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When I started working in television, preachers and preaching were about the only thing on Christian TV. My first boss in the business, Oral Roberts, was a pioneer because we were producing prime time TV specials with major stars and celebrities of the day, and many of the programs were filmed in exotic locations like Alaska. But for the vast majority of programming, Christian television focused on preaching to the point that any creative person like me in that field was desperate to try something new.
So over the years, pioneering producers in Christian television expanded into interview programs, documentaries, concert specials, and drama. CBN even flirted with a soap opera. But in spite of all those brave attempts, a curious thing happened.
Preaching on television endured.
Since then, even though media and culture have dramatically changed, and in today’s digital world where the programming options are almost unlimited, guess what still gets the most response?
Preaching on television.
Sure, some of the major Christian networks will confirm that movies generate the biggest audiences, but when it comes to viewers who are committed enough to support the media platform, and who will show up week after week – those people are watching TV preachers. Don’t forget that it was Billy Graham’s preaching programs that generated the financial response to pay for his more innovative ideas like feature films, and international media outreaches. In a similar way, it was Oral Roberts’ preaching on television that raised the money to build Oral Roberts University, which...
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