Saturday, February 03, 2007

Christians with The Heart of A Servant - Fourth in the Series

Meet Mike Riddles
Christian Radio Station WCQR DJ

The first time I met Mike Riddles I was more than impressed with his Christ-like soul. I was taking pledges at the station during their bi-yearly share-a-thon, helping as they raised listener financial support.
Mike came into the room sporting a pleasant smile and an appreciative handshake. As he made his way around the room, thanking the volunteers one by one, I noticed the sincerity in the attention he gave each worker. When he worked his way around to me, he extended his hand and glanced at my name tag.
"Cindy Sproles. I know you. You write the devotions. They're great and we've kept the one you wrote about the station."
As an aspiring writer, anytime anyone acknowledges your work, a thrill of excitement shoots through you. But this guy was genuine. He pocketed his hands and leaned on one foot beginning a conversation that lasted for some time. It didn't take long to figure out Mike loved his work and more so, that he loved being a part of other's lives. It was my pleasure to have the opportuntiy to interview him in this series of Christians with the Heart of A Servant. Sit back and enjoy this fourth in a series of interviews. Meet Mike Riddles, DJ with Christian Radio Station, WCQR 88.3.

Mike, I’ve been listening to WCQR for a number of years and it seems you’ve been a fixture at the station for some time. Actually, your're still considered a new kid on the block. How long have you worked with WCRQ?
Almost a year and a half.

So you are still one of the new kids. You've been such a part of our morning lives, your listeners feel as if you been around forever.

I know you weren't new to the radio industry, but tell us how you got into broadcasting, especially Christian broadcasting?
I was first introduced to radio by a friend who worked at a mainstream station. So, I began with a Top 40 radio station and worked in several different mainstream formats. But, I knew that this wasn't where I wanted to be. After much prayer a door opened at WCQR. I can remember driving down the road listening to WCQR and the announcement came over the air that they were looking to hire an on air personality. I looked at my wife and we both smiled simultaneously. When I got home I prayed that God would help this to become a reality if it was His will. I was hired about 2 months later.
I love it when God is blatant! Sometimes He has an urgency that can't wait. It certainly makes it easier for us when He moves in that way. We all love instant gratification. When things fall into place so quickly, it's a reassuring thing to know this is where God wants to use you and the talent He's given you.

You and your co-host do the early morning show at the station. When does your morning start?
Really early :) I usually get up around 3:45 to 4 AM each weekday morning.

Many stations have morning shows where the host are straining to laugh at jokes which aren't funny. You can tell their heart isn't in their job. Still your voice always appears to be chipper and pleasant. Are you just a morning person or it is something you have to work at?

Thanks for the kind words. Actually, I'm a night person. So, I have had to work at getting to bed much earlier.

Well, you know what they say, "Early to bed, early to rise..." One has to adjust to being an early riser. I find early mornings are the greatest. Things are much clearer as you enter into a new day.

Tell me how God moved you into Christian broadcasting?
Through much prayer. God has a plan for each one of us. I'm so thankful that his plan has allowed me the opportunity to be a part of a Christian radio ministry.

I'm sure it's much more rewarding than being in the secular end of broadcasting. You realize you have the power at your fingertips to set the pace of the day for your listeners. What is your goal with the morning show?
The goal is that each listener will wake up to uplifting music and encouraging messages. We strive to be a family friendly show and work to plant as many seeds as possible. And of course, we'd love to aid in leading the lost to Christ.

It's wonderful to know this is a ministry to you as well as a job. The influence you have to reach the masses is certainly a gift and a tool which God can work from.

How do you feel you personally impact the listeners?
Being a real person and sharing how God has worked in my life is the best example. Also, it's always nice when I meet a listener who tells me about a song that was played at just the right moment, or a story we shared that really helped them get through a difficult time.

That's what's great about listener communications. You can talk with those whom you've touched. So you can see the fruit of your labors.'s amazing to meet so many people that were lost, and to hear their stories about how they came to know Christ. Then to know that we had a small part in it.
As a matter of fact, I just received an email about our last concert, Winter Jam 2007. A father came forward with 5 young men by his side. He spoke about his son who attended Winter Jam 2006, and said that his boy was born again that night. But it's what he said after that which revealed what God is doing with this tour.
This man’s son had died tragically a few months after the concert. He said his family had found comfort in knowing they’d see their son again. By the way, the five young men with him were friends of his son. That night during the invitation, all five of his son’s friends gave their lives to Christ. PRAISE GOD!

Now that's seeing the fruit of your labors! It's a gratifying when we can feel the impact of the work of a servant. When we allow God to use us, the outreach is amazing and the rewards are fantastic. It makes us realize true riches are not always in the bank -- they're in the heart.

