With all the junk that is dished out in the name of entertainment these days, it’s about time something of quality and good taste is ready to hit the airwaves. Like us.
OK, so maybe it’s not exactly Seinfeld, but we were recently contacted by the producers of a new program (7th Heaven on the WB network) about a minister and his family. They are looking for appropriate items to decorate a minister’s office, so naturally they thought of including a copy of Preaching magazine on the desk. (I’m not sure if they’ll also feel the need to use the Preaching coffee mug, Preaching necktie, Preaching Barbie, and other assorted paraphenalia we also sent.)
It’s enough to get an editor thinking. After all, I recently read about a TV Guide poll that most Americans believe religion does not receive enough attention on prime-time television. I would go even further — I think preaching doesn’t get enough attention on TV.
Look at the success of Touched by an Angel, one of the big hits of the past TV season. Just think how much more successful it would be if they were to schedule a program like “Touched by a Preacher.” (Possible premise: a famous TV preacher reaches out to a troubled flight attendant — and then watch those sparks fly!)
After all the various incarnations of the Star Trek franchise (The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager), isn’t it about time for “Star Trek: Preaching Through Space,” featuring an itinerant evangelist proclaiming the gospel to scores of alien species and rescuing wayward earthlings across the galaxy. (Think of the technological possibilities, like beaming the offering straight from the listeners’ pockets right into the offering plate!)
Some programs don’t even need new names. For example, the recently-cancelled program Dark Skies would have offered a perfect venue for a drama about preachers on Monday morning. And the NBC program The Pretender could just as easily be about a preacher who spends entirely too many Sunday mornings doing dramatic monologue sermons.
Suddenly Susan could take on a whole new spin as a program about a young seminarian who forgot to prepare for this week’s sermon until Saturday night. And Babylon 5 could profile yet another of Brother Bob’s sermons in a series on the second coming of Christ.
Sunday Morning is a title wasted on a news magazine; clearly it should be about the antics of a wild and crazy church staff as they keep things hopping on that special day around their church. And if World Championship Wrestling isn’t about a preacher dealing with a tough team of deacons, I don’t know why not!
All in all, I’d say the networks are missing some pretty good bets by overlooking the audience that’s out there waiting for more preaching shows. I guess until the TV folks get their act together, we’ll just have to keep going to church to get our weekly fix!
Editor’s Note: For those thousands of readers who have been writing in requesting more photos of my son, James Robert (his first-day picture appeared in last year’s May-June issue), the cover of this issue should prove to be a popular one. And yes, it is suitable for framing.

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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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