Not in love with KLOVE

2010 update to this post

I don’t always listen to Christian music. I’ve mentioned before how I feel about it. There is a lot of music playing on the Christian radio stations that I believe are not theologically correct nor even truly worshipful. I joke, but I am not really, when I say I get more spiritual meaning out of some songs that play on 93.1 (the local MIX station) than I do from some Christian music. I joke, but I’m serious.

But this post is not about Christian music in general; its about one Christian radio station in particular: KLOVE. KLOVE has stations all across the nation and October appears to be one of their pledge drive months.

I fully support giving to Christian organizations when God has called you to support them. We all have different talents, gifts, and desires in His work; therefore we all will react differently to the calls for spiritual and financial help. I have a heart for children and so I tend to gravitate towards ministries that help them. I know people with a heart for Israel. I like to know what is going on there just as they may like children. While God may call us to financially or spiritually support a different group than our heart’s group; our first inclination is to our group.

So while I like Christian music, what’s my problem with KLOVE? Its because KLOVE is preying on people’s flesh and soul; not their spirit. I was fine with their fundraising until I turned on the radio about a week ago and one of the DJs was telling this story and referenced a phrase that a Scottish minister had told his congregation. It basically said that if you didn’t give your money freely then he doubted your salvation. I really wish I had the whole quote because it was wonderful. It was like a nail in my heart and it opened my eyes. Until I realized that KLOVE was using it in reference to themselves – and the idea that if we didn’t give THEM money freely…. well you can finish the logical conclusion. It immediately disgusted me and I started griping to God about them.

But I decided that maybe I was being uncharitable. I don’t listen to the radio much, but each time since then I’ve been disgusted whenever one of the DJ’s come on the air. Not once have I heard them say “Pray about it giving to KLOVE” – its been “Give us money” It’s been (and I *think* this is an exact quote) – “I have a hard time believing that there aren’t more listeners who can’t afford $20 a month” (That one made me so sick to my stomach).

Well I’ve been debating about whether or not to post my thoughts. I’m opinionated as you have figured out. I thought, well if I do I won’t mention the station. And I’ve thought … nah, its not worth griping about.

But I decided to google KLOVE Fundraising to see if maybe other people have been as annoyed as I have and I came across this blog from May 2009

I joined to verify the author’s results. I’m not sure where he got that the CEO of KLOVE got over $283,000 in 2007 because according to the 2008 form 990 – his total compensation is well over $600,000.

Granted, that includes health insurance, etc…. but his compensation is over $600,000. His compensation is over $600,000. His compensation is over $600,000. It takes 2,500 listeners giving $20 a month a whole year to pay his compensation.

Oh, and KLOVE had a revenue of 20 million dollars. Wonder where that money goes? I’m serious. If anyone can explain to me why an organization that “exists to promote the gospel throughout the world” is raking in $20 million dollars, I would love to know. If they aren’t truly raking it in, where is it going? Its not going to employee compensation or tower upkeep. Those were listed under expenses. Seriously. Check out the Form 909.

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20 Responses to Not in love with KLOVE

  1. Mark says:

    That’s just sad.

    I used to listen to KLOVE all the time. Heck, the station started as a local station in my home town. I always found their fundraising a put off.

    I haven’t listened to them in years because we don’t get them in LA. This doesn’t make me that upset.

  2. Ardell says:

    numbers don’t lie… just follow the money and you will know where the heart is at. =/

  3. admin says:

    That’s why I’m *really* hoping someone can explain to me the $20 million. I can almost justify the rather large paycheck the highest ranking folks are getting (almost, not quite) but the $20 million has got me scratching my head big time.

  4. admin says:

    Not upset because you aren’t surprised or because the numbers mean nothing? You’re an accountant so you may know more than what I understand the papers to be saying.

  5. Amy Deardon says:

    Hi Allie,

    Thank you so much for your note! I couldn’t find your email. I keep thinking I should post something on my blog that I’m OK. Family has had the pig flu and we are just recovering. I keep meaning to start blogging again. I miss everyone.

    Hope you’re well :-) And BTW I’m with you with the fund raising, not just KLOVE but many of these places. Where DOES the money go??? I like donating to Salvation Army; they do good work.

  6. Brandon Barr says:

    Hey Allie,

    Great post, and very informative. I share your annoyance with many of the wishy-washy, bad-theological music often played on Christian radio. I’m sorry, but much of the music played on such stations is spiritual milk or as I’d categorize it, Kiddo Christianity.

    I too am annoyed by the DJ’s down in Southern California. Air1 is our station, and they have employed many of the same phrases to coerce listeners into giving to THEIR cause.

    My thoughts…just take on commercials! Why waste money that can be given to much more needy causes. I can live with commercials…but not the endless pledge drives.

