Member Spotlight – Chris Farnsworth

What led you to a career in the radio industry? 

Concerts and events were the gateway to my career in the radio industry. I began touring with Christian artists in 1997, and to this day still enjoy hoping on the bus with a band to fill in for someone. I’ve been fortunate to experience opportunities while globe-trotting around the world with many Christian and Country music artists. These experiences serve as an anchor for my love of the Christian music industry, I knew this was a place I could grow a career that I was passionate about and has a purpose. In the back of my mind, I would often catch myself wondering where these experience would lead me, and what my future could possibly look like. One day, I received a call that would forever change the direction of the path that I was on – a call from KSBJ Radio, asking if I would be interested in producing concerts and events in Houston, TX. Of course, I immediately said “no”, thinking to myself “Who wants to live in the armpit of the country?”. However, God had other plans for me…the Holy Spirit (and a friend named Tammy Johnson) began to work on me. Two short years later I found myself interviewing for a position in the very part of the country that I said I would never live – Houston. God works in funny ways though, and on April 7th – the day of my interview, as I sat down to ask the Lord to be with me and provide wisdom and direction; I opened up my devotion book (from the Message Bible), and read the title “God Listens”. I was surprised, dumbfounded even, to find that these were the words God had for me that day. If you’re not familiar with KSBJ, in Houston, they are known around the world as the “God listens” station. The direction I had been seeking became immediately clear, and I soon found myself a resident of Texas, learning about the gloriousness what real fajitas and BBQ are all about. During my time with KSBJ, new doors opened that allowed me to have a front row view to all of the opportunities that our radio industry holds, and I was completely fascinated by it all. To this day, I keep a copy of the April 7th devotion on my desk to serve as a reminder that God listens.

What advice would you give people new to the business? 

Take the time to meet and get to know all the people around you. Early on, my value came from getting the job done so I was more focused on work than people, I realized late that this is not who I wanted to be. You are surrounded by some of the most amazing people with incredible stories. Make the time to hear those stories and engage with the them.

Give a shoutout to someone who is making a difference in radio and what are they doing to make an impact? 

Anyone who has ever gone through something devastating like death of a loved one, divorce, addiction, etc… knows that the literal darkness of night can be the hardest of times to get through. There is a guy in Houston who has worked the overnight shift on the air for 26 years to bring hope and light to people that feel desperate and completely alone. A meek and humble guy that is never seen in the industry papers or publications, but I have personally watched make a difference in the lives of people one break, one phone call, and one prayer at a time. So my shoutout goes to Duane Allen at KSBJ.

Tell us about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.

I believe my most significant accomplishments have been in mentoring people. For a long time I did not understand the depth or significance that mentoring made until after several years of doing it when one of the people I was working with came to me and told me that she thought her boyfriend was going to propose to her. I cheered and celebrated the information with her. Timidly she started to ask me about getting engaged, after a bit of hemming and hawing she inquired if she were to get engaged would I be willing to walk her down the isle as ‘father of the bride’ at the wedding. It was in that moment that I realized how truly significant all the time, efforts, and investments really were. To this day, I still see her and others I worked with bettering and making a difference in our industry.

Tell us about a story of a Christian song that made a difference in your life or the life of a listener.

I’m not sure I have a story, but I can say that Cody Carnes ‘Nothing Else’ is the current anthem of my life. I cannot tell you how many times I find myself exhausted or feeling close to burned out because I get caught up in “doing ministry”. This song centers and reminds me not to allow the frustrations of work to steal my energy; but to break through the noise and stay focused on the desires of my life, loving God and people.

Chris Farnsworth
Compassion International – Director of Touring
CMB Member Since 2013

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