Thursday, September 19, 2013

Reality Show Will Feature Church Plant Pastor Family

From Jon & Kate Plus Eight and the Duggar family to Preachers of LA and the popular Duck Dynasty, yet another fascinating, quirky and implausible Christian family will find its way into reality television: Brandon and Jen Hatmaker.

HGTV is in plans to make a reality TV show of their life, title pending. Brandon is a pastor/author and leader/co-founder of a charitable church community impacting the proudly-weird and culturally-flourishing city of Austin, Texas. Jen, his wife is also an author/speaker and a more popular blogger whose convicting, out-of-the-box yet biblical thoughts on ministry and motherhood (along with her self-deprecating sense of humor) have gained her much popularity among Christian women and even opportunities in the mainstream media. They have five children, two of whom have been adopted from Ethiopia.

And now this family's home life will be on cable television.

My thoughts: While some from the more conservative side of the evangelical community have criticized the Hatmakers' atypical ministry as too faddish and/or socially active (and some don't enjoy Jen's realism in her writing), I support them as we do need more balanced people like them in ministry. However, I'm a bit uneasy about the concept Christian families appearing in reality television. While the Hatmakers would arguably the best-yet representation of positive community-impacting and biblical living, reality TV shows about families and/or businesses have usually been just an opportunity for viewers to observe and sometimes caricature and mock, rarely (if ever) imitate.  Also, Tim Tebow inadvertently taught our country's Christian community a lesson in the theology of Christian celebrity (e.g. how we shouldn't rely the work of God upon Christian celebrity success) that we shouldn't forget, including with Duck Dynasty. As the Hatmakers step into this arena, I hope and pray that the show reflects their Scriptural and charitable values and these aforementioned land mines are avoided.

Your thoughts?