Praise & Worship Idol
With the addition of Kris Allen into the American Idol Top 12, there will be yet another megachurch taking center stage during the hometown visits guaranteed to be shown during the first Top 12 episode.
As of right now, half of the finalists are praise & worship leaders at their megachurches.
The last time I checked, the show was called American Idol. Not Evangelical Idol.
Personally, I think it’s brilliant to see devout and open Christians on the show. I think we need more talented and faithful Christians influencing mainstream music, rather than insulating themselves in the Christian music bubble. But it’s not easy. So if you’re a fan of one of this year’s contestants, in addition to dialing, pray for them.
I remember the days of yore when batshit crazy fans couldn’t stalk these people in their respective houses of worship until the show was over. Now it has become almost mandatory to put a contestant’s church front-and-center when discussing their “back story”.
Kris Allen is an active member of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries and the New Life Church located in Conway, Arkansas. (Don’t you love it when a church has a .tv web domain? Of course, I guess this is to distinguish from the other New Life Church in Colorado Springs. You know, the one founded by Ted Haggard. However, if you do a Google search, you’ll quickly see at least one “New Life Church” in every state. It’s like the Springfield of Christian worship centers.)
This is your stereotypical megachurch with lots of cash, however, they do get some props for posting their annual financial statement to their website.
New Life has a congregation of somewhere between 2500-5000 and is much more tech savvy than say, Faith Builders International Ministries, i.e., they have a much slicker website and seem to employ an actual strategic marketing plan in terms of web and social networking initatives. Most of their ministers (including Pastor Rick Bezet) have blogs and frequently use Twitter, so they’re working with more than a rudimentary understanding of the internet.
One of Bezet’s recent Tweets:
It is cool to have a top contender on American Idol. That young man loves God a ton!
Pastor Bezet began New Life in 2001 with a congregation of 400 people. Today, they have three churches (“campuses”) in Arkansas with a congregation totaling 5000 members. New Life is HUGE. Plus, they even have model-esque couples leading ministries for college kids and twenty-somethings. They’re hip! They’re cool! They’re good looking! And they TWEET!
at Starbucks working on message for elevation. Talking about sexual purity. Should be a really great night for everyone.
Pastor Bezet probably even has a better plan for conquering than Pastor Rolex does up there in Milwaukee. Bezet is a member of A.R.C. (Association of Related Churches), an organization of “church planters”. They plant churches in various communities around the United States. Thus far, they have reportedly planted over 50 churches across the country.
This somewhat loose affiliation of churches is involved with another loose affiliation of churches boasting not one but TWO Top 36 Idol contestants this season. In the past, contestants have included Season 7 semifinalist Alaina Whitaker and successful Season 6 finalist, Chris Singh. Apparently, this affiliation goes back to something called Life Church, which has been sprouting up churches throughout the southern and southwestern U.S. and also sometimes promoting “Friends of Life Church” type groups.
It’s always great to see talented individuals who are part of the Church be successful in their careers, and one of our LifeChurch.tv attendees has made it to the top 36 in the American Idol competition.
This week we’re following the story of some people from local churches we know, including, Matt Breitzke, who attends our South Tulsa campus, Kris Allen, who worship leader for our friends over at New Life Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, and last week Danny Gokey, a worship leader from Milwaukee, Wisconsin moved ahead in the competition. We’re looking forward to seeing their performances.
Ok. All this stuff just confuses me. I am now going to assume all these Evangelical leaders convene every year in some sort of Jesus Bilderberg Conference. OMG! This could be part of their grand plan to not only make everyone a Christian, but to also reclaim the White House and all those lost Congressional seats. And Fox / Fox News is involved! OF COURSE!
(But remember, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa is still a top-ranking Republican. And he loves has no problem playing hardball with suspect megachurches. And a great deal of praise music sucks, especially if you’re not into that sort of thing.)
And now we know Welder Bear attends the South Tulsa Life Church, although I am now curious as to why they haven’t poached him for big church band. Maybe he has no interest. Maybe he only goes to church because of his wife and kids. Maybe he is now kicking himself for not making his religion a larger part of his Idol story.
After all, you can’t tell me the Christian Idol Voting Bloc doesn’t exert some obvious control over who makes it through on this show, as both Michael Sarver and Kris Allen had what most people agree were lackluster performances.
Throw in the Frauen, especially the Christian Frauen, and it makes perfect sense why 3 out or the 4 male contestants voted through to the Top 12 are praise and worship leaders. Take a shot every time you read one saying “I can see Jesus in them.”
If the hard-core Christian Right wants to sit around on Tuesday nights and vote for American Idol, whatevia. Obama is my president and children in public schools will once again learn about condoms. If this is all part of some Jesus Bilderberg plan, then I’m laughing my ass off. A silly karaoke contest on TV as a conversion / political strategy is about as lame an idea as Sarah Palin.