The worst content of a radio station’s broadcast day is often found in the time slot donated for Morning Devotions. That is so because those of us who participate in it are often either inept or lazy. If we get a realistic concept of what broadcasting is and are willing to exert the effort necessary to be effective we can change the devotional time to a positive period for the audience and a time of joy for us.
We will have to modify both our attitude and our activity. We may have a captive audience in the sanctuary on Sunday morning because no one wants to make a spectacle of themselves by walking out. The only captive audience we have for Morning Devotions is a bedridden quadriplegic whose care giver has just left for the bathroom.
We will need to polish our ability to communicate “one on one.” At nine or ten years of age, I was captivated by Dr. John Holland who hosted a devotional program on station WLS in Chicago between the livestock reports and a kids program featuring Jolly Joe Kelly. Dr. Holland got to me because his voice made me wish that he was my grandfather.
Tone, speed, and volume are important. We need to remember that we will not be heard for either our loud or rapid delivery. An unctuous tone will lead a listener to turn us off as quickly as a bombastic barrage.
Content must be timely, terse, and true. We must find the way to apply eternal truths to current situations. I think that this is the place to say that a condensed version of last Sunday’s sermon will not be pertinent. There are two reasons for that: we will need enough material for five days and most sermons do not have five meritorious segments. The second reason is that when we seek to follow the adaptive process to save time we lose both spontaneity and freshness.
We move now from attitude to activity. There is no substitute for production sweat. If we are not willing to work at the broadcasts all the way through we should not accept the assignment in the first place.
A solid workable framework for a five minute broadcast is; a fifteen second self introduction, a sixty second opening prayer, a ninety second scripture reading, a two minute meditation, and a fifteen second sign off. The opening prayer and the meditation should be type written. To stay within the allotted time use a stop watch.
In most cases we will record the five broadcasts on a thirty-minute cassette tape. Recording the programs at the studio on tapes which we supply is the best way to maximize broadcast quality. If we use our own equipment at home we must be sure that it is compatible with the equipment at the studio. Check and recheck each broadcast immediately after it is recorded.
As you begin the each program give the person who will play it a lead in segment, i.e. “Morning devotions 5-4-3-2-1”.
Try to end each daily segment with the same phrase so that the announcer or engineer knows that you are done. Some possibilities of that are “God bless you”, “Walk with God today”, or “Let’s get together again tomorrow”. This also allows the listeners to tie the up the visit as a neat personal package.
To be respected as broadcasters by the station staff we need to make sure that they have our completed tape no later than the Thursday of the week before it is to be aired. That allows them to construct their schedule of programming with certainty.
To add to the effectiveness of our tapes and endear ourselves to the announcer or engineer we can take a well sharpened lead pencil and wind the tape in the cassette from left to right until the dark recording tape appears. That will save those who cue our tapes unlimited frustration is setting up the initial broadcast.
We can vitalize the morning devotional program if we are willing to use our own creativity, and allow the inspiration of the Lord to capture our minds and hearts.
We need to get caught up in the glory of this positive missionary opportunity. It will be well worth the time and the effort it takes. And who knows, we might even learn something in the process.