By Victor Ochieng
One of the most important things for a pastor is to learn how to relate Bible teachings to our contemporary setting. On his T.D. Jakes Show, Bishop T.D. Jakes doesn’t cow from addressing topical issues as they come. He’s discussed topics such as plastic surgery and politics. He even went as far as questioning Bobby Brown’s relationship with music queen Whitney Houston.
The reason why he’s tackling such issues is because he believes the show, which is running on the OWN Network, is an extension of his gospel ministry.
“I think it is a chance to minister to the nation. I think it is a chance to … infiltrate the culture and to be a part of the conversation on mainstream television,” said the 59-year-old pastor. “I think it is very important that we don’t remain nuanced and stay in our communities or our sanctuary and not really engaged in the culture. We need to be out there listening and learning and talking and adding our thoughts to the whole mix of who we are as Americans.”
The Bishop recently grabbed an opportunity to talk about how children are being raised today and how today’s parents have failed to bring up their children in a church environment like his generation used to do. He pointed out that this trend is the reason why many children are totally out of touch with matters of religion.
“The world is changing. The way we receive information is changing. The second thing is that I don’t think contemporary parents have raised their children in church like my generation was raised — it was just a forgone conclusion. It’s Sunday morning and you’re going to church.” He added, “We skipped a generation and so we lost a generation, and I think we have to be much more intentional about communicating our faith in ways that is relevant to a broader culture who receives everything over their phones.”
Asked whether it’s enough for someone to sit at home and watch gospel services on television, the Bishop said the worship atmosphere that someone gets in church cannot be replaced by watching sermons on TV.
“I really want people to come and because there is something about being in that … worship atmosphere that I think is amazing and special that doesn’t always cross over to television.”
There is no denying that today’s parents have failed to give their children spiritual nourishment. This is even worsened by the fact that our schools are also becoming more neutral when it comes to religion. That leaves parents with the full responsibility to teach their children about faith.