Can you share something that has been a true blessing through your work?
Many times when the music is playing on the air we will be on the phone with someone who has called in to request prayer. On one occasion we were talking about miracles and inviting listeners to share an experience with us.
We received a call from a young college student who said she didn't really believe in God. I was so surprised to find out that there are some people who listen to Christian radio that aren't saved. She went on to tell us that her Grandmother had a heart attack and was in critical condition. She told us that she went to the chapel and prayed, and that her Grandmother had gottn better. However, she was having a hard time admitting that God answers prayer. So, we shared the love of Christ with her, and when we finished with the call -- I'm happy to say that she now believes in prayer :)

If every person would key into the needs of one other individual, talk with them about the power of prayer, and the love of the Father, Chrisitianity would not be threatened like it is today. That healing love and forgiveness would supercede anything negetative that the world might throw at us. You've heard the song by Barbee Mason, "Each One, Reach One"...that's exactly how things would be.

How has God blessed you personally?
Through my family. My wife and I just celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. God knew she was the woman for me. She's such an inspiration. During our marriage we have been blessed with three wonderful children as well --two daughters and a son.

Okay, three little ones makes going to bed early a real task! And congratulations on your seventh wedding anniversary. You're well on your way to ten, then twenty...and as my son says, INFINITY AND BEYOND! I imagine being the early morning radio hosts provides you with a bit more free time in the afternoons and early evening to enjoy your children and your wife. A win-win situation.

How do you prepare for a day on the radio, especially knowing the primary group of listeners you cater to in the early hours are moms?
Each day after I get off the air I immediately begin preparing for the next day. The internet is the primary source used when searching for material. There are some great Christian websites that offer many good topics or stories that we use. Also, since we are a family friendly radio station we share many stories about our children. And as a father of three, I usually have plenty of things to talk about...from my youngest daughter eating playdoh, to my son almost getting his tongue stuck on the freezer door at the grocery store, or the time my my oldest daughter locked the whole family out of the house.

Oh yeah, that'll give you good subject matter. I once tied to accidently throw my son away in the trash. It's not what it sounds like...He was a year old and it was Christmas Day. I had put him down for his nap and begun cleaning up torn paper. The dog kept scratching at a large box that our son's riding toy came in -- which happened to be the box I was stuffing paper into. Come to find out, sliding the box across the floor, I thought it felt awfully heavy. The dog was going bonkers, so as I pulled open the front door he jumped at me and knocked the box loose from my hands. That's when my little sweetie crawled out of the box rubbing his eyes. I REALLY DID PUT HIM IN BED and to this day, I'm puzzled how he got from the bed to that box so fast! Yep...our kids will give us plenty of information to talk about.

I like to base my life around Philippians 4:8 “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is pure, whatever is admirable, whatever is honorable, think about these things. Do you have a scripture which you base your own life around?
Philippians 4:13. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Well, we're in the same chapter and book -- Philippians. I personally love Philippians. It's full of MEAT not MILK. Lots of stuff you can sink your teeth into.

Christian radio is no longer just the old time local gospel singers. It’s branched into bigger areas. Do think more and more people are listening to Christian radio as an alternative?
I don't know if they're listening as an alternative, but I do believe more people are listening to Contemporary Christian music today than ever before. The last 3 Christian concerts at Freedom Hall Civic Center in Johnson City have been filled to capacity.

That's wonderful. It's something parents can feel comfortable with as far as allowing their pre-teens and teens to participate. That must make you feel good. Especially in a world where fewer and fewer good alternatives are available.

What do you feel your roll as a Christian DJ is?
To impact and influence individuals, families and communities for Jesus Christ.

And you certainly do a wonderful job.

Do you think the Christian Radio market is the wave of the future?
Yes, I do. I just read an article in one of the radio trade magazines that said Contemporary Christian radio is growing rapidly throughout the U.S. And that's great news!

Mike, thank you for your time and thank you for service in the Christian radio market. If you had the opportunity to offer a word of advice about the importance of Christian radio, what would you offer?
Christian radio is so important because it's being used to bring the message of God's love and grace to people all around the world. It's a great way to help you keep focused. It can help you prioritize what really is important in life: Jesus Christ.

Mike you've been a charm to share a tidbit of your life with us. You have a job which you love and it allows you the opportunity to act as a true servant. It's not just the job, it's what you put into it -- the extra mile, so to speak. Taking time to talk to the listeners of the station, one on one, offering prayer for and with them, and influencing them toward a faithful and loving God. You are truly blessed. Thank you so much for all you do. May God continue to bless you, your family and the radio station.

WCQR is 88.3 on your FM dial and is located in Gray, Tennessee. To toot their horn for them, they've won more than one Dove Award for radio station of the year. Quite impressive! In the time this station has been on the air, God has "grown them" significantly, allowing His word to spread farther and farther. One other note that sets Mike and his fellow workers apart from the norm...this station is very MISSION ORIENTED. I personally find that amazing. When we give to the Father, He blesses us in return. You can visit WCQR on line at ,

I hope you are beginning to see how each of us, whether we realize it or not, are called to be a servant. Finding something you are passionate about -- a talent, a love, a job -- and then using that with a servant's heart, exposes so many to the work of Christ.

Thanks again to Mike Riddles of WCQR. Looking ahead, there are currently five more interviews in the process. Put these interviews into your prayers that God will develop them appropriately.