            I live just north of Dallas. We have "the most listened-to Christian radio station in the country", KLTY. Their slogan is "safe for the whole family." I have yet to hear the DJs mention the name Jesus on the air. Perhaps I'm overly cynical, but it seems to me that KLTY is a business first and a ministry a very distant second. As others have mentioned the song selection is really repetitive throughout the day, lots of poppy feel-good music and some semi-religious popular secular songs. I've heard "Jesus, Take the Wheel" more times than I can count. U2 covers off of that "In The Name of Love" album are very popular. The evening call-in show is saccharine-sweet enough to make me puke. I haven't studied it, but it seems to me that they run more ads than other radio stations in the area.

                            Rant aside, they do some good things for the community. KLTY frequently sponsors concerts and other events that might not have happened here without their support. They host the "celebrate freedom" event every year around the 4th of July and bring in some really big names for a free all-day outdoor concert. I'm happy they're here, but happier that I have other stations to listen to.

                            We also have 89.7, a listener-supported station that plays Christian rock. They're sometimes a bit too heavy for my taste, but they're blatantly Christian, have devotionals and prayer time on the radio, and give the glory to God on a daily basis. I think that if you look at the size of their respective budgets, 89.7 does more per dollar than KLTY from a community-support perspective. I've met several of the staff members, volunteered to help them out for a few events, and they're all about ministry.

                            I'm in the car for my day job about 30 hours a week, so I get lots of radio time. A big chunk of our congregation listens to KLTY all the time, I tune in on a regular basis so when we get a request I've heard it before. Once I've memorized their rotation for the week it's back to my MP3 player.

                            If you're concerned about your congregation getting "in a rut" musically then I would question your musical choices. If you're playing music that is engaging and exciting, but they're not hearing on the radio, they'll call the radio station and request it. If you're not playing music that grabs your congregation and draws them in, why not? There's enough music out there that's both interesting and theologically deep.

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                            • #15
                              based on what you guys are saying I guess I feel lucky. My favorite station is 101.9 KNWS and they do a great job, I have heard the Name Jesus on the air. Its listener funded. no commercials. maybe thats the difference. your stations mite be advertising funded.

                              I just thought of one other point to mention. Secular stations don't play anything other then labeled groups. Right? So why do you expect a christian station to be different about that? There must be a reason they have to do that. I don't know how to go about finding out other then one of us calls and asks the station managers.
                              whos in?
                              I didn't mean to be inaccurate, but I wasn't trying to be precise.

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