As I watch celebrity “Christians” I’ve noticed a few patterns that may help you if you want to have a TV ministry too.
Rabbit Trail… during my interview with the session of the church I eventually began to pastor in 1998, the interim asked me if I have any desire to be on TV. I laughed.
1. Call yourself a “life coach”. This the popular new tag used by Paula White and Joel Osteen (see his 60 Minutes interview). This relieves you from actually talking about the gospel and focusing on how you can help people make their lives “better”. This is not to be confused with godly. It is about being happy and successful. Nothing wrong with those, but God has some bigger plans for His people.
2. Lift lots of weight. In the 60 Minutes interview I discovered Joel can bench press 300 pounds, double his weight. Pat Robertson claims to be able to leg press 2,000 pounds. I’ve seen Paula on TV interviewing her personal trainer while she was in tight gym garb, so she pumps some iron too. Never hurts to have big muscles to pad your resume and impress your viewers.
3. Don’t talk about anything negative. Who cares if the Bible consistently addresses sin issues! Apparently we are not self-deceived like Jeremiah says, and already know where we err. Don’t bore people with talk about repentance- remind them how good they are and how successful they can be. This way… when people criticize the fact you don’t speak honestly about who we are, they come off as being mean people, like Michael Horton.
4. Please, don’t ever mention that we need Jesus to make us holy and righteous. If you really have to talk about Jesus, and Joel has shown you really don’t have to if you don’t want to, focus on how he died to make you healthy and prosperous. Remember, that’s American religion.
5. Use lots of hair spray. You have to, those lights make you sweat and your hair has to stay in place.
6. Don’t really answer any tough questions. Deflect and talk about how judgmental the other person is. Or, just demonize them and wish you had Benny Hinn’s holy spirit machine gun.
7. Hire most of your family to work for you. Blood AND money creates a tight bond.
8. You must be willing to buy a multi-million dollar home and numerous expensive cars. If you want to really hit it big- you gotta buy a jet. Remember, this is what Jesus would do. He wants you to live well, off room service.
9. Don’t, repeat, don’t go to a reputable seminary.
10. Produce lots of ‘feel-good’ tapes & books about what people must do to be successful. No traditional theological categories- we’re talking self-help.