My previous post mentioned that ABC is starting a program where people will be able to submit sermons (among other things) for a show ABC is developing. This got me to thinking this morning about the costs of television ministry. I will come out and say it, TBN causes as much or more harm as it does good in my opinion. In fact, with the amount of money some of the executives and pastors on TBN make, it’s hard to believe they can maintain their .org status on the internet, because someone sure is profiting. (granted, there are a few “keepers” on TBN)

I wonder if a collection of churches across the USA could pool together their resources and buy a time slot like infomercials do. I think initially this would have to be like the infomercials where the content provider pays for the programming. My guess is that there might come a point where the ad revenue from this period (assuming they can get a “prime” infomercial time – Saturday afternoon?) would make the shows profitable for the network, to the point where at least the network would consider not charging as they do for the church programming. If you had 60 churches who were willing to do this, that would require each of those churches to pay for 6 weeks a year. I don’t know what that cost would be, and if that is too much you just continue adding churches until it becomes affordable. Perhaps some churches could afford more, and they purchase two slots (12 weeks) of programming.

Many large churches are already using high quality video and sound recording, so the cost there would be low presumably.

The manpower to get this off the ground would also not be all that large. 1 or 2 people working on this could pull this together. I would think you would want one person to work on acquisition and review of content, and another who would do scheduling and technical work (editing etc.) as needed. Because churches could choose from the full catalog of sermons previously preached (that they have recorded at the levels needed, and of course this would depend on how dated the illustrations in the sermons are) you would not have to necessarily wait for new materials. This could be an “all-star” sermon collection, the best of the best from each church.

I would watch this. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I would go out of my way to watch this, and I would guess many other Christians would too. With the advent of TiVO and DVR’s many people could/would watch them that way too. I also think this would have to be attractive to some businesses advertising wise, which is where I think this could eventually become a revenue producing program (therefore no cost to ministries). Maybe I’m wrong, but I sure would love to see something like this happen. Heck, I sure would like to have the job of acquisition of the sermon material.

A side benefit of this would be at least for a period, we could draw some viewership away from the circus that is TBN.

What are your thoughts? Know of something I am over looking that makes this impossible (don’t say cost)? Would you watch this? Anybody you would think might be interested in this?