The Future of Televangelism?

We gave up Cable TV (finally) two years ago in favor of streaming. Great decision and we would never think of looking back.
But one thing occurs to me about all these streaming channels is the amount of religious streaming channels now popping up. There are Catholic, mainstream Protestant channels, ect.
But I also noticed scores of channels featuring televangelists who used to be big on broadcast and Cable TV.
And it got me to think that since streaming TV is choice-driven, does this signal the end of televangelism? On Cable their channels were forced on us through the cable companies. Now that audience is no longer built-in.
Is televangelism going the way of AM or FM radio?
I for one hope so.

Probably not the best analogy. AM and FM radio seem to be doing just fine as long as cars exist. As for your original point, I suspect televangelism as we know it will fade in proportion to the decline of cable over the coming years. But I’m sure it will be replaced by something similar online between Internet ads and the like. If anything it’ll likely be either more cheesy and eye catching since they’ll have even less time and more work to do to hook people. That or I fear more extreme as so much on the net often is…

I can’t help think of the millions spent on something like TBN going down the drain as everything switches to streaming. They can’t piggyback off of broadcast or cable anymore. A smaller audience means less money.

Unless of course they can somehow get themselves hooked into something like Roku or AppleTV. If they can get themselves set up on those types of services they’ll be as well positioned as they are now deep on the cable dial. I mean they’ve already started with apps on App Store and the Google equivalent.

I can’t see how because choice is still involved. We have a Roku and we get to choose which channels to watch and which to bypass. Even with Hulu and Netflix I get to choose what to watch and when. All this choice puts viewership into more pinpointed categories. Televangelists were aiming at a mass audience, now that audience has more choices than ever before. There appeal was narrow and money-based. Now the rules have changed. Streaming on a Roku or Apple is much cheaper and is choice based.
It actually might allow Catholic, like EWTN, and mainstream Protestant denominations to gain an opportunity they never had before.

Well you could make the argument that cable has become the same way and has been for some time. I mean I don’t have a very expansive cable package right now with AT&T and TBN and the like are buried so far down my dial that I wasn’t even aware I got those channels until I went rolling through the dial late one night when I couldn’t sleep. They’re lodged in that no mans land (channel’s 600 or so) between the popular non-HD channels and the popular HD channels (that start at 1000). If they can get themselves listed even way down the list of standard available channels on something like Apple TV they’d be no worse off than they are now buried alive on the cable dial. And honestly as long as TBN I believe it is, has Joel Osteen I’m sure they’ll do just fine. I can’t count the number of times and people I see who post stuff from him on my social media feeds. In fact posts featuring Osteen related quotes and such are probably the number one religious thing that comes across my feed other than the two friends of mine who are devout Catholics (one of whom is the editor of Millennial Journal) who post about the church, and my one Russian Orthodox friend who posts about his church occasionally.

That actually raises an interesting avenue that I’m sure televangelists are taking ample advantage of, social media. And social media is arranged in such a way that if they pay a bit they can show up in everyone’s feed even more readily than they do your cable dial. Even absent any retweeting and Facebook sharing by their followers.

You might be right. Streaming is where cable used to be back in the 1980s. The “golden age” of cable is long gone IMHO, perhaps someday the same will be said for streaming.
Social media like Facebook is being taken advantage by anyone with an agenda. I finally got a Facebook page a year ago, and the first thing I noticed is all the dis-information people post, much of it quite over the top. Faster is not necessarily better.

But since cable TV is losing customers anyway to streaming, they’ll probably start trimming their channel lists. And guess which will go first? The internet will be their only option. Less people means less money and empires crumble.
Couldn’t happen to nicer bunch.:cool:

They existed before TV and I have a feeling they’ll survive TV’s decline. They’ll find a way. They always do…:shrug:

I wonder what the future of television will be in general, let alone the future of televangelism.

True. Religious hucksters existed before TV traveling the country on the ‘sawdust trail.’ They always focus their attention on the most vulnerable people in society.
What did Jesus say about whoever leads astray ‘the little ones’?

Hey internet streaming is cheaper and so it raises their profits.

Hard to take the sinicism in this thread.
Christian TV is responsible for many thousands of salvations each year. Christians are discipled. Christian satalite reaches into every islamic nation. Muslims are watching. Have you ever watched Michael Youssef, An Egyptian pastor in Atlanta who’s program (Leading the Way) is popular in the middle east? Also, there are two Catholic programs on the Church Channel.

Maybe it is as the bible says, people will call good evil and evil good?

It’s not cynicism if it’s true.

Christian TV is responsible for many thousands of salvations each year.

That is of course based upon the errant gospel messages being preached. I suggest that you consider the difference between these “accept Jesus and get saved” messages and what the New Testament actually teaches. See mt blog article Who REALLY Preaches “A Different Gospel”?

Christians are discipled.

Ideally, but you cannot make that statement because neither of us has facts to support that statement of yours.

Christian satalite reaches into every islamic nation. Muslims are watching.

:shrug: And? So does Voice of America and all manner of other broadcasts but I don’t see droves of Muslims converting.

Have you ever watched Michael Youssef, An Egyptian pastor in Atlanta who’s program (Leading the Way) is popular in the middle east? Also, there are two Catholic programs on the Church Channel

You should have a look at EWTN if you want discipleship.

Maybe it is as the bible says, people will call good evil and evil good?

And where exactly is that in the Bible?

I have no idea what you might mean by such a comment on this thread.

I think JaS’ point is that because of live streaming and pod casts and YouTube, Tv is not what it was.

That verse is Is.5:20. The Muslims must often rely on satalite TV. Christian networks do not make a profit providing programming in the middle east. They also donate receiver dishes to villages. The fact is many Muslims are being saved. The evidence of it is that when one accepts Jesus it is a very dramatic change. They immediately change from hating Israel to loving Israel. This is the power of grace (not works). That can only be God. God uses TV and also the internet. Often they must keep their new belief secret.

The vast majority of Christianity in the middle east are Eastern Catholic or oriental orthodox who don’t need protestant television and besides they are already have Christ in the sacraments.

Well yes and no. If you’re talking open citizen Christians in the countries that allow Christians to be citizens (countries like Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain) the natives tend to be Eastern. But in other countries in the Middle east where Christians can’t be citizens and most publicly Christians are either foreign workers, their children, etc… or are closet Christians the eastern traditions are joined by western rites, Protestantism, etc… Even in countries like Kuwait and Bahrain the majority of Christians aren’t necessarily Eastern as again they’re mostly foreign workers.

I’ve been following the lives of a pair of friends of mine and their son as they’ve lived in Bahrain for the last 3 years and recently their trials and tribulations having moved to Saudi Arabia. They’re nominally agnostic which has made living there somewhat easier than if they were openly Christian only in so far as they don’t have any practices that they’d need to hide. But it’s very easy to see how the issues they’ve encountered, particularly in Saudi, would make life for a practicing Christian, particularly in either Eastern Orthodox/Catholic or Roman Catholic tradition, VERY difficult if not impossible.

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