  7. admin says:

    Amy – Oh my! I’m glad that you guys are recovering. I’d hoped that it was because you’d just gotten busy, but since you usually post that you’ll be gone, I was a tad worried.

    Brandon – yeah, in my “investigating” I saw that Air1 (never heard of them before today) is operated by the same folks as KLOVE. It doesn’t surprise me that they use the same techniques.

    I agree about the commercials. As far as I know, no one is required to run an ad that they don’t want to. There are a lot of Christian organizations (at least here in Texas) that would put ads on Christian stations. And then after that, there’s nothing wrong (usually) with the ads for insurance agents, employment agencies, etc.

    I have my blog posts forwarded to Facebook and there was a bit of a discussion started there. Someone brought up Focus on the Family and Wycliff and was looking at their 990 Forms. They also looked odd. So I started doing more hunting and posted the following. Please note this had to do with their budgets, not that the organizations were in debt:

    So I checked out the ECFA website which both KLOVE and Focus on the Family are members of.

    KLOVE- Surplus – 20 million
    FotF – Deficit – 1 million
    Wycliffe – Deficit – 267,000
    Mercy Ships – Deficit – 970,000
    Compassion International – Surplus 4 million
    LeTourneau University – Surplus 5 million
    Jews for Jesus – Surplus 2 million

    (all numbers rounded for ease of typing)

    Ok, so the ECFA website helped me to understand a little bit more WHY they might have 20 million in surplus from their annual budget – It did make me realize that some of these organizations may have seen that this year incoming donations would be down, so they put some in reserves to help for this year –

    but I still question them when last year their total intake was $82 million –

  8. admin says:

    BTW – Amy – The Salvation Army has a deficit in their budget of 1 BILLION dollars….

    That is…. heart breaking.

  9. Mark says:

    Okay, so I’m trying to figure out why I wasn’t upset by it now. Maybe because I don’t hear their constant whines about money these days? Out of ear, out of mind? That’s about all I can figure.

  10. Brandon Barr says:

    Good research Allie!

  11. anonymous says:

    i used to work at this large christian organization and I can tell its no Utopia, its a lot of hard work with tons of technical things always going wrong and people communication problems ,and putting out fires. in 2009 and 1010 they are trying to change leadership around the ministry for the better, better communication, headship, goals, Its the signal growth department that get most the money as all high paid infrastructure support and Vice Presidents. The whole this is just so poorly organized and money is wasted everywhere, communication is the worst Ive ever experienced in any cooperate environment, I think they really need to start putting listeners first.

    EDITED Note: Comment was edited by admin as the last sentence was bordering on hurtful towards specific people. I feel that the writer of this comment would regret some of the things he/she said later on.

  12. Cindy says:

    I have began to agree with these issues with KLOVE, lately it seems as though they have “lost” thier way.

    Lately they keep playing over and over this annoying song about loving Candy. Some off color jokes, and Sunday they were talking about how wonderfu a church that serves prays for, baptizes and anoints dogs. I was so disgusted I turned the channel.

  13. admin says:

    While I actually agree with anointing with oil and praying for one’s pets (hmm…that’s a potential post right there), baptizing dogs is, sadly, something that has no scriptural basis; so to be promoting it is unwise, at best. I have heard the candy song (and thought it was hilarious) but haven’t heard any off-color jokes.

    I would encourage you to pray for them – as they are representing Christianity to millions and millions of people – don’t pray against them (ie “God, please make them stop playing that ‘Candy’ song) but for them “Father, encourage them, equip them, and draw closer to you, let each employee continue to be drawn closer and closer to you….”

  14. Kerri Morrison says:

    Everyone has the right to their opinion, and to give the way that they want to give.
    I myself have found KLOVE music and stories to get me through some of the toughest times in my life. KLOVE has been an inspiration me. I also accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior! I have never felt such an overwhelming feeling of God’s presence as I listened to the song “He’s my son” for my son is severely mentally and physically handicapp. Since that song it opened my eyes that Jesus gave me a speical gift, and I can say he has taught me more about love then I could have ever imagine! So for me you can’t put a price tag on the door KLOVE opened for me. This is just my thoughts… but just know KLOVE does inspire people all over. In short, If you feel that KLOVE offers nothing to you, turn it off, and give to your church or organization that you feel is best, for if we were all alike some organizations would fall short, so I do think it’s important for those to give to whatever their heart tells them. May God bless you all!

  15. admin says:

    Kerri, that is awesome! I don’t know if you saw my 2010 update post (this was written in 2009) but I did notice that K-Love was doing a better job with the fund raising techniques – less praying on people’s fleshly responses (guilt tripping) and more trying to evoke a true spiritual response.

