RealityTV: Real Christians Can Learn a Lot from Reality Shows, Seriously

RealityTV: Why Real Christians Need to Watch Reality TV Shows
RealityTV: Why Real Christians Need to Watch Reality TV Shows

I have a knack for developing ministries in local congregations.  I believe the Body of Christ, for the most part, and especially “Church Folk” are behind the times regarding our ability to engage critical conversations regarding political and social issues impacting our society today. Why the differentiation between the Body of Christ and Church Folks?  The need for differentiation is necessary so the world does not confuse true Bible Believers with those who are merely weekly Church Attendees.  #NotEveryoneIsSaved

Reality TV isn’t going anywhere!  It is here to stay.  Ever since Jim Carrey starred in the movie THE TRUMAN SHOW the stage was set for its arrival. MTV launched the Reality TV Show REAL WORLD and the cameras were able to catch a pseudo-sex scene between cast mates, captivating viewers with the tease of voyeurism.

Replacing “real actors and actresses” were this new breed of grassroots celebrities.  People who were willing to allow cameras into their private lives to capture every moment of their day to be broadcasted for public consumption.

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Church-themed RealityTV Shows are on the rise, and Faith-based themes are – without doubt – seeking to shape the mindset of its viewers.  For the most part, this effort is not being forged by those with true expertise or those with a heart for THE CHURCH.  When Networks are driven by financial gains and ratings – you have to have a product that people want to watch.  Absolutely no network would invest money in a broadcast people won’t want to watch.

So, it is safe to say that networks who have done their demographic homework have a greater pulse on what people are willing to purposefully tune in to watch – even if  just to disagree.

Let me say this right now – the days of a Christian Minister being one who stands before the congregation with a single camera lens focused solely on him talking and sweating are over!  Pastors may get their congregants to tune in to this type of program out of some weird loyalty, but for most this style of ministry is antiquated.  #WhiteNoise

On any given Social Media Site you will find postings riddled with people trashing Reality TV as programming they are not willing to watch.  I understand, it is hard to watch some shows and in many cases hard to believe.  I would agree that there is a scripted element to many of these shows, but the people who are “performing” in them are also willing to expose themselves in their natural light.

So, why should Real Christians watch Reality TV?

I would say there are 5 reasons easy.  #GetReady2Rumble

Reason One, because Real Christians live in a world where Reality TV is the trending mode of entertainment and for some – education.  You can’t escape it and you can’t deny that the majority of people around you are impacted by the messages being received.  How can a Christian be effective in the world in which they live if they are not engaged in its culture?  I’m not suggesting that Christians digest the contents of these shows, but they should at least know something about the popular shows and what those who watch and love them like about them.  There is no way Christians can be taken seriously if they cannot relate to or engage those they are supposed to reach on some common ground.

Reason Two, because Real Christians need a Reality Check of their own.  Many folks boldly speak of what they would and would not do when there’s no camera around.  Reality TV puts those scenarios to the test on a daily basis.  Reality TV allows the viewer to place him/herself in the shoes of another often providing  personal challenges to our belief systems and for the mature believer is surely a plus.

Reason Three, because Real Christians can use particular shows and/or scenes in Reality TV to create cutting-edge and relevant examples for bible lessons.  Believe me – comparing and contrasting the show LOVE & HIP HOP alongside the teachings of Sampson and Delilah would work well if the teacher knew their bible well enough.  Marital scenes are exhaustive in Reality TV and could be used to start conversations among the Marriage Ministry participants, the possibilities are endless. #IJS

Reason Four, because Real Christians need to hear the thoughts and counsel of those who are seeking to shape minds in their own image, and not in that of Christ’s.  In many shows there is the person who functions in the “Motherly” or “Advocate” role, these are the ones who display some sense of internal strength that many cast members turn to for help in times of distress.  For some shows, there is the antagonist to religion, especially the teachings of the Bible and these cast members seek every opportunity to pick on those who openly articulate their beliefs which often leads to greater confrontation.  How many viewers then seek to adopt those very lessons displayed on the small screen?

Reason Five, because Real Christians are surrounded in the local assemblies by people who watch Reality TV.  Just admit it, you might not like this form of “entertainment” and/or “social influence”, but those to whom you worship alongside and love – do!  And let me interject here, most folks who attend church or claim Christianity and say “I just don’t watch Reality TV” are lying OR WORST – are watching programming just as dangerous, ungodly and counterproductive to their profession of faith.  #Scandal

The only differentiation between what they will and will not watch is what they prejudicially believe to be “holy” in their minds.  They might not be watching Reality TV, but what they ARE WATCHING is still garbage and to deny this is hypocrisy.  #DontShootTheMessenger

A quick word/question to Clergy who stand in the pulpit and preach against Reality TV shows or particular personalities and tell the members under their leadership to turn the TV off. 

My question to you is, “How do you know?”  You are asking people to shut off their TVs but if your TV was shut off you wouldn’t know what to advise.  You are asking people to steer clear of particular Reality TV personalities, but how do you know what a particular personality is doing unless you are viewing them also?  And, my brethren, when you are declaring what not to watch and what not to emulate you must also beware–  that your Reality TV consumption does so affect you until now you speak more on NeNe Leakes than you do Mary the Mother of Jesus. You must be careful not to speak more on PREACHERS OF LA and your opinions of their theology than the theology of the Apostle Paul –  don’t get caught preaching more on the what you are WATCHING than what you’re STUDYING.  #iDigress

Reality TV might not be for everyone, but Real Christian need not avoid it. Watching it will on some level allow you to keep the pulse of today’s world and ensure you have all you need to make a difference; especially among youth.  Remember, doctors don’t make a living running away from sick patients.


  • prince

    It makes me uncomfortable to sit and watch anything for a certain amount of time I find myself arguing with the TV and dissecting different conversations on the show. It’s funny how you’ll watch a show for so long and start relaying the story as if you’re actually a part of the casts lives. In a way you are, but it’s just a product for consumption. And that’s the tricky line you have to walk. I was telling some brothas the other day if I spend more time in front of the TV then I do in the Word something is out of alignment my priorities are not straight. I commend you for taking this on.

  • Brian

    I’m not certain that an awareness of the contents of these reality shows requires one to watch the shows, especially in their entirety. I’ll admit that I am unfamiliar with the majority of the shows that you mention regularly in your pieces, mainly because, though I love to watch television, I’m not home enough to watch it much.
    I like that your piece takes the approach of an effective Christian witness (your word is “Real Christian”) using RealityTV shows as a tool in furthering the Gospel. Unfortunately, it’s been my observation that the majority of viewers are drawn into the stories presented therein and, in effect, become mental, emotional, and, sometimes, spiritual participants in activities that are against the will of God.