Celebration on the Radio
Did you know that one of our churches in Barrie, Ontario is producing a show on a local radio station? It includes Bible teaching, a featured local worship artist and news of local events.
We caught up with Rev. Brian McVitty at Celebration Church and asked him to share a bit of the story behind this really interesting way of reaching out to their neighbourhood.
How it Came to Be
About a year ago one of our Board members, Dennis McClelland, wanted to explore marketing with the local radio station. We were thinking about advertising. However, the station said that they would also be open to airing a 30 minute show if we produced it (and paid for the air time). At first this seemed like an impossible task. The station gave us some ideas of what other churches had done in the past. The son of one of our members, Derek Welsman, has a radio career in Toronto and he agreed to come on board as our producer.
The radio station asked us to create a pilot show to ensure that we would meet their standards. We submitted the pilot in April. They gave us a 6 week contract. We went on air the first Sunday of May.
Where and When
The show is called WAKE UP SUNDAY MORNING, and it's broadcast Sunday mornings at 8:00 a.m. throughout Central Ontario (an area from Vaughan to Muskoka and Peterborough to Staynor). The home station is Life 100.3 in Barrie but they have several repeater towers to cover the whole region.
Our first and biggest challenge was to find a producer and Derek answered that prayer.
This has been a steep learning curve for us.
Our first challenge was to design the first show.
The next challenge was to produce a show every week.
It costs us about $200 per week. We are a small congregation. The money has all come from over-and-above donations!
The latest challenge has been to produce special shows for Canada Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas and New Years.
By God's grace it has fallen into place.
It takes a while for people to discover that you are on the air and to remember to tune in this early on a Sunday morning.
However, I think we are beginning to hit our stride and develop a regular audience.
Our Sunday worship is in a rented facility and the radio show has given us a visibility in the community.
Our vision is to grow our audience.
We are going to approach WCDX (Buffalo) and see if they would like some Canadian content for Canada Day, Canadian Thanksgiving, etc.
Each week we profile a local worship artist. We would like to pull together these talented musicians for a live concert.
We are happy to assist other churches in getting launched.
You can listen to the show live on Sundays at 8am here: http://www.lifeonline.fm/listenlive/
In October we began podcasting our shows so that people can subscribe and listen anytime:
Please be praying for Celebration Church in this ministry and its challenges. We're so grateful to the Lord for the unique ways he's using us all to share the good news of Jesus. If you have any questions for Rev. Brian and Celebration you can contact them through their website https://www.celebrationchurchbarrie.ca
Are you part of an ANiC parish doing a unique project or ministry that might make for a good story? Email us about it!