Lifeword Broadcasting: Part Two of Three

By Holly Meriweather

As a media ministry that exists to assist local churches of the Baptist Missionary Association in fulfilling the Great Commission, Lifeword is constantly augmenting and changing its emphasis, but never its mission. To accomplish this, Lifeword functions with a three-pronged vision: Lifeword Broadcasting, Lifeword Community Radio, and Lifeword Leadership and Media Training. The Lifeword Leadership and Media Training part was featured in a previous article available at http://bmalife.com/lifeword-media-leadership-training. The formula for this ongoing training was featured in the article, using the example of the recent Lifeword Community Radio installation in Central America.

The more traditionally-known part that is “Lifeword Broadcasting” began in 1965 when Lifeword (then Harvest Gleaner Hour) was established as a radio broadcast ministry. Today that is a fully-thriving production of programs in thirty-six languages and in fifty different formats. Currently there are several languages and programs in production.

Although the primary focus is that each village, each community and each area hears God’s Word, broadcasts always have a culturally-relevant, community-wide appeal. For example, a broadcast program might begin with a discussion about improved farming methods, but end with Bible reading. Indigenous program producers are encouraged to consider customs, traditions and whatever works well in the culture.

Most of those programs are heard over commercial AM and FM radio stations. In special cases such as closed countries where local gospel broadcasts are not allowed, Lifeword uses high-power shortwave, medium wave (AM) and satellite broadcasts that can be clearly heard by target audiences that may be many thousands of miles away.

Of the 195 (a number that changes with the political climate) countries of the world, Lifeword broadcasts can be heard and understood in 119 of them. Eighty countries have little or no broadcast, and sometimes difficult government circumstances or technical issues force a broadcast language off the air. Evaluating whether or not an area is best suited for traditional broadcasting or Lifeword Community Radio is an ongoing process; finding the next language and/or area for God’s Word to be heard in the heart language of every tribe and tongue will continue until the whole world hears.

(For languages, target areas, program names, speakers and other information, go to lifeword.org.)

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