Why reality is so attractive.

Over our family vacation I found myself sitting on the floor with Jesse, our 5yr old son. We were coloring in his Angry Birds coloring book. I sat down and asked him if I could use any colors I wanted to use, on the picture that he and I were both working on. angry birds

His response was priceless.

"Just keep it realistic, Dad!"

He wanted to make sure that whatever I did, whatever colors I chose, that I helped make the picture resemble real life images (however you do that working with imaginary "Angry Birds" :)

People are attracted to reality. Reality TV shows have sky rocketed over the past 10+ years. Whether you are talking about Survivor, American Idol, the Bachelor, or Duck Dynasty there is no question that people are watching reality TV.

Duck Dynasty

I recently read that:

  • 67% of American TV viewing is dedicated to reality tv shows.
  • Out of the 240,000 entertainment jobs in LA over 30,000 are tied into reality TV.

I'm not saying reality TV shows give the most realistic picture of everyday life by any means! What I am saying is that people are drawn to things that are more raw, realistic, and reveal the human experience in a less polished light.

Even the majority of prime time interviews we see include shots of all the background crew, lighting, props, etc. They know something about people. They know that people want excellence, they just want it in such a way that also gives them but a glimpse into the behind the scenes, raw inner workings and not just the finished product.

I think most people who come to church are very similar in that way.

People want to be inspired by those beyond them but not by someone so far beyond them that its demotivating to follow. This is important for me to remember as a preacher. It’s hard for people to grow into something they can’t see or don’t think they could ever attain.

The goal is not for others to think you are perfect. It’s been said that it’s important for preachers to show a little “underwear!” Andy Stanley says, “Preach out of your weakness and you will never run out of material!” True story.

Transparency feeds credibility. Reality draws. Authenticity not only gathers people but helps people grow.

If you think about it, the Bible is such a raw book. No perfect people, other than the Son of God, were allowed in its pages. We are both inspired and encouraged as we read about these flawed heroes of the faith.

Maybe reality, in whatever form our culture can get it, is attractive because it's relatable.

In your parenting, in your preaching, in your friendships here’s a little advice from my 5yr old son, “Just keep it realistic!”