Christian Media

What’s Right About Christian TV?

I’ve been asked to write an article about what’s RIGHT about Christian television.  I have my ideas, but I’d love to crowd-source this, and see what you think.  Let me know your ideas.  Don’t rant about what’s wrong – we’ll do that another time.  But is there anything RIGHT about Christian television?  Be serious here.  What do you like about it?  Is it doing the world any good?

Let me know.

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32 Comments

  1. With people becoming more visually based the role of video content will continue to grow. Christian television is the ideal platform to provide content that takes an honest look at what we accept from popular culture and world view as well as underscoreing biblical values and belief.

  2. 1. It is a platform to preach the gospel to a large audience.

    2. It gives denominations and believers with varying biblical views a public venue to show how diverse Christianity can be while still claiming to follow the same master.

    3. It allows Christians with gifts of discernment to publicly point out faults and failures of other ministries without fear of personal contact and contamination.

    Side note: I find it extremely disheartening to struggle to find something good about what I’ve poured much of my life into. I mean, MY program and ministry are awesome, but in general … I don’t really care to watch the vast majority of what’s called Christian TV. 🙁

  3. Live programmes capturing revival hotspots as and when it happens (such as GOD TV’s Lakeland broadcasts or their current Bay Revival programmes).

    Radical, unreligious teaching on subjects shied away from in mainstream churches (eg issues of sexuality, Israel, the End Times, and so forth).

  4. Yes, there is something right. Every time the Gospel is preached, pure and without agenda, God can and does use it. I have been honored to interview dozens of people over the years that Christian television has delivered to them the right message at the right time. Many found the Lord, hearing the Good News for the first time. Others had their faith sparked to trust for a miracle — and saw it come to pass.

  5. It’s an effective means to extend the ministry of the local church into the community. 15% of new members at my church last year said they first heard about the church through the TV show. That’s second only to personal invites by friends and family.

  6. When believers can be transparent and aware that everyone is watching them, some with axes to grind, some with wounds to bind, some with an open mind, THEN “Christian TV” can be a wonderful step in the faith walk of many.

  7. I see stories of people who have been delivered from drug / alcohol addiction, or have seen their marriages / relationships restored thanks to them putting their faith in Christ. You don’t see that anywhere else.

  8. Yes, there is a lot right about it (though of course there is a lot wrong, too).

    The main thing to me goes back to Phil. 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Christian television (radio, movies, etc) helps to keep positive and godly images, discussions, and influences in my mind.

    There are plenty of neutral or ungoldly things bombarding me and my family daily; the least I can do in addition to reading His word is surround myself with positive, godly input whenever possible.

    It makes a different in my daily attitude and outlook for sure.

  9. Just like anything in life there’s the good and the bad and the same is true with Christian television. The good is the simply the message. Through the years of involvement in Christian television I have seen God use a program reach out to someone who is hurting and needed the message that is being broadcast at that moment. Just the other day I watched a program recorded over ten years ago but the message was what I needed to hear at that very moment in my life. God definitely uses Christian television but thank God for people such as yourself who are helping to pick yo the quality and the content so we can do a better job.

  10. It seems to me that internationally it may have a greater positive impact — where the gospel hasn’t oft been shared and where the form doesn’t scream so much louder then the function, or message.

  11. I’ve read letters from American viewers whose response from a television show we’ve produced had inspired in them multiple ways…. given them hope when they wanted to give up on their marriage, their life, financially, their loved one, an answer to an issue. Letters that said they felt encouraged to keep believing in God in spite of it all. A tv guest’s story/life was similar to the viewers and so and their shared story had given the viewer hope. Confirmations, words of knowledge, teaching, building of faith, instilling hope. Viewers liked a particular on air guests, so they went to their church or bought the book and their lives have been totally impacted by that speaker/preacher. Some can’t get to church for one reason or another so Christian television has been their answer to getting feed the Word of God. Some are experiencing stagnancy in their church/walk with God; Christian television gives them a variety of teaching styles from a variety of speakers. Some viewers better connect with a speaker than their own pastor at their own church because of communication style.

  12. Although not a huge fan of most religious programming or dedicated Christian TV networks (for the highly discussed reasons on this blog), I must admit that had it not been for Christian Television, I would not have teachers of the Word that lead me to dig deeper into the Word, and helped me to increase my faith and unlearn a ton of religious traditions that I was taught as a child.

  13. I think that Christian television can be a great thing. I also think that there are wonderul benefits to having a televised program, but are people really using it for those reasons? While I think that there are some broadcasts that are genuine, and really desire God to be glorified from them, I also feel that some programs seem to be geared more towards being the best with the best, almost as if it’s a competition.

    Basically I think that Christian television is exactly that. TV for Christians, and none other. It doesn’t seem that it would appeal to any other type of individual.

  14. While living in a Muslim country (for 6 years), I was thrilled to have God’s Word broadcast into my living room while the Islamic call to prayer was being heard through the window. You really don’t appreciate our abundance of Christian influence in the US until you don’t have it. I think we are simply oversaturated most of the time. To your question, Christian TV can reach into places where the actual minister may not even be able to go.

  15. I am not sure that what is termed “Christian” television is necessarily that as much as a drama with money emphasized. With that said, on a broader scale, Christian television is a vehicle to communicate the Word of God, Christian values, and positive entertainment to our world. There is great potential to reach into homes that would not otherwise come to a “church.” How can we neglect such a possibility? It gives a voice to the Christian community. It places a face with the testimonies. It provides practical teaching to those striving to remain faithful. It promotes Biblical values. It gets the conversation going about God. It says we care. It says God cares.

