Reaching radio listeners in Northeastern Mindanao Mission, Philippines : a case study
God uses radio to spread the Gospel with speed and urgency to the world. Radio crosses many barriers. It penetrates all classes of people. These facts are also true for the radio evangelism in the Northeastern Mindanao Mission (NEMM). This entity manages Hope Radio Butuan which runs Pattern of Truth broadcast ministry. However, the program hosts of Hope Radio Butuan lament that the church is not participating fully in reaching out to the radio listeners. Thus, the local churches have demonstrated minimal engagement in reaching out to the Pattern of Truth program listeners. There is, therefore, a need to develop a strategy to effectively reach the radio audience in NEMM. However, the officials of Hope Radio Butuan lament the fact that the church’s support is inadequate for the successful and effective outreach of the radio audience. Therefore, there was a need to develop a strategy that would effectively engage the church in reaching the radio audience. The purpose of this project was to reach the radio listeners of the evangelistic radio program of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in NEMM. In order to achieve this overall objective, the following research questions guided this study: 1. What is the biblical basis for using radio to advance the mission of the church? 2. What are the historical and cultural backgrounds that influence the broadcast of the radio program Pattern of Truth? 3. How successful are the strategies that are used by the radio program Pattern of Truth to reach the radio listeners in NEMM? 4. What strategy could be developed to effectively reach the radio listeners in NEMM? I conducted this research in NEMM. The participants of this study were 5 newly baptized members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 5 district pastors, and 5 local church officers from different areas of NEMM. The selection criteria for the newly baptized members were the following: (a) they accepted the Adventist message through the radio program Pattern of Truth of Hope Radio Butuan, (b) they were baptized not more than 2 years at the time of their participation in this study, and (c) they were still active members of their respective local churches during the conduct of this study. The selection criteria for the local church officers (elders, deacons/deaconesses, and department leaders) were as follows: (a) they were active financial supporters of Hope Radio Butuan, (b) they had been local church leaders for not less than 2 years, and (c) they had been involved in nurturing the newly baptized radio converts. Lastly, the pastors must (a) be ordained ministers of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, (b) had conducted at least 2 annual reaping campaigns sponsored by Hope Radio Butuan, and (c) were daily listeners of Pattern of Truth. The participants in the study were referred to using pseudonyms to maintain anonymity. I audio recorded the face-to-face interviews and then transcribed them. The data that emerged from the interviews include 1. Participants’ perceptions, experiences, and observations 2. Participants’ perceptions and experiences through the radio program as a tool for their conversion 3. Participants’ perception of the effectiveness of the strategies and activities of Pattern of Truth broadcast to encourage the listeners and the local church involvement in the follow-up programs 4. Participants’ suggestions of necessary steps to improve the effectiveness of the radio program Pattern of Truth and the activities of the local church in reaching the radio program audience Based on the findings, this study recommends further action to improve Hope Radio Butuan for the benefit of the listeners. Furthermore, the district pastors should train the local church members to be involved in consistent follow-up operations to reach the radio audience. It is paramount to increase the effectiveness of local church members’ initiative to reach out to radio program listeners.