Lessons From Preachers of L.A.

Lessons From Preachers of L.A.

Preachers-of-LA-Season-2There have been mixed emotions from the faith community about Preachers of L.A. At its onset, it was marketed (brilliantly) as a show that chronicled the lavish lifestyles of pastors in Los Angeles. Well, it worked! 1.1 million of y’all tuned in to the premiere! After watching, many of us would learn that the show was not as harmful as we had expected… but not as helpful as we had hoped.

As with most controversial issues that strike our faith, I’ve tried to stay quiet and see what there is to learn from our experience with this show. I must say that I’ve learned much… and rather than impose my opinon of whether the show should exist, I’ll share some lessons I’ve learned. If y’all enjoy it and interact with me, I’ll keep it up throughout season 2.

The recent Season 1 Reunion Show highlighted something that became abundantly clear throughout Season 1. Deitrick Haddon, one of the shows producers and main characters, is an incredibly intelligent, gifted brother… who seems to reject authority and direction at every turn. To be fair, I don’t know Deitrick and can only judge what happens before the cameras. However, it seems like he experiences what many of us young, gifted men of God experience. We think we know it all and don’t need anyone to tell us any differently. No one seems to have permission to speak into his life, give him guidance, or correct him when he’s wrong. Deitrick rejects direction from his father (who is a pastor), from Bishop Gibson, and anyone else who tries to guide him in a direction other than what he has already decided. The main lesson here is that EVERY PASTOR NEEDS A PASTOR!

It doesn’t matter who you are, how much Bible you know, or how many people follow you. Each of us needs to be following someone. Someone must have the authority in our lives to check us. This is more than a mentor or an advisor. This is someone who serves as a shepherd in our lives, who cares for our soul, who hears from God on our behalf, and guides us into wisdom and maturity.

Becoming a pastor did not negate my need for one. I praise God for my pastor, John K. Jenkins, Sr. He loves me like a father and guides me like a shepherd. Every major decision in my life and leadership I run by him. Everything I am as a pastor and leader is because God has used him to pour into my life.

What do y’all think of the show? Is it helpful or harmful? If you’re a pastor, do you feel the need to have a pastor? If you are not a pastor, does your pastor have a pastor? Are you a believer trusting your own direction rather than connecting with a shepherd and a local church body? Want to continue this discussion throughout Season 2?

  • Celine Parker

    I watch. I also agree with your observation of Haddon and the need for pastors to have a pastor. I do feel the show sheds light on the humanity of pastors and their wives by letting us in to the lives of the cast members. They’re all different just as the rest of us…As for discussing and watching Season 2, judging from my assignments and required reading (I read 6 chapters last night) I won’t be watching much TV for A LONG TIME… So yes. Please post a brief synopsis and your thoughts so I can at least know what went on. 🙂

    August 19, 2014 at 11:39 AM
    • Thanks Celine! I think the “humanity” issue is a fine line. It’s important for us to know that our pastors are human so we don’t put them on an unfair pedestal. At the same time, there is a such thing as seeing too much. Everyone can’t handle the quirks of a pastor… shoot, everyone can’t handle anyone’s quirks!

      So proud of you and your hard work in school. Keep it up!

      August 19, 2014 at 4:38 PM
  • Ian Edwards

    In one sense it seems to me that Detrick will listen to those that have influence over him as opposed to just anyone regardless of their Pastoral rank. He takes well to Bishop Jones. Bishop Gibson and his wife have certain ethical values they hold to that they want to push on people at times and find themselves having a hard time backing it up with scripture. They make good points and given the proper way I think they could communicate their concerns in a more palatable manner. However, they are a bit forceful at times and also are a bit dull in hearing if they don’t get the answer or response they feel they deserve. But as to the totality of your post, yes Dr. Manning, every Pastor needs a Pastor, some accountability and should be submissive to authority. But I know this comes through relationship and respect. When that is in order, even the most feisty pastor will hear the hard things from that individual. Just my .5 cents ;). Love you man!

    August 19, 2014 at 12:01 PM
    • Thanks for participating bro! I guess he does listen to Bishop Jones a little… but the show has not displayed much (if any) of Bishop Jones attempting to “pastor” Deitrick. Again… all I can comment on is what the show displays for the viewer.