  16. I like the Christian television serves as a platform for genuine faith-based talent. Personally, I have no problem with being a Christian artist in a secular arena, but not all my fellow believers share this conviction. I have nothing but respect for artists who only produce faith-based work for reasons of “holiness” or being “set apart.” While I might not agree with their reasoning, I admire their heart.

    As aforementioned, Christian TV tends to be a good about giving platform to these artists, some of whom are genuinely very talented.

    1. Sometimes, it’s not about “reasoning,” “holiness,” or “being set apart,” but about OBEDIENCE for that particular person. I think it’s awesome God chose you to work in the world but He’s also chosen others not to. We need laborers in both arenas.

  17. Today’s generation depends on two sources to make any decision: television and group consensus. Ask someone what they think about anything and they will refer to what they saw, heard on tv about it or what their friends have posted on the innumerable social networking sites. If not, they go to sites like wikipedia or youtube, forums where a community has given their opinion or posted what they know on a topic. It’s what we are doing now.

    If you want to reach a generation that won’t read, research, or study on their own, you use tv. Why does it have to be explicitly Christian? Because nothing media-related is implied anymore. It’s all explicit, all spelled out, so it’s what the viewer has become accustomed to. You have to barrage and inundate the viewer with lesson after lesson after lesson, and testimony after testimony after testimony via the medium our culture chooses to receive information from.

    When you have a channel whose broadcast schedule is half hour programs from different ministries 24hrs a day, you hit the group consensus factor. The individual hears Pastor A say Jesus is cool, Pastor B say Jesus is awesome, Pastor C say Jesus saves….and so on, they think, “Ok, I’m getting this on tv, and everyone is saying the same thing.” They go look up each ministry on the internet, find more people saying the same thing and line up their thinking with what they are receiving. The formula works! 😉

    Should this be the only type of Christian television? No, definitely not. Christians in media should be able to produce different content, find creative ways to infuse their workplaces with what they believe in and reach out to others.

    But does this mean, we get rid of explicitly Christian television? I don’t think so. I’ve been personally affected by it and hear of countless stories of how it’s affected others through the years. We can nitpick all we want-I believe it’s been an effective tool for evangelization.

  18. Discipleship. Many of the viewers are Christians, so we’re told we are preaching to the choir, but if the topics are selected with that in mind, a great about of discipleship and Biblical knowledge can be gained. And then possibly some of those viewers put feet to the message and become evangelistic in their daily lives.

  19. What is right is that millions of people watch it and billions of dollars are generated. The Successful people know how to attract an audience and, more importantly, keep them coming back. If I had to pick an area where I believe there is vast untapped opportunity I would say it is children’s programming. Christians have a great tradition of children’s programming (Veggie Tales, Adventures in Odyssey, Gerbet, etc.) and I believe they could compete with the likes of Dora and Phineas & Pherb if given the proper focus.

  20. I was thinking you were asking about specific shows, not generalizations. I seldom can stand to watch religious broadcasting, but one thing I notice about Joel Osteen’s show is consistency. They have something that works for their audience, and that’s what they give ’em, every Sunday. Viewers know what they’ll see when they tune in.

  21. “TV One Life” 🙂 Christian television is an easy not threatening place that people can go to in a time of need or desperation. I have heard many testimonies about people who were down and out and didn’t know where to turn. They went to the most familiar place to them …the TV. They had passed over the channel many times in the past, but when they needed help, that was where they started to look first.

  22. I know exactly where to go when I want specific events and programs with overt Christian themes (i.e. Hillsong Leadership Conference.)

  23. It is a little surprise to me to find out that TV audience did not decreased. I have to admit that I believed in the Internet’s victory and was ready to attend TV’s funerals.
    What I would do (and I will starting with February 2011) is to make a TV program a two way experience. My audience would be active participants in it. Content matters, but viewers involvement is vital!

  24. 1) platform to preach the Gospel.
    2) teaching the believers
    3) making God and his will known: it tells to the world: God and the Church is here!
    4) creating a christian culture
    5) TV is access to go in many homes you can’t any other way
    6) TV is part of the promised land of influence, believers need to possess
    7) Christian TV makes the christian way of living, transparent to the world
    8) Family members of the Christian TV viewer are being influenced.
    9) TV has different power of influence than other mediums of communications.
    10) Usually what is shows on TV is well prepared and qualitative, compared to some other info people get from Christians.
    11) TV will finish its sentence even when your face shows you do not like to listen anymore, compared to a real life conversation.
    12) Many people will not take the message in text form, or in audio form, because may look boring to them, but they will prefer TV because it is more engaging emotionally; visually and audio.

  25. 1) platform to preach the Gospel.
    2) teaching the believers
    3) making God and his will known: it tells to the world: God and the Church is here!
    4) creating a christian culture
    5) TV is access to go in many homes you can’t any other way
    6) TV is part of the promised land of influence, believers need to possess
    7) Christian TV makes the christian way of living, transparent to the world
    8) Family members of the Christian TV viewer are being influenced.
    9) TV has different power of influence than other mediums of communications.
    10) Usually what is shows on TV is well prepared and qualitative, compared to some other info people get from Christians.
    11) TV will finish its sentence even when your face shows you do not like to listen anymore, compared to a real life conversation.
    12) Many people will not take the message in text form, or in audio form, because may look boring to them, but they will prefer TV because it is more engaging emotionally; visually and audio.
    13) you can get the info or viewpoints from people (ministers), you are not able to met personally.
    14) You can “go” in places, meetings, programs, services you are not able to go personally.

  26. Forgive me for answering a question with a question. Didn’t Jesus often do that? – OK I feel better now …

    What makes television Christian?

  27. Our Church has it’s own programme which runs on mainstream TV here in Australia. I regularly meet people in our Welcome Lounge at Church, probably once a month at least, who have come to Church or made a decision because they saw the programme on TV. I love that!

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