Using the Right Bait

“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” — Matthew 4:19

by Matt Crouch

There’s an old adage among fishermen that goes: Never let the fish know they’ll be dinner tonight. Put another way, a good angler will always bait his hook in such a way that it is irresistible to the fish he is trying to catch.

Well, that strategy pretty much encapsulates the fresh approach we’re taking here at TBN to reach a new generation with God’s message of hope and grace using culturally relevant strategies and compelling, cutting-edge content.

If you’re a regular TBN viewer, it’s likely that you’ve run across some of the “bait” we’re using to draw in viewers who might not be inclined to tune in to traditional “Christian television” — i.e, preaching, teaching, and “ministry” programming. The “bait” we’re using to draw them in comes in the form of innovative new shows like Huckabee, our weekly music, talk, and entertainment offering from Nashville featuring Governor Mike Huckabee. There’s also Somebody’s Gotta Do It, that has host Mike Rowe taking viewers across the length and breadth of America to meet good, hard-working people doing unique — and sometimes downright unusual — jobs. And soon we’ll be debuting a brand-new, exclusive weekly drama entitled Smoketown, that’s unlike anything that’s ever aired on faith-and-family television.

Well guess what? All this innovation and effort is paying off! TBN is on the grow and attracting a whole new group of individuals and families thanks to this fresh strategy aimed at appealing to a new generation of viewers who need to experience the love of Jesus. As we had hoped, what we’re finding is that once they discover a show or two on TBN that really appeals to them, they’re staying tuned for the programs that go deeper into what it means to be a follower of Jesus in today’s world.

Our good friend, Pastor Phil Munsey, put it this way: “Not everyone is going to be attracted to the programs we as Christians like to watch. We should be encouraging and supporting the type of programming that serves as ‘bait’ to attract those who don’t yet know the Lord. That is TRUE evangelism!”

The bottom line is this: TBN’s vision has not changed. We’re still delivering the same life-changing message of God’s love through Jesus that’s been front and center for the past 45 years. That said, our methods, out of necessity, have and will continue to change to match the culture and world we live in. But make no mistake: true evangelism and “souls, souls, souls,” as my dad used to say, is still what TBN is all about!

Please join Laurie and me — along with our worldwide family of TBN friends and partners — in praying that God will continue to give us clear wisdom as we “bait the hook” for a media-savvy generation, and that millions more will come to receive hope and healing because of the love of Jesus they experience through TBN.