A radio station in Wisconsin that reaches over 20,000 teens weekly and 9,000 via internet who just celebrated its 10th Anniversary says music can be the bridge between today’s youth and the Gospel message preached in today's churches.
Q90, WORQ-FM, operating out of a station in Ashwaubenon at 90.1 has been bringing Christian music to youth since Feb. 1, 1994 with an idea that began as early as 1985.
General manager Mike LeMay said that the Gospel message delivered through music is what can help youths develop in their faith.
“Our mission is still to reach families and youth with Jesus’ message of hope and love through uplifting, positive music,” he said. “We firmly believe that as youth draw closer to God, they build real, positive self-esteem and a solid foundation for their future as members of their community.”
Music has such a huge influence on teens. LeMay said research shows “they listen to music more hours than they attend school”, which is an average of 40 hours a week.
The interdenominational radio station started out because the group felt that already existing Christian radio stations weren’t tailored toward youth.
“There were already three Christian stations in this area,” LeMay said, “but we felt they were preaching to the choir. We aimed at youth who need to hear Jesus’ message in a way they will listen.”
Ninety-eight percent of Q90’s programming is music, including songs from contemporary Christian music artists. There is a Sunday night call-in show for teens to anonymously discuss problems, according to LeMay.
“This young generation is very bright but skeptical,” he said. “They don’t trust institutions such as governments, corporations and even churches, he said. “We want to help re-establish trust with church.”
Based on the responses LeMay has been receiving via e-mails, the purpose of the radio station is working and reaching a wide range of teens all over the country and world.
“What’s really exciting for me,” LeMay said, “is getting e-mails from teens on how we helped them turn their lives around.”
Estimates of 23,000 listeners, mostly families with young children and teens, tune-in weekly to the station while listeners from 27 states and 24 countries follow the broadcast online, according to LeMay.
Cheryl Callahan, 16, of Kiel, confirms the efficacy of Q90.
“With my friends, music is a huge topic,” said Callahan, who helps pick out music for the youth worship at Jubilee Assembly of God. She said most of the songs are on Q90’s playlist and are “ones teens can relate to.”
Songs by Jars of Clay and ZOEgirl are some examples, she said.
Callahan and her family helps take phone pledges for the station, supported solely by listeners’ tax-deductible donations. The next fundraising event is May 4 to 6.
For more information, visit www.q90fm.com.