As we shared in Part One, we recently went through a process to rearticulate our overarching ministry “playbook,” based loosely on Patrick Lencioni’s The Advantage. This playbook is key to keeping ReFrame Media on mission: to produce connected media resources that invite a mass audience into the Gospel story. In Part Two, we want to outline our strategy for carrying out our mission.
One dictionary defines strategy as “a plan of action designed to achieve a major or overall aim.” Our overall aim has been virtually the same since our founding in 1939: to form disciples for Jesus Christ using mass media. Our founders recognized the power of broadcast media long before our first transmission. They knew a single radio station would not suffice for the vision they shared. “The radio reaches millions, and to bring our message to the masses in the best and most efficient way we can think of, would be a worthwhile missionary work.” They enacted a bold strategy: build a dedicated ministry to reach across the continent.
Over the years technology has evolved. Radio remains a vibrant channel for our gospel outreach, but many other channels have arisen, most recently, the Internet and mobile technology. Yet our mission remains cultivating disciples, and to do so, we’ve shaped our strategy to cultivate lifelong discipling relationships. We want to walk alongside you toward Christ. And to walk alongside as many people as possible for as long as possible, we’ve built a family of connected programs, offered online, on the air, and in print.
Each of our six programs uses multiple channels and has its own audience, yet each program points to the others. We do this because each person has more than one need, and different people of have different sets of needs that change over time. At any given moment in your journey, we hope to have a program for you. Every program, and all of them together, helps media users see God’s story unfold in their day-to-day lives, day after day. We see our programs acting as spiritual growth catalysts for disciples of Jesus through many light encounters.
Hundreds of thousands of readers, for example, engage our daily devotional Today as one such light encounter. Today also introduces many readers to our family of programs and wider array of discipleship resources. That’s what happened for Shirley. A long time reader of Today, Shirley noticed information about Family Fire on the Today website. She had been looking for encouragement for her relationships with her grown children. While exploring Family Fire, she discovered Kids Corner for her grandchildren. “I had been blessed by Today and the valuable teaching I have received over the years,” she shared with us. “My experience with Today gave me confidence that I can trust the content of your other programs.” Shirley’s not alone; thousands of Today readers have discovered other ReFrame family members, and of course, vice versa.
The word family assumes close relationships. We offer a family of connected programs to cultivate a lifelong relationship with you. With hospitality as one of our core values, we make it easy to find and use our resources, and to interact with us. We’re available when and where you need us. For example, readers get Today via email, in print, through social media, and mobile app. Family Fire and Think Christian, too, are just a tap away, no matter where you are. While hundreds of radio stations air Groundwork and Kids Corner, listeners are no longer locked down by radio timeslots. They can stream or download these programs at any time that’s convenient for them, 24-7. All of our programs are available via email. Today hits your inbox before the morning paper lands on your doorstep; Think Christian arrives just in time for lunch; and Church Juice comes on a day when you can put what you learn into action before the next Sunday.
But we want a relationship with you that’s more than just about using our programs. We want to walk humbly with you as disciples of Jesus, growing and learning together. Our family of programs cultivate a relationship with you that grows deeper over time. That means being there for each other in the things of life over the long haul. When listeners and readers reach out to us for prayer, a team of more than 2,000 of their fellow listeners and readers pray for their requests. We offer resources to meet people in life’s trenches, like Jennifer and her husband who used “10 Rules for Fair Fighting” from Family Fire to have “some wonderful discussions!” And we talk about things people are grappling with now in the culture, like race relations. One reader appreciated several articles on the #BlackLivesMatter movement from Think Christian, and even suggested using the TC pieces in adult Sunday school classes. “I am so impressed by TC's efforts in this area.” Tracy left this comment on Facebook: "I am disabled and have been looking for an online Bible study because I am unable to attend church. I believe God put Groundwork here for me. Thank you!"
Since our programs are connected, as your life moves and your interests sharpen or change, our family of media experiences move, sharpen, and change right along with you. That’s a key element of our strategy to fulfill our overarching mission to make disciples of Jesus through mass media.
Keep an eye out for Part Three in our Ministry Playbook series, a review of ministry operating objectives.