      August 19, 2014 at 4:41 PM
  • Shannon Thomas

    I completely agree that pastors need a pastor. I have seen the results of pastors that lack their own spiritual covering, and sometimes begin to take their church in directions that do not line up with scripture. The lack of accountability can result in an uprising of flesh… That being said, I think you are making lemons into lemonade with this show by making something positive out of a show that casts a somewhat negative light on Christianity (as if we don’t have enough of that) I have seen some episodes of this show, but do not watch it regularly. I think it would be great to keep the conversation going.

    August 19, 2014 at 12:31 PM
    • Hey Shannon! EVERYTHING on TV casts a negative light on Christianity. I’ve grown weary of expecting otherwise.

      August 19, 2014 at 4:43 PM
  • Patrick Pete

    I think you are spot on, Dr. Manning. I am curious, however, if what we see in front of the cameras is a reflection of television and its demand for ratings. The truth is, obedient, humble Christian pastors are more than likely not good fodder for television ratings.

    Sensationalism is a big part of TV ratings, and a prominent, talented, young, man of God, recently divorced, and a fiance who has given birth to his child, all the while, struggling with it all and the authorities in his life who seek to counsel him is a lot more attractive to TV audiences than a humble servant of the most High God. So I’m curious as to whether what we see is truly reality, or simply staged. You did say he was one of the producers of the show.

    But at a minimum, it creates a great platform for leaders like yourself to teach.

    August 19, 2014 at 1:20 PM
    • Great point Patrick! We have no idea how much of this stuff is real. However, if it isn’t… these dudes are GREAT actors. LOL.

      August 19, 2014 at 4:44 PM
  • Kevin Clark

    Haven’t watched the show but I’m 100% in agreement with the lesson you’ve highlighted. It’s a short distance from “Called & Passionate” to “Arrogant & Foolish.” God’s men need God’s men. I’m glad I had the opportunity to start that journey with you at DTS and I’m thankful to say that I meet with 3-4 pastors every Thursday morning for coffee and each one has unfettered access to speak truth to & into me.

    August 19, 2014 at 3:37 PM
    • Great point! I just tweeted your “arrogant & foolish” line. That’s classic! Thanks Kevin.

      August 19, 2014 at 4:46 PM
  • Alexander Twyman

    I’ve only seen season one but here are my thoughts. So far, this show is only okay given the sprinkles of great moments. I thought the transgender episode was awesome and was a good response and I loved the repeated examples of married couples loving one another. However, with Deitrick’s apparent cynicism and bullheadedness, Noel Jones stringing Loretta along, Ron Henderson’s forcefulness and lack of listening, and Bishop McClendon’s insults and entourage, I am struggling to see the need/purpose for the show. I guess the benefit is seeing that pastors are regular people to. Yes/no? Anyway, I guess at this moment, I am hoping that those few good moments shine through. To your point, EVERYBODY needs a pastor, including Deitrick. My pastor has a pastor (T.D. Jakes is Pastor Jenkins’s pastor) Yes, let’s talk about season 2.

    August 19, 2014 at 3:59 PM
  • Rodger Basnight Jr

    I really dont know how to interpret the spiritual value of this show…. I dont believe that because 1.1 million people watch automatically means you are spreading the gospel…. I also believe that many of the scenarios are staged and tailored for TV…. similar to the Housewives that stage negative interactions for drama and ratings…. I didn’t expect to see Ron Gibson flossing and spitting nursery rhymes and putting his sister on TV in the condition she was in, if you are really trying to help why bring the cameras? Detrick Haddon as Dr. Manning noticed seems to live with no real sense of accountability which is dangerous for a talented man of God everyone needs a Pastor…. Noel Jones has a unique situation but I think his relationship with Loretta works for both of them, marriage isn’t something that you do by default because you’ve been friends for a long time, Ron Gibson & his wife should not be in their business…. Clarence McClendon may take himself a little to serious but he seems serious about ministry…. Chaney loves his wife and I respect that but every first lady is not a Pastor and despite many of his church leadership advised against it he made her a Pastor time will tell if that decision was led by the Holy Spirit or by his wife…. I will be watching this season so Dr. Manning keep the posts coming!

    August 20, 2014 at 5:50 PM
    • Absolutely bro! Inherent in the beast of reality television is the fact that many scenes are staged for the cameras. That makes it difficult to know what is real, what is staged and what is in the gray area between that. Thanks for pointing that out. Looking forward to continuing the dialogue.

      August 20, 2014 at 6:45 PM

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