A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Preachers of L.A. is a reality series that features leaders and worshippers of evangelical Christian ministries. There's lots of religion and faith-based themed conversations, as well as references to mature issues like gang violence, drug addiction