In my book “The Last TV Evangelist: Why The Next Generation Couldn’t Care Less About Christian Media – And Why It Matters,” I released a list of mistakes that reveal when Christians are dropping the ball – particularly on television. Some readers have called it “TV Evangelist Porn.” While that may be a stretch, it does echo just how out of sync with good taste these “offenses” are:
Pastors and ministry leaders come to me from time to time and ask an interesting question: “Do for me what you did for Joel Osteen.” Apparently they think it’s easy. But whenever I’ve worked with people like Joel Osteen, Billy Graham, Joyce Meyer, Jack Graham, and others – or big organizations like The Salvation Army, Stella’s Voice, or The American Bible Society, it wasn’t me doing something magic – it was give and take, commitment, time, and a lot of creativity from our team and theirs – not to mention the ministry leaders themselves. But too many pastors who want to be on TV today think it’s a just a matter of buying better cameras, lighting the sanctuary better, or creating a more interesting show open. Let me tell you what it takes:
Churches, ministries, nonprofits, and others – if you have a message to share, don’t think TV’s days as a viable content delivery system are over. In an upcoming report to be released by the audience research firm Nielsen, here’s some interesting new facts:
Now that Pastor Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral has been sold to the Catholic Church, big changes are happening. For instance, it’s being reported that a walkway constructed of bricks with engraved names of Crystal Cathedral donors is being pulled up to make way for new landscaping. Although the new owners are making the bricks available to donors who would like to claim them, it’s still causing an
The morning of 9/11, I had a brainstorm. Watching the horror unfolding at the World Trade Center, I immediately sent a fax (remember faxes?) to every owner or manager of every Christian television station I knew. I begged them to interrupt their regularly scheduled programming and start reporting on the tragedy in New York. Obviously they didn’t have the budget or manpower to compete with major news networks, but they could report on
Here’s my interview with the Think International team on the future of Christian television. I’d love to know your reaction:
Many TV evangelists are rich because of greed. But not their greed. It’s our greed. An earlier generation donated money to help those in need. Growing up, my mother taught us about those “less fortunate” and we gave because the Bible expressed great concern about the poor and suffering. But as I grew up, a concept came along that turned giving on its head.
Mary Hutchinson of Inspired Direct, a church and ministry fundraising and strategy consultant, sent me this list of “10 Random Thoughts About Religious Television.” Mary’s terrific – frank, honest, and to the point. Let me know what you think of this list:
This blog first appeared as an column in the June issue of Charisma Magazine:
My alarm goes off at 5:50 sharp every morning, so I drag myself out of bed and head to the garage where I keep my exercise equipment and treadmill. While working out, I often turn on various TV channels to keep track of the early morning round of TV evangelists. I’ve been producing Christian television programming for thirty years now, and I’m still amazed – and often shocked – at the junk some evangelists pitch on television.