Lifeword Community Radio: Part Three of Three

By Holly Meriweather

At only two years old, Lifeword Community Radio is the youngest of the three parts of Lifeword Media Ministries’ vision. (Lifeword Broadcasting and Lifeword Media and Leadership are the other two.) For this fifty-year-old media ministry, it is the most exciting and effective tool for church growth that Lifeword has created to date.

This project partners with indigenous local churches in third world countries to own and operate their own FM radio stations. Ninety-eight percent of the people who attend the typical third world church will live within five to seven miles of the church and walk everywhere they go. Even though its power is only fifteen watts, to everyone within that range it sounds just as big as any other radio station. Local churches can air Lifeword programs in their own languages or dialects seven days a week if they want, and it encourages the people of each church to create their own original programming to serve the community.

As those church-based stations develop programs in their indigenous languages, Lifeword collects the best ones, and soon there will be enough great shows to program a 24/7 radio station in each Lifeword dialect. Using internet streaming to mobile phones, which will soon be a reality in nearly every country in the world, that station could be heard by nearly every person in the world who speaks that language! Lifeword staff members train the personnel to create programs of interest to the community and to weave the gospel message into that community-minded programming.

This is a true partnership between the local church and Lifeword. To insure success, the people of each local church make the financial sacrifice of $300 to pay for the equipment. Once they invest their own money, Lifeword will invest $1,500 to bring the equipment to the field and train the pastor and the church’s broadcast team to install and operate the station.

The final step is when that church’s broadcasters train other broadcasters, the same driving force Missions uses to teach discipleship and plant churches: Lifeword trains broadcasters to train other broadcasters just as Missions trains missionaries to train other missionaries. Those new broadcasters/missionaries then agree to help other churches do the same thing. This “media discipleship” is exactly what Jesus did with his disciples and what Paul did with Titus and Timothy. Lifeword Media Ministries is committed to continuing this multiplication method until the whole world hears.

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