The Top 5 Denominations Among CCM Listeners in the Why Listen Survey 2018 – Finney’s Fast 5


The Finney Media Why Listen?® Survey 2018 surveyed 26,800 respondents with over three million data points from four different formats: Music stations, Music/Teaching stations, All-Teaching stations, and Teaching programs.

One of the challenges and opportunities we face is that, unlike a church which is focused on one particular denomination, our radio stations are multi-denominational. They are heard by people from many denominations. In our nationwide survey, we asked about denomination affiliation. Among respondents from CCM stations, here are the Top Five Denominations:

  1. Non-denominational/Bible/Community 31%
  2. Baptist 23%
  3. Pentecostal/Charismatic   9%
  4. Methodist   8%
  5. Lutheran   7%

And, these five comprise about 80 percent. The other 20 percent are led by Catholic listeners at six percent. This is an example of many denominations with different ways of worship and different words used in worship and communication.

For us to reach them and perhaps many who haven’t even given us a pre-set yet, we’ll need to focus on using words and concepts that many or most understand.

A story to help illustrate. We heard this on the radio: A prominent national Christian broadcaster on his program said, “we need to exhort fellow believers.” I asked friends from a Christian station to tell me the meaning of the word exhort.One thought it meant to exercise. A friend pointed out that that is to exertAnother thought that exhort is what you do when you know something damaging about someone and you expect payment to keep it quiet, actually to extort. These were smart broadcasters focused on a Biblical mission, but they didn’t know that exhort means to “strongly encourage or urge”. And, if the national broadcaster had said “urge” instead of “exhort”, he would have been clearer. 

If we’re going to be clear in our communication, we’ll need to consider what our multi-denominational listener,  people of all nations . . . and denominations, understands. Clarity and understanding of the Truth is at stake.

Coming in January: The Top Five Marital Statuses represented among CCM respondents to the Why Listen? 2018 Survey. You already know not all are married for the first time. We’ll break down how different the respondents are in relation to marriage/life situations.



Chuck Finney is the President of Finney Media and has over 30 years experience helping radio stations grow audience and deepen relationships with listeners. He led Salem’s KLTY Dallas to record audience levels and served as National Program Director for Salem’s Fish CCM stations. While with KLTY, the station won multiple awards, including NRB Music Station Of The Year, the CMB Major Market Station Of The Year and the NAB Religious Station Of The Year.

Chuck served as Chairman of Christian Music Broadcasters and currently serves on the Radio Committee of NRB.

Since 2009, he has consulted Christian Music and Teaching radio stations and ministries internationally, helping them reach more people while being Gospel-focused.

He and his wife of 25 years, Lynda, live in the DFW area and have two daughters.


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Wise, Weird & Welcome: Learning and Leading with the Lepers and the Locust Eaters

We’ve all read the same books about teamwork, leadership, communication, and culture that everybody reads. We’ve mastered Maxwell, studied Sanborn, Sinek, and Sun Tzu, and liberally cribbed Collins in aborted attempts to go from good to great, but…

How’s that working out for you? 

What if you left St. Louis with an entirely new lens through which to view and act upon improvements in:

Let’s examine how this all connects together, but approach it from an entirely different angle. Don’t just think outside the box. Kick the box to the curb and start at zero.