Walking down a path, you hear a vibrant tune. As you continue walking, the music transports you to another place, another time. The notes speak to your soul, and your body is flooded with a peaceful happiness that makes chills run down your arms and your face flush with joy. Only a rare gift can affect you that way.
Each of us is built with skills we can use in unique and wonderful ways. Perhaps you’re an artist who brings happiness to the brokenhearted with your drawings, or maybe your ability to solve problems helps others wrestle with tough decisions in their lives. Maybe you have a way with words, or you provide aid to those who are struggling.
Everyone has a talent, and it’s beautiful to see those skills at work.
Keith Stevens, host of the podcast I Love That Song!, put it this way: “One of the best things in life is when you see somebody do something effortlessly.” For Keith, he experiences a thrill when he listens to Christian music artists. “They’re just doing it with a God-given gift,” he said.
And Keith understands that God has given him a gift as well.
Young Keith was fascinated by the skills of famous musical artists. “When I was seven, I remember wanting to be a rockstar. I really liked Elton John,” Keith recalled. He was always listening to the radio. Even at night when he was meant to be sleeping, he would tuck his radio under the blankets and fall asleep to the music he loved.
Eventually, Keith realized that he wasn’t meant to be a musical artist, so he decided to pursue the second-best option: becoming a radio host. As an eight-year-old boy, he began to dream of hosting his own radio show.
Keith spent part of his childhood in Cleveland, Ohio, and then primarily on the border between New York and New Jersey. When Keith was 11, his dad gave him a microphone from RadioShack with an antenna attached. Because of that gift, Keith was able to broadcast his very own radio “show” across his neighborhood.
By 21, Keith was an intern at Z100 New York. At the time, this was the biggest radio station in America. He met his beloved artist, Elton John, along with many others, during his time at the station. Keith had been praying for an experience like this, and it got him in the door as a radio host.
Yet, Keith knew he was meant to do so much more.
Keith has been a strong Christian since he gave his life to Christ at 12 years old. After working at Z100 for a while, Keith felt God giving him a gentle nudge toward Christian radio. He listened and stopped working in secular radio, although “they thought I was crazy,” he reminisced.
Eight years later, Keith had been working at a Christian radio station in New Jersey when he felt God say it was time for him to move on. Only a year and a half earlier, someone from the Minneapolis radio station 98.5 KTIS reached out to him about a job opportunity. At the time, Keith’s wife, Sue, wanted to stay with her mother who had cancer, so he wasn’t able to accept the role.
Keith remembered walking along the trails near his house, sad and disappointed, praying, “Lord, I can’t believe I’m not going.”
But now, Keith understands something. “What God has for you is for you,” Keith described, “and nobody else can take that.”
Shortly after Keith’s mother-in-law passed away, an opportunity at 98.5 KTIS came up again, and Keith accepted. “It was green lights all the way,” Keith said. And so, the family of six traversed the 1,200 miles from New Jersey to Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Keith had a vision for 98.5 KTIS. And God was on the move in Keith’s life—and at KTIS too.
Keith started as program director, and he truly enjoyed it. Eventually, Keith moved to being a full-time radio host, and his giftings shone brightly.
His faith has been impacted “a million percent.” Keith stated, “What you’re hearing on the radio is an extension of who I am and how my life is.” Although his relationship with God is deeply personal, he has been able to grow and allow his career to mold his faith, life, and work into one expression of worship.
“Whether I’m on the radio or not on the radio has nothing to do with my walk with the Lord,” Keith said. His relationship with Christ is a constant in Keith’s life, and it’s simply an extra blessing to work in a Christian environment.
Keith understands the privilege of his work. His voice is broadcast live, which allows him to reach listeners in the moment and talk with them right then and there.
This is where one of Keith’s favorite pieces of his job comes into play: his passion of “bridg[ing] the artist and the listener.”
And that is why his podcast, I Love That Song!, is such a good fit for Keith.
On the podcast, Keith combines his passion for music and people, engaging with the artist while also bringing listeners into the discussion. The artist talks about the inspiration behind the song, and the listeners share how the song has impacted their lives. For Keith, “it’s about the listener’s story, the listener’s engagement, and the artist.”
It’s not a simple interview, and Keith is not just a DJ. It’s a conversation. A peer-to-peer-to-peer discussion. And each person, walking in their gifting, provides a gift to everyone in the end.
Ultimately, Keith knows God created this opportunity for him, from its simple beginning as a little boy’s obsession to becoming host of this podcast.
“It’s His podcast; it’s His show,” Keith stated, rephrasing a quote from a pastor he knew: “It’s not my pulpit; it’s God’s pulpit.”
It truly shows the power of dedicating your gift to the One who gave it to you in the first place. The joy it spreads is not just your own. That joy spreads to many others too.
And isn’t that the real gift?
You can enjoy the I Love That Song! podcast on Wow God. If you would like to discover more about the podcast, check out this article to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Keith started the I Love That Song! podcast.