Have you read about some of the new “reality TV” shows on the networks this season? Oh, yeah, I’ve always defined reality as spending my days hanging around with carefully-auditioned 20-something models who look good in bathing suits, trying to win a million dollars.
These TV guys don’t have the slightest idea of what “reality” is all about. They need to spend some time with preachers to understand how to put the “real” back into “reality.”
The Mole.
A new program about a pastor trying to lead the church to reach their community. Meanwhile, one of the deacons (the “Mole”) is secretly trying to undermine everything the pastor does. A new family joins the church? The Mole whispers: “I remember back when we used to have lots of families join on a Sunday. I don’t suppose that’s likely to happen again … at least not with our current pastor.” The church surpasses its missions giving goal for the year. The Mole questions: “The pastor sure seems awfully concerned with money, don’t you think?” The church starts a building program to accommodate new growth. The Mole passes the word: “Looks like the pastor is trying to get our church head over heels in debt. I wonder if it isn’t time for a change?”
There’s no “mole” like the kind that operates in the church. Most pastors understand all too well that kind of “reality.”
How hard can it be to survive in the Australian outback when you’re surrounded by camera crews. The leftover pizza alone would get you by for a month!
Here’s a premise for a more realistic Survivor: Can the pastor preach an eight-week series on tithing without being shown the door? Can the pastor successfully move the six members of the 80-year-old ladies Sunday School class — which has met in the same room for 36 years — to a new location so that he can accommodate the 50 members of a growing youth class? Can the pastor successfully balance the requirements of the senior adults for a traditional worship experience with the demands of the young adults for a contemporary worship service?
If you can live through those, you are a Survivor!
Temptation Island
Why not some real temptation? A group of pastors and spouses are whisked away to a beautiful resort where they encounter a series of pastor search com-mittees, each hoping to tempt the pastor away from his current church.
“Why pastor, at our church you’d have a full staff to handle all the administrative needs, and we’d insist you take two days off every week!”
“Oh, pastor, at our church you’d have a large book allowance. And we’ve over-pledged our budget every year for the past decade, so you wouldn’t have to worry about emphasizing giving.”
“Pastor, our church will insist that you have plenty of time to be in the study, so we won’t allow you to be interrupted with silly phone calls or unnecessary drop-in visits. We want you to spend your time in God’s Word, not entertaining us.”
OK, that one may not be reality. But it sure would be tempting!

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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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