I've had such a wonderful response to my last post, I almost feel badly typing a review about something as trivial as a tv show, but Church Rescue premieres tonight (November 11 10PM EPT) on the National Geographic Channel.
Following the awesome ratings of The Bible miniseries and Duck Dynasty, faith-filled shows seem to be popping up or in the works. Church Rescue follows the Church Hoppers group that goes to help churches "become an effective tool in the community" (quoting from a flyer I received). While I disagree with the terminology of this (I don't believe churches are a "tool" but a place for corporate worship of the Lord), I agree that sometimes churches need a little help when the finances aren't there to have a really nice church building (like the one I enjoy where we live) or an effective sermon (where one tends to blab on without actually making a point), or other situations I'm not aware of! "In 2012, Reuters reported that banks were foreclosing on churches in record numbers" (via a press release about the show).
In come the Church Hoppers. In the episode I got to preview (along with Big A) called "Country Salvation," "three business-savvy ministers" (Rev Kev, Gladamere, and Doc - thankfully nicknames) came to a Baptacostal (had to look up this mixture of Baptist and Pentecostal, believe it or not, it's real) church where the minister really, really, really, really wanted to build a new sanctuary. He was really against putting any money into their current church because he didn't want to waste money. This resulted in flooding during rain, 80 degree services due to no air conditioning, ripped carpeting, etc. His service they attended ran almost 4 hours (FOUR) due to his rambling and not well-thought out sermons.
I am a believer in allowing the Spirit to work in His own time frame, but four hours?! Sure, sometimes I'm sure He wants you to be there four hours, but with my experience of my children needing food, this would be virtually impossible for my family. The service I attended in the Philippines was really hot (hotter than 80, I'd venture) and I had a hard time sitting through the 2ish hour service without leaving for water (which is culturally acceptable for there thankfully).
This pastor was, in my opinion, very prideful. He'd had a falling out with a deacon and didn't even apologize during the show other than asking the man to come back to the church. I didn't hear "I'm sorry" come out or any explanation of who was at fault. He also did not take kindly to any suggestions from the Church Hoppers about planning out his sermon and giving them, not necessarily bullet points, but something to hold on to so that they could learn from the sermon.
There were issues in the background like this minister's wife and former deacon passing away very closely and them all having this vision for a new church. He did visit a larger church and saw drawbacks to having such a large building (preaching to a half-empty church, finances required for the upkeep of such premises).
I love the premise of this show, except on the flyer I received telling me about the Church Hoppers it says "regardless of a church's position on religious doctrine, salvation, or denominational lines, the Church Hoppers believes in balancing a church to become an effective tool in the community." I truly believe that a church's doctrine and doctrine on salvation very much effects how their church operates. A church (collectively) that doesn't believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior probably does not have the Holy Spirit dwelling in it's congregational members. And a church without the Holy Spirit is not going to benefit (long, if at all) from new carpet or short, succinct sermons. You need the Holy Spirit to operate a church - people are not reached through sassy songs and lights or glamour. It's the Lord God who softens hearts and opens ears for people to hear and believe the life-giving message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
That being said, in these economic times, sometimes a church just falls short financially and needs a step up. I believe that would be the proper place for the Church Rescue mission. To help a church and its pastor/minister/preacher/priest to sharpen their spiritual gifts or properties.
The cinematography of the show and some of the scenes were reminiscent of Wife Swap, to be honest. A little overdramatic and a little yelling. My husband said it was like a train wreck and you just were compelled to watch how it ended up.
Personally, I would watch the show but I'm not too picky on my tv (hello, we used to watch Wife Swap). I think it's really an interesting premise and a church we attended many years ago could have used this type of overhaul. But without the help of the Holy Spirit, these churches will just fall back into the cracks of their eventual fall.
Again, Church Rescue premieres TONIGHT (November 10) at 10pm Eastern time on the National Geographic Channel. Check it out and see if your church needs rescuing.
GIVEAWAY: I have the opportunity to give away one "tool kit" like I received. It includes one (1) Church Rescue t-shirt, one (1) Church Hoppers t-shirt, one (1) Church Rescue pen, and one (1) Church Rescue set of post-it notes.
Mandatory: All other entries are void without this entry.
- Tell me about a church that you have attended that was/is in need of a rescue.
Other entries: One (1) entry per comment
- Visit the Church Hoppers website and tell me something you learned.
- Watch Church Rescue tonight and tell me what you think.
- Share this giveaway on Facebook and use the URL as your comment.
This giveaway will go until Friday, November 22, 2013 at 11:59pm (CST). Must be 18 or older to enter; void where prohibited. Good luck.
Disclaimer: I received a blogger's tool kit which included an advance screening copy of this show. All opinions are my own and may not be the same as others' opinions.