Friday, April 13, 2012

My Problem with KLOVE

With the annual Spring Pledge Drive in full effect, I feel compelled to write this.  My intention is not to tear down those in charge at KLOVE, but to suggest a solution to a problem.  I think KLOVE does a lot of good, but they settle for too little (like we all do from time to time).  I think KLOVE could easily reach more people for the Gospel of Christ if they chose to divert some of their resources and convert a few of their traditional KLOVE stations to Christian rap stations.  (For the record, I want to say that I think KRAP would be a horrible title for a Christian rap station).  What follows is a letter I have sent to KLOVE itself.  Any and all thoughts are appreciated, whether you agree or disagree with me.

To whom it may concern:

I occasionally listen to KLOVE, though it is not my top choice.  The only reason I listen to KLOVE is because I dislike much of the content found on secular stations and the CD-player in my vehicle doesn’t work all the time.

So why don’t I like KLOVE?  It is because I believe KLOVE is ineffective.  The KLOVE target audience is older women.  Not to be misogynic, but older women are one of the least influential church demographics.  When a husband comes to Christ, his entire family follows 93% of the time.  When a wife comes to Christ, her entire family follows 17% of the time1.

If the goal of KLOVE is to reach the lost, it is a goal that they are accomplishing.  The testimonies they air are proof of that.  But if they want “[lead] as many people as possible toward salvation and spiritual growth,”2 then KLOVE needs to change its approach. 

KLOVE needs to contextualize the gospel much better than they have been.  Jesus explained things in terms his listeners understood.  With KLOVE, many of their anecdotes seem forced and ineffective.

A large percentage of people listen to rap.  There is some great Christian rap out there.  People like KJ-52, Lecrae, Tedashii, and many many others do a great job of presenting the message of Jesus.  For many people, the style of music played on KLOVE is not something that they can connect with.  For a long time, the Steven Curtis Chapman song This Moment (I danced with Cinderella) annoyed me.  I thought it was pointless and didn’t really belong on KLOVE.  Now that I have a daughter myself, the song brings me to tears.  Many of the ways in which KLOVE tries to connect with listeners are very narrow and specific.  I’m not saying that’s a band thing, but if KLOVE wants to “[lead] as many people as possible toward salvation and spiritual growth,”2 then they need to change the way they do things.

Please don’t misinterpret this as a denunciation of KLOVE as evil or godless; I see a problem and I have a solution I would like to offer.  I think KLOVE would be able to reach a far greater audience for Christ if they changed the genre of worship music they played.  Don’t change all the stations, but change a few stations to Christian rap and see how listenership increases.  Last I heard, KLOVE has a worldwide audience of about 4,000,000 people.  If they were to take 4 stations, let’s say one in San Diego, L.A., Sacramento, and San Francisco, I would surprised if they weren’t able to double the amount of people they reach.  It’s not as if KLOVE would lose listeners from the stations they would convert; where I live in Northern California, I can get at least three separate KLOVE stations on the radio.  Depending where I’m at, that number can jump up to four or five.

There are many people right here in the United States who choose to ignore the Gospel of Christ.  The way to reach them is to contextualize the gospel—apply it to situations they empathize with.  It will move Christianity from being a dead set of rules their grandma follows to a vibrant, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  I think the act of helping many people to see Christianity as relevant and practical is a feat withing KLOVE's ability, if the organization chooses to.

1 Dan Murrow:  Why Men Hate Church

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