Reflections on Two Years of Television
By David R. Kenney
January 10, 2012 marks the beginning of our TV program and my TV experience. When I began preaching full time in 2010, I had no idea I would produce a religious TV program. Here are some reflections I would like to share.
Seize Opportunity. I had no television training, but I could not let the opportunity for the congregation pass by. Paul wrote “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24, NKJV.) For better or worse, I decided to seize the opportunity. When told I would be in the public eye, I hesitated since religion is a controversial subject. Since I care about people, want them to know more about the Bible, I decided to move forward. How can I care about them if they do not even know who I am? How else will I teach the Bible to others? Seize opportunities!
Utilize Transferable Skills. When I was in college and industry, I learned about computers and other skills which I could use both in the work at the church and the TV program. Some skills I had, others I had to develop, but I was able to put these skills to use. We all have “transferable skills”, or we can develop ones, that can be used for the Lord. Is this not one of the lessons of the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25?
Study Hard. Once I was interviewing for a speaking position, and one of my interviewers stated, in a rather minimalist type tone, there was nothing to delivering sermons. When I asked why he did not just do the speaking, if it was SO easy, he replied “I would die if I had to speak in front of an audience!” Nothing to it! Preparing two sermons, adult class, bulletin each week is a challenge. To add a TV program on top of that with graphics only increases the challenge. Study is hard work (Ecclesiastes 12:12), but as Paul told Timothy—“Be diligent [Study, KJV] to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15, NKJV.) Thankfully I learned many research tools that have helped me. Study is hard work, but I enjoy it!
Seek Wise Counsel. When I showed the first program to the congregation I asked for feedback. They offered several suggestions. Some I could incorporate; some I could not. Some suggestions contradicted, which showed that opinions vary. I also sought the counsel of the staff at WCTV which was and still is vital to the success of the program. Any suggestion they make, I weigh very seriously. I try to remind myself—“Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days” (Proverbs 19:20, NKJV.)
Think Flexible. When I began planning the show, I designed it so it could be altered in case I needed the video elsewhere. I did not know if I would ever want to change the program name, but when the program joined Gospel Broadcasting Network (GBN), the program became “Light From Above”. We were able to preserve prior shows with some editing. It is important to think and plan as much as possible as Jesus taught; e.g., Luke 14:27-29.
People Encourage. I have received encouragement from many: the congregation, my wife, family, parents, preachers, Christians, and others. The WCTV staff was very encouraging. People I knew asked me about submitting the program to GBN, but I resisted until others I did not know made similar recommendations. Phil Sander, Speaker on In Search of the Lord’s Way, helped me make the contact with GBN. I found GBN to be very encouraging too. One day, I was eating at Subway and asked my wife if she thought anyone in town actually watched the show. Just then, as if it was staged, a man stopped at our table, introduced himself and told me how much he really enjoyed the show. People do encourage!
“Light From Above” now begins its third year having won the Runner-Up Award for Best Religious Program twice in WCTV’s Clapper Awards. “Will it win First Place?” someone asked me. With more practice and your continued support, I hope someday it will. I am thankful to the Lord, the church, and others for this opportunity. Thanks for watching!
David R. Kenney is the preacher for the Wadsworth Church of Christ and produces “Light From Above” which airs both on WCTV and the Gospel Broadcasting Network.
This article originally appeared in The Wadsworth Post, Saturday, February 1, 2104, p. 9.