I got dragged kicking and screaming into TV. For years we’d been broadcasting on the radio, a weekly, and a daily broadcast, and I was not too sure I wanted to continue that. (Isn’t it ironic, initially I was stubbornly reluctant to accept God’s call to preach because I wanted to have a career in broadcasting? Over the years, God showed me when I surrendered to His plan, He could give me more broadcasting than I could handle.) Anyway, I thought maybe it was time to pull the plug. And then our local CBS affiliate offered us airtime at a price that was too good to pass up.
My objections were numerous. First, I have a face for radio. Beyond that, I worried that the cameras would make me nervous. Maybe even change the worship dynamic. I’d seen too many churches start doing TV and before long the tail was wagging the dog. I worried about the stigma. But finally, I set it all aside figuring not that many people would watch. I was wrong. Way wrong!
What God has done the last few years with NewSpring TV is nothing short of miraculous. I now stand corrected. Thousands and thousands of households in our region tune in to at least one of the weekly broadcasts. The results have been what we hoped for and beyond. Many have accepted Christ, lives have been turned around, and locally, the broadcast has served as a huge front door for NewSpring Church. People who are homebound, imprisoned, living in outlying areas depend on NewSpring TV for spiritual infusion.
But in the last twelve hours, I’ve been amazed at something else that I probably don’t think about enough. Three different people stopped me in a restaurant, a theatre, and a school with that telltale question, “Aren’t you the pastor at NewSpring?” They then proceded to tell me what the broadcast meant to them, and the names of the churches they attended. Three different denominations, Methodist, Lutheran, and Greek Orthodox. That got me thinking about how blessed we are at NewSpring. Think about this:
1. The Christian community in our area doesn’t see NewSpring Church as a threat. The word is on the street that NewSpring isn’t after church people. We’re not into the member-swapping thing.
2. Although all three people I met were content worshipping in their churches, they were buzzing about what God is doing at NewSpring Church.
3. I was reminded once again how important it is to keep the message right where the Bible is. When churches just communicate what God says, not veering off into politics, denominationalism, or peripherally irrelevant stuff, lives are changed and God-followers are edified.
I guess I was just surprised to see how much God is blessing the Christian community through NewSpring TV. I love that. I never feel in competition with other Bible-based ministries in our area. If a preacher communicates the truth, I’m a fan. If NewSpring Church can be even the smallest asset to another faith family, then that’s just more awesome than I have words for.