Creating ‘God moments’ on air

For 12 years now Real Life with John Cowan has aired every Sunday night on Newstalk ZB. Each week John chats with a different high-profile guest, delving into their upbringing, their accomplishments and ‘what makes them tick’.

With this format, it’s natural to talk about the role faith has played in their lives. We’ve had many guests this last year including Rod Oram, Irene van Dyk and Michael Jones, who have each spoken compellingly about their Christian faith with thousands of people listening in.

John’s warm and thoughtful interview style created the natural space for former TVNZ weatherman Jim Hickey to articulate this brilliant ‘God moment’ on air:

Jim Hickey“I grew up, like a lot of people, in religion and drifted away from it, then became a Christian. To me the two terms are diametrically opposed… Religion from my point of view was dogma, ritual, sort of ‘law-ish’ things – man based things – whereas Christianity, when you’ve had an experience with Jesus Christ… is a hugely liberating experience!”

“I love it when you can give people hope because the Bible says that Jesus is the God of hope.”

John Cowan

Real Life with John Cowan airs every Sunday night from 7:30-8pm on Newstalk ZB.

We put a few questions to John for a change:

Firstly John, congratulations on 12 years! What has kept you in the role?

It’s the best part of my week! My fun actually starts well before the interview as I dig through the internet, books and other sources to research each guest; it is a bit of work, but I really enjoy prying out nuggets that will make for a better interview.

What makes Real Life different to other radio shows?
This is the only show on commercial radio where people talk passionately about their faith.

Often faith is not a factor in a guest’s life but, when it is, it’s a perfect platform for them to speak about their beliefs.

Do you recall any particular ‘God moments’ that stand out to you?

john-kirwan-circleSir John Kirwan was greatly troubled that God seemed to be absent in the midst of his battles with depression. Then an Italian priest gave him a new perspective by asking him about the friends and family that had been around him, and John came to see how closely God had been with him throughout that journey in very tangible, practical ways.

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