One of the intriguing trends over the past thirty years is the way in which evangelical and charismatic television ministries have taken hold. Most certainly, only the local church can give the participatory worship, the opportunities for personal caring and ministry, and the regular pastoral ministry that television ministries cannot. Nevertheless, television ministries have succeeded when they have made themselves relevant in ways that local churches have not. But there are ways in which local churches can strengthen their own ministries by considering how television ministries have become successful.
They communicate that they care.
The Christian leaders in TV ministries often gaze into the camera and say, “We care about you.” In an often loveless world, they have made themselves relevant to people who want someone to care about them.
They address real problems of real people with scripture.
People are always hurting in a broken world, and they are willing often enough to let scripture speak to their problems. TV ministries make themselves relevant when they bring the Word of God to bear on the lives and problems of everyday people.
They pray with people about their concerns.
In both times of crisis and in the ordinary problems of day to day life, there are people with no regular church association who will seek prayer. Through lay telephone counselors, many TV ministries provide an open opportunity for hurting people to seek prayer.
They give real life testimonies of people who have found God’s answers.
Though TV ministries have often given undue emphasis to the testimonies of celebrities, they often give the testimonies of ordinary people as well. They have made themselves relevant by providing examples of how God works in the lives of ordinary people.
They actually share the gospel and invite people to receive Christ.
Whatever else may be said, TV ministries do present Christ to people, often in a gentle, caring manner. They have made themselves relevant by presenting an accepting, loving Christ who receives and transforms sinners.