Your Five for the Day
Peter Francis, Trimsaran
‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature’, Mark 16. 15. This great commission spoken by our Lord almost 2000 years ago is just as relevant today as it was in the first century. But how do we ‘go’ as the Saviour commanded? Up until about seventy years ago, this was done primarily by person-to-person communication. Today, the internet takes text, audio, and video around the globe in milliseconds.
Around the world there are a vast number of radio stations broadcasting. One such radio station is Radio Tircoed based in the relatively new Tircoed Forest Village, Swansea, in South Wales. Aired locally on 106.5FM and worldwide online at www.radiotircoed.com, this is a non-profit-making community radio station. The broadcast area targets 250,000 homes around junctions 46 to 48 of the M4, including Llanelli, the majority of Swansea and the Gower Peninsula, reaching Neath and Port Talbot to the east, and as far as Burry Port in Carmarthenshire to the west. It is not a Christian radio station as all genres of music are played 24 hours a day by around forty volunteer presenters to an estimated audience of up to 18,000.
In early 2014 we felt the Lord was leading us to produce and record five-minute ‘Thought for the Day’ style messages as a means of gospel outreach on radio. The main aim of the messages was to show the relevance of the Bible in the modern world by encouraging a personal relationship with God through faith in the work of the Saviour on the cross. After waiting on the Lord, ten scripts were written and then recorded in our own home-based well-equipped recording studio. Armed with the promotional CD, an approach was made in April 2014 to Radio Tircoed’s Station Controller and a meeting arranged.
After listening to only two of the messages the Station Controller was pleased with the content and impressed by the professional quality of the recordings. Without hesitation, he requested that four pre-recorded messages per week be produced to be aired on his Breakfast Show at 9.30 am every Monday to Thursday. He added that the timing of the approach to them could not have been more appropriate as they had recently renewed their licence to broadcast for a further five years. The only criticism from Ofcom1 had been ‘insufficient religious output’. What an answer to prayer and a confirmation of the Lord’s leading and guidance! To Him be all the praise and glory!
We were invited into Radio Tircoed’s studio for a live pre-launch promotional interview on Thursday, 17 July 2014. The Lord answered our prayers as during the hour we were given uninterrupted time to outline the purpose of the messages and explain the gospel. Despite much prayerful thought, at that time we did not have a name for our slot, but, unknown to us, the Station Controller had been pondering on a name too. Waking at about 5.30 am that morning he had thought about healthy eating and about consuming five pieces of fruit and veg every day. Then it came to him – five minutes of inspiration for daily spiritual health. So ‘Your Five for the Day’ was born.
We thank the Lord that since ‘Your Five for the Day’ was first broadcast on 21 July 2014, it is now part of the infrastructure of the radio station’s schedule of programmes four days a week. We have built up a library of over 800 messages. From time to time we have been able to call on other brethren to assist with the work load of writing and recording eight new scripts every two weeks. This has been a great help to keep the regular presenter fresh, and it also gives the listeners the opportunity to hear a different voice and style of presentation.
On the very rare occasion when ‘Your Five for the Day’ has not been aired it has been very encouraging to know that regular listeners ring the radio station to ask what has happened. Sometimes messages are played out of sequence or duplicated. It is on those occasions that someone has rung the radio station to say ‘that message was for me today’ – God’s ways are not our ways, but He does know best!
Our regular radio station programme presenter has sometimes been unable to present his Breakfast Show and the different presenters who have stepped in at short notice have always been willing to play the messages. We thank the Lord that we have built up many friendships and have regular contact with the radio station staff and through this we have discovered that several of them have previously had evangelical connections.
New messages still go out at 9.30 am every Monday to Thursday. Since 2015, at the request of other presenters, previously aired messages are repeated at 11.45 am every Friday and at 11.30 am every Saturday. Through the Internet we also have listeners in England, Scotland, Europe, South Africa, Australia and USA. Whilst accurate listening figures are not available, it is known that the listening audience increases dramatically around the time of our regular broadcasts. All praise to His name!
