That is a phrase that is used and encouraged at the radio station I work for. Maybe yours as well. When a staff person says, “Permission to speak freely…” it is both an acknowledgment and an invitation. Acknowledging that the conversation ahead is important and potentially difficult. And the invitation to listen intently to the heart behind the words.
Do I have permission to speak freely to you as a Christian Music leader?
I’m concerned that we may be facing a crisis of mission. We know how to attract an audience. And grow revenue. We even have well-crafted mission statements. But if the mission of our radio station is only “outward facing” then we have a problem. A crisis of mission.
It struck me as I looked at our radio station mission statement hanging on the wall. Am I as concerned about walking out this mission inside our building as I am out in the community? Are any of the people that God is calling us to reach sitting next to me in a staff meeting?
As someone who has worked in Christian radio for over 30 years, I have a deep passion for the “mission.” But, sadly, I (perhaps you as well) sometimes forget that the mission starts WITHIN our walls. Among our team. In our leadership. In your heart and mine. Our mission begins with those closest to us. To embrace “mission” means that I am called to serve my staff, our Board of Directors, the volunteers AND our listeners and community. Not just those we hope will listen to our radio station.
Chances are that your mission statement is a lot like ours. It was probably written with the “world” in mind. Encourage. Unite. Share Jesus. What a shame if we are only doing those “missional” things with listeners and not each other.
The Christian radio mission begins with how we encourage our staff and co-workers. How we foster unity and protect a healthy work culture. How we serve each other in the building. Only then does it overflow out to listeners and the community. Only then is it authentic.
I think about Jesus’ leadership and “mission.” He came to save the lost world. And, He cared deeply for his 12 closest followers. They were not a means to an end (reaching a lot of people with the good news.) They were an integral part of the mission. Both while Jesus was with them and especially after He ascended to heaven. He invested in them. Cared for them. Taught them. Challenged and corrected them. He ministered to them. He washed their feet. His mission was evident to those closest to Him. And to the crowds.
Humility. Serving. Loving. Teaching. Weeping. He did all of that with his 12. It wasn’t merely for the benefit of the crowd. It was His mission. And it is ours as well.
Is that the model of your mission and ministry? Permission to speak freely? My heart needs help in this area. Perhaps yours does as well. Within our ministries, just like many other faith-based organizations, we have disheartened and disillusioned staff. We have toxic cultures. A lack of humility and accountability. And hypocrisy. I pray that the tender heart of Jesus would beat inside us all. I pray that we would humbly invite Jesus to wash our feet. Show us how to lead with a heart of mission to those closest to us. And then I pray it would authentically overflow to a hurting world.
I would love to know your thoughts. Permission to speak freely!
JOY FM / BOOST RADIO
Christian Music Broadcasters, Chairperson