This past Sunday morning, for some reason I woke up at 5:00am and couldn’t go back to sleep (the nap I took later was AWESOME!). So for about 4 hours or so, I flipped through the channels on my cable TV.
What was surprising was how many preachers were on TV Sunday morning! I really couldn’t believe it. I guess the glaring question I had was, why in the world do TV preachers want to be on Sunday mornings for? Are we trying to get people to stay home from REAL church and just watch it on TV? I guess I can understand the mentality for people who are unable to leave the house, so maybe it’s justified.
Anyway, I really was blown away at the number of preachers on TV that morning. So I started to write them all down. Here’s a list, if for no other reason than just having fun with a list
- Ed Young (highlights from the past year — good stuff really)
- John Hagee (apocalyptic as always)
- Benny Hinn (didn’t watch long enough)
- TD Jakes (the man has gifts, no doubt. dude can preach!)
- Creflo Dollar (never really liked his stuff, so I turned the channel)
- David Jeremiah (great on radio, looks a bit odd on TV)
- Joel Osteen (another message on how we should treat each-other, surprise…surprise)
- Charles Stanley (don’t remember, but he’s usually very good)
- Jimmy Swaggert (interesting, but I didn’t stay long)
- Robert Schuller (Crystal Cathedral, didn’t watch)
- Some local preaches (poor quality broadcasts, not great sermons either)
What did I learn from all these guys? The gift of teaching is rare. The gift of vision and leadership is rare as well; leadership and vision to recognize that if you want to effectively minister to TV watchers, you can’t produce a low-quality broadcast.
I guess the lesson learned from my 4 hour TV-preacher excursion is that quality matters, both in the production and presentation. You can’t have a high quality production, but have a preacher who doesn’t have a gift to effectively convey his message. And if you have a great presentation, but the broadcast production is poor, people won’t stick around either.
Pastors, if you’re going to do a TV broadcast, there are 2 things you have to ask yourself. 1) Do you have anything to say? Can you effectively minister through video? and 2) Do you have the vision to realize that a great gift in an ugly box is not going to be opened? Are you willing to spend as much time, effort, and money on the production as you do on the presentation?
Something to ponder…