Other broadcasting opportunities
In September 2014 we discovered that gospel music was being played from 7.00 am to 9.00 am each Sunday by a presenter who owned-up on air, on at least three occasions, to be ‘a backslider’. He invited us to join him several times and soon agreed to a pre-recorded ten-minute gospel message called ‘Reflections’, to be aired at 8.30 am each Sunday. Different brethren became involved in this Outreach, and, after six months, the programme was moved to a Friday evening with ‘Reflections’ being aired at 9.30 pm. The presenter, thankfully, was restored to the Lord and publicly announced it during his last programme before he was suddenly taken ill and, sadly, died a few weeks later. Nobody has replaced him and the Gospel Show has stopped being aired. Many presenters do, however, play hymns and spiritual songs on a regular basis.
Since Christmas 2014 we have been privileged to facilitate, record, edit and broadcast hour-long, sound gospel-based services for Christmas Day, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. These have been recorded live from several Evangelical Churches in the nearby town of Gorseinon, and, last year, we had an extra opportunity on Christmas Eve to broadcast the Christmas Eve service from Treboeth Gospel Hall, which was gladly welcomed by the Radio Tircoed management team. All these opportunities are reaching thousands of needy souls and only eternity will reveal what has been of the Lord, and for His glory
When ‘Your Five for the Day’ was first broadcast the only way to listen to the messages was to tune in at the broadcast times. As many people were unable to tune in at these times, they began to ask for another way to listen. A CD of selected messages was made available at no charge and to date over 1000 copies have been distributed to individuals and churches for personal use in the car, at home, coffee mornings, services in residential homes and to distribute to non-believers as part of personal evangelism.
We have been told by several believers and non-believers that the messages have given them strength in difficult circumstances. These encouraging words came to us recently, ‘I have been passed a copy of your CD and wanted to tell you how lovely it is. I know the idea is for evangelism but I have felt spiritually encouraged myself and have been playing it over again on the way to work to prepare for often stressful times! So thank you’. A second CD has just been produced and both are available free of charge.
Phone line launched
The ‘Your Five for the Day’ phone line, 015 542 53 542, was launched on Monday, 29 May 2017, as a UK-wide gospel outreach. Anyone, anywhere in the UK is now able to hear a daily message, previously heard on Radio Tircoed. The messages are available to listen to 24/7 at standard network charges. Whilst we can envisage a poster on the notice board of every assembly in the UK, we are praying that believers, UK-wide, will be proactive in advertising the phone line throughout the UK for the glory of the Lord. Please can you help us by encouraging your assembly and your circle of Christian friends to assist in poster dropping for notice boards and flyer inclusion in tract distribution?
A2 and A4 posters are available for noticeboards in churches, shops, surgeries, hospitals, community centres, railway stations, in fact, anywhere where people congregate. We also have A6 flyers to be slipped inside a tract distributed in open air work or house-to-house visitation. Recently 20,000 flyers were added to Seed Sowers packs for distribution in Birmingham, 1000 flyers and 50 CDs were given out in the Pembrokeshire Agricultural Show and several assemblies have used them in tract distribution and gospel meeting advertising.
Website on its way
The construction of a suitable website was part of our initial exercise, but this only became a reality when Thomas Jennings (Ministry for Europe Trust) asked us to be part of their ‘City Bible’ project. His vision was for a QR Code to be printed on the cover of the book. Scanning the QR Code with a mobile phone or iPad would give immediate access to a ‘Your Five for the Day’ message. With the help of brethren representing MET and a local Christian website builder, we are now very close to launching our website.
Points for Prayer
- the salvation of the precious souls who listen;
- the Radio Tircoed management team and staff;
- continued guidance and fervour in writing Spirit-guided scripts;
- producing and editing recordings;
- vision to be taken up by others (that’s you!) to launch similar outreaches in the 100 other Community Radio Stations in the UK and beyond;
- seasonal outside broadcasts;
- completion of our website before the end of 2017;
- phone line to be used throughout the whole of the UK.
If you require a supply of flyers, posters or CDs to use in your personal or assembly outreach or would like further information, please contact us by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or ring Peter on 07903 347621.
1 The Office of Communications, commonly known as Ofcom, is the government-approved regulatory and competition authority for the broadcasting, telecommunications and postal industries of the United Kingdom.