How T.V. Shows and Church are Similar

With all the new fall T.V. shows coming out in september it got me thinking about the similarities between T.V. Shows and Church.”Blasphemy!! How dare you compare Television to Church…” one might say, but when we look deeper, we will find that there are quite a few similarities. here are some of them that i have thought about… enjoy


1. Planning – Both Television and Church require much planning. weeks and months in advance both of these mediums require people to come together to brainstorm and discuss ideas about the direction of the Show or Church in a broad vision sense.

2. Blocks of time – Both T.V. Shows and church Services are usually in 30 minute blocks (sitcoms 30min, dramas 1 hour, movies 2 hours) much like church services (i.e. 30 min worship and prayer, 30 minute message…etc). Both Television shows and church run once a week, and have seasons. Churchs often go through different seasons in their life as well, Seasons of Growth, seasons of change…etc (The seasons one was kind of a stretch… i know).

3.  Feel, atmosphere & type of show – Shows fall into Genre’s (action, comedy, drama, gritty, crime, reality, educational…etc) based on their feel, content, tone…as well do churches. Every church has it’s own culture and atmosphere, some churches may embrace comedy and humor whereas others are more serious in tone and content most likely based on the personality of the senior leadership.

4. Quality attracts – Both T.V. and Church have an Success level based on Excellence. When churches are excellent in their unity, evangelism, promotions, volunteering, compassion, creativity, talent, transitions… they will see a higher overall quality that is attractive to people much the same as the writing, promotion, cinematography, props, transitions, acting…etc of a Television show determines its success level … quality attracts and lack of excellence will lead to lower rating and loss of “followers”.

5. Target audience- Television shows tailor their content / writing to a specific group (men ages 15 to 30) or (women ages 25 to 65). We also see this in the atmosphere and culture of different church services (morning service, college age, middle school,…etc)

6. Message (we have a message) – Obviously churches have a message (the Gospel) but Television shows also have a message (much less important)…it could be social or political or humanitarian in nature.

7. Good writing –  I find that shows i like have good writing… sermons i get good teaching out of also have good writing and had much thought, research and editing that went into it. Both with Television and Sermons there is a Pace, a sense of dynamics (rise in action) and a culmination (show climax or altar call).

8. Creativity – Creative shows are successful, much the same with Churches and events. Both of these mediums think in terms of portraying a message that has already been said, but finding ways to say it in a new fresh way that can successfully be gotten across to the viewer/ listener.

9. Buzz – One of the Success factors of a Television show is the buzz factor surrounding it. a sense of anticipation for the next episode and people promoting the show simply by talking about it. We see this exact same thing happen with Successful churches. Buzz, excitement, anticipation, word of mouth and overall passion are essential to build a successful, effective, growing church.

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