by Rick Dunham, Founder+CEO
A recent study on the consumption of Christian media proved that music is the primary content consumed by adults and teens alike.
And the implications of these findings are more than significant.
The impact of music on younger generations is illustrated in a quote from the book Hashtag: Jesus Revolution written by the CEO of Youth for Christ in Australia.
“Balladeers are people who write the songs and poems that influence society. In essence, the storytellers. Every generation has had balladeers. Darrow Miller, a leading Christian cultural thinker, teaches about the role of balladeers in society. He explains how music and the arts are upstream from politics…
“It is the role of the balladeers to influence the culture and as a result, the laws of the land will be changed downstream.‘”
This writer beautifully expresses the power of music within a society. And specifically, I believe those involved in Christian media have a significant role to play in changing a generation… perhaps even changing our country.
Here’s what we found:
• The younger the generation, the more likely they are to consume Christian music.
This is so encouraging! We have a younger generation that is leaning into and engaging with Christian music like never before.
Think about that for a moment.
If you’re involved in that particular genre, you have an opportunity to affect how a generation thinks about their life, about society. There’s a heaviness to that.
• While the younger generation is likely to tune in to Christian radio, they are much more likely to consume that music online or on mobile.
Now to be clear, this does not suggest we neglect traditional broadcast. They are tuning in there just as much as any other generation.
In fact, I believe our job is to offer up content in every available channel so that they have the maximum opportunity to engage with it.
• Teens and adults tune in to Christian media for inspiration, encouragement, spiritual growth, and entertainment.
If you’re involved in Christian radio in any format, the encouragement would be for you to think about your programming mix. How do you inspire your listeners? How do you encourage them? How do you help them grow spiritually? How are you helping them engage with the content?
• Christian music causes people to feel more strongly about their faith.
Think about it this way: You are actually moving the needle in a person’s progression in their faith as a result of the content you provide.
• Engagement in Christian music should continue to grow over the next five years among notional and engaged followers.
Notional Christians, those somewhat on the edge, would say they are saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus, but they’re not involved in any kind of worship service on a regular basis nor are they involved in Scripture.
By engaging this group in Christian music content, you’re helping them to grow spiritually and move into a deeper walk with Christ.
• Non-believers anticipate decreasing their conception of Christian music.
However, almost seven percent of this group said they would be increasing their consumption. Not to mention, we’ve all heard the stories of a non-believer tuning in to Christian music and coming to faith in Christ as a result.
This study brought to light the immense opportunity we have in Christian media to reach that notional group with Christian music and as a result, see them transform into engaged followers of Christ.
To hear more about this study and the implications in the world of media, please check out Rick’s Dunham Institute course Consumer Engagement with Christian Media.
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