  16. Ray says:

    When I take my family to a restaurant and order food, I feel compelled to pay for it. I don’t pay for the family’s next to me; I didn’t order it. God is the same way. If he ordered it, He will pay for it.
    I wrote to Klove 3 years ago and suggested they take those people who are out in front demanding people to give money and put them in the back closet praying for support. Don’t even mention a pledge drive. God has promised to provide all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus; but if I think I have to grab ahold of something and work my tail off for it, my Father stops working. Rather, my action prevents my heavenly Father from being able to work in my life. We already have all our needs provided for, now we apply faith in that fact.
    It’s sad, really. Klove does help people, but they could help so many more if the Spirit of God was allowed to have His own way.

  17. ryan says:

    It’s sad how they do what they do during the pledge drive crap. I’m sick of it. Guilting people to give is wrong. Oh yeah maybe they could cut back on some things like sponsoring NASCAR race teams and use that money instead of guilting people into giving. They act like 5 year olds too

  18. Jessica E says:

    I agree with this post. A pledge drive is going on as we speak and I have to just turn it off when the pledge drive stuff comes back on – I googled “klove pledge drive” to see if I was alone in my annoyance. I also have a hard time believing that the busy telephone/call reps background noise isn’t a recording – but that’s just speculation on my part. They go on and on and on so much, during idle listening in the car I find my own flesh being “preyed” upon, “well, yeah, I guess I COULD afford an ‘easy gift.’ Maybe if I cut back on this or that…” This is not how we are to be pressed to give. If God stirs me and places it on my heart to give, then I must give and do it cheerfully. But I cannot allow myself to question my God-voice because KLOVE has strategically come up with all kinds of quips to get us to pay up. A lot of it is distasteful, at best. I mean after every little song “give give give give easy gift give!!” Heck, I have to battle my flesh to keep myself from thinking “why I oughta!” thoughts because it irks me so bad.

  19. Renee says:

    I like some of the music on K-love, but I hate the pledge drive-it makes me cringe and I so have to turn it off.

  20. Missy says:

    It’s pledge drive with KLove again, and yes- I admit that in the past (just yesterday) I was annoyed by the constant babbling and what seems to be badgering for us to give. But last night a friend of mine was grumbling about the CEO salary and the annoying begging for money, and I took offense to her comment.
    1. I do not recall ever hearing a song that has gone against the principals of God… sure they may not all contain biblical scripture but the meaning behind the song could be traced back to the principals the Bible teaches. And as far as listening to other stations… well I have 3 children and I do not want to hear them sing, “I want your sex”, or “I’m too sexy for my shirt”, or “I’m a redneck woman in a high class world”… the list can go on and on of how disgusted I am with songs that teach God’s people that do whatever, say whatever, and feel whatever…
    2. Sure the CEO has a 5 t0 600,000 salary… I’m sure he tithes 10%, goes on mission trips (which are not cheap), gives to other organizations, and probably gives to just the average person he hears having a struggle from time to time. To keep a talented person, it is going to take a salary that will compensate for doing the job exceedingly well.
    3. The stories KLove gives far outweighs any babbling car salesman begging for us to come down to the lot and he’ll give you a great deal, or even those commercials that are inappropriate for listeners. I would rather hear a story of healing any time over those annoying DUI lawyers…
    4. The announcers silly conversations… Come on- really- how many times have we had discussions of heart felt silly stories that have come our way. Sure some of them are over the top, but it’s just a conversation and I have NEVER heard any one of them talk inappropriately, say a bad word, or blaspheme the name of our Lord (thank heavens). I used to listen to another station and would hear them make fun of the most disgusting things and have listeners call in and tell stories that would make Jerry Springer blush.
    5. Funds are not always allocated correctly across the board. Unfortunately, even in the best Christian organizations, there will be misuse or those things that seem unimportant expenses. In a perfect (before Eve bit the apple) world, we wouldn’t have those issues. That’s why we should constantly hold one another accountable and look after things like this.
    My point here is… we could all pick apart KLOVE, but they are being the HANDS AND FEET of our Lord. It does take money to support such a large organization and awareness for listeners to support it. I have never felt guilted into giving, but I have felt led to give. I have heard the announcers ask for listeners to pray about this as well. My prayer as I was listening today was this… Dear God, Be a provider for KLove’s ministry and for it’s listeners. Help them use these funds to honor you. Help me not to be impatient as this pledge drive continues, but instead to be encouraged each time I hear that another person has called in and given.
    You know, it actually worked… I listened with excitement this morning as I heard listeners call in, and also for them to set out a small goal of having 40 callers call in turn into 80! God is good and I think He is the final one to look at this. I believe He will say “well done, my good and faithful servants (and listeners).” God bless you all.