Petra Bagust talks about her passion for sharing her faith on radio

Petra Bagust is delighted to join CBA’s talented team this Easter on Newstalk ZB.

Firstly Petra, congratulations and thank you for being such an important part of 20 years of CBA’s Easter radio shows. What has kept you on board and so passionately involved for so long? Being able to work with great people on completely professional productions (sensational even!) – and having the opportunity to be encouraging to other Kiwis. I definitely hold to the truth that collaboration is key. We don’t do life alone, and so when I have something good in my life, I like to share it. The main good in my life is Jesus; He’s the source of love, peace, joy and hope – so yeah, I think that’s worth sharing and talking about.

What makes the Easter broadcast on Newstalk ZB special? It’s a truly spiritual holiday season. On a practical level, it’s the end of term one and the beginning of holidays, but more than that, it’s the turning point for all followers of Grace – it’s the point, where for Jesus, the rubber hits the road – He chose us and our freedom and life over His own. It’s an end that is forever a beginning – and I love that.

Why is radio such an effective channel to communicate the heart of the Christian faith? There is something truly magical about the medium of radio – it’s personal, intimate, portable, imaginative – I could go on… I think radio breaks down some of our prejudices because it takes ‘eyes’ out of the equation – in essence, there is more room to hear and to think – to communicate or listen to complex ideas, with less distraction. On radio, there can be room made, for sustained, intelligent thought.

As a high-profile Christian in the public eye, how have you handled the attention over the years – both negative and positive? With varying degrees of success – the positive attention is easier to handle. It’s easy to be nice to people who are being nice to you. I’ve probably felt the burden of being favoured in situations, at times – knowing that working in TV doesn’t make me more important than others. I’ve seen really big stars who treat everyone with respect and kindness, and that’s always struck me as the way it ought to be done. The negative attention – that’s more of a process. I’ve learned some things are best not read or returned to – and it’s not possible to please all the people, all the time – there is truly a lot of freedom in knowing that. Letting go of trying to be all things to all folk. I have a thicker skin than I used to, but I don’t believe I’ve become insensitive – the balance between ‘boundaried’ and defensive is one I’ve become aware of.

The main good in my life is Jesus; that’s worth sharing…

Can you recall any standout moments when you felt that you were reaching people with the love of Jesus through your radio show? My favourite thing as a broadcaster is when someone allows you into their trust and tells you about themselves or their life in a meaningful way – so those times when guests and folk phoning in have really opened up and given of themselves – their lives, their stories – those are moments when I feel love coursing through the airwaves.

Any other highlights that come to mind from your years of working with CBA? I love the Christmas radio shows – there is such a sense of celebration. Being able to chat to well-known Kiwis and play tracks they enjoy, and hear their own experiences of love, family and celebration is a privilege. Giving away $20k of prize money as a judge of Salt’s Dragon’s Den was also very satisfying – knowing that there were so many talented young broadcasters out there, working with passion and purpose, and being able to green-light a project, that was very special.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with CBA supporters? Making great radio is an amazing opportunity and I’d like to offer my heartfelt thanks for sharing your lives and resources with CBA. I think the gift of generosity just multiplies and multiplies – like ripples on a lake. It’s a magnificent thing. Thank you!

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