Approximately 10 years ago, while Pastor Darrin Purdy was leading the Cleveland-Jamestown district in North Dakota, a one-hour radio spot became available. Pastor Purdy had no experience in radio, but the Cleveland Church felt it was a worthy outreach. They chose to fill most of the hour with a Revelation seminar, but Pastor Purdy needed to introduce the program and take the last couple of minutes to invite listeners to return for the next scheduled appointment. It was his introduction to radio.
The Jamestown Church also wanted to do something, but a full hour was expensive. A radio station sales manager registered his child at the local Adventist school, so the pastor discussed the matter with him. The sales manager researched, arranged and organized a daily one-minute slot for when people were driving to and from work. “We will put you on right before the farm guy and right after the weather,” he said. He also arranged for manageable pricing.
“These are little devotional spots, which we call Drive Time,” says Pastor Purdy. The slot starts with guitar music and the sound of a car starting. “The aim is to give people a spiritual thought and to get them to look a little higher in their day. There is an intro and outro, so I have 42 seconds; about 120-130 words.”
The radio station promoted Drive Time with an interview. Pastor Purdy spent a morning in the studio. Between regular planning, the disc jockey asked questions and talked about the radio spot: “What church do you pastor?” and “We have Pastor Darren Purdy here in the studio…Drive Time.”
“I had to get several dozen done ahead of time,” said Pastor Purdy. I didn’t want to talk too fast, but I needed to get a message across. It is a challenge to eliminate superfluous words. I want to allude to scripture without being preachy; not doctrinal but devotional.”
Drive Time became a connecting point with the community. Pastor Purdy’s goal was to break down barriers. “People believe you are legitimate because they have heard you on the radio,” says Pastor Purdy. “They become open to attending seminars associated with your church or your name. It also gives the church members something to promote, something they can be proud of.”
After the program ran for a while, if someone heard his voice at the store or saw his name at the bank, they would say, “I just love those little talks,” “It gets me thinking,” or “That is what I think about all day long.”
Pastor Purdy has since moved to a South Dakota district, but still owns the drivetime1.com website. His goal for the website is to have a blog where people can ask questions he answers, to provide Bible information and lesson studies, and to link to other Adventist media.
His 260-300 one-minute clips are currently being run on Bismarck Christian Education Radio Station 90.9, KTWJ, located in the basement of the Dakota Conference.
“I want to lift up Christ. I want people to know that God thinks about them and loves them,” adds Pastor Purdy.