|The Church Hoppers!|
I had the privilege of viewing a pre-screening of National Geographic’s new reality show, “Church Rescue,” that actually premiered on November 11th. I was a bit skeptical because of the nature of most reality shows. However, “Church Rescue, “ is a refreshing twist on reality shows. Many churches fall on hard times whether it is the deterioration of the building itself, the inner conflict that can emerge among it’s members in the congregation, or it’s overall structure. Church Rescue offers a lending hand by having it’s Church Hoppers intervene. The Church Hoppers are a team of three men, Kevin “Rev Kev”, Annas, Anthony “Gladamere “ Lockhart, and Jerry “Doc” Bentley. Rev Kevin handles the business side of the church. Gladamere is the sales and marketing specialist. He helps to refine churches’ brands and promote their message to the community. Doc is a counselor, whose job is to get to the deeper issues that lie beneath the surface of the individuals they are working with in the church. All three are likable, enthusiastic, and willing to explore the root of the church’s issue and to assist in making the meaningful changes the church requires to flourish.
In the first episode we find the Church Hoppers travelling to North Carolina to a Bapticostal sanctuary under the leadership of Pastor Roseboro. Pastor Roseboro is passionate about preaching the word of God, so passionate in fact the sermon lasts 4 hours in the sweltering heat of the church! He is also passionate about building a bigger church that would cost a whopping $1.4 million dollars. He believes a bigger building will grow his congregation. The Church Hoppers discuss the issues with Pastor Roseboro and tell him that he should focus on fixing some of the structural issues in the current church instead of building a new church. He doesn’t take too kindly to their suggestion. He also isn’t receptive to their advice on having two services with a concise message and having a deacon to assist him. The Pastor refuses to put anymore money into this current church. Instead he can only envision the benefits of building a new sanctuary which he clearly can’t afford.
We come to find out after some prodding by the Doc, that the bigger sanctuary was also the vision of his deceased wife and deacon which fueled his passion to fulfill their dream and honor their memory. Once that wall was broken down the real work got started. They convinced him that the building wouldn’t bring the people in it was the word of God that would get them in the doors. Once the Pastor was convince, they started the repairs to the current church, built a playground, and made some cosmetic changes that made a huge difference. Then they had the Pastor make amends with a previous deacon to come back to the church and serve. Finally, they had him do some street evangelism to hone in on his sermons skills.
Finally, the big reveal! Pastor Roseboro was happy to see all the changes made to his church and finally seemed to be at peace with building itself. His two sermons were concise and to the point and his previous deacon decided to come back. I couldn’t help thinking about the verse in the bible that talks about being faithful with the small things that God gives us before he gives us anything greater. The Church Hoppers were able to show the Pastor that it wasn’t about the size of the building it was about being grateful and faithful to what God had already blessed him with. They also helped him to see that his ego was getting in the way of doing what was best for his congregation.
Church Rescue is a reality show worth watching. It isn’t about throwing money at a church to make it into a million dollar building. It is about helping smaller ministries, building up congregations and churches. It was refreshing to watch a reality show that wasn’t full of vulgarity, immorality and exploitation. Kudos to National Geographic!
Catch it on Mondays at 10pm on the National Geographic Channel