‘Rich in Faith’, a new reality show appearing on Wednesday evenings, is a program developed for Oxygen Media by MTV executive, Rod Aissa. Serving a targeted audience of an 18-34 year old female demographic, ‘Rich in Faith’ seeks to turn the viewer spotlight on young media type pastors. One episode features Rich WilkersonJr. and his wife DawnChere and follows them as they grapple through decisions faced as they balance family and home life, during the process of starting a youth-oriented, celebrity Miami church plant.
“The Wilkersons are appealing”, said Aissa. “And the fact that their ‘business happens to be religion‘, brings an added dimension”.
Hmmmm…Their ‘business happens to be religion‘.
Is that the way the world is now perceiving the church? Do they see the ‘Gospel Bearing Ambassadors of Jesus’, the church, as a business venture bringing the goods? Really…? Dave Johnson, Parents Television Council Advisory board member commented that TV executives are now beginning to produce a mixture of reality TV and faith that appears to be more like the ‘old circus, with a sideshow tent’ than it does the real church.
But, can we hardly blame culture? They simply read our actions and react to our preoccupations.
We say that we are all about the Person of Christ, but we seem to be preoccupied with marketing a package to consumers.
We say that we are all about adoring Jesus, but we seem to be preoccupied with advertising Him–the greater the shock factor the better.
We say that we are all about faith–how Jesus is proclaimed, but we seem to be preoccupied with focus groups–how we are perceived.
We say that we are all about giving compassion, but often we seem to be preoccupied with gaining contributions.
Let’s consider our Lord’s words, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me’. Matthew 16:24. A good call is that, if we are to be more than a business in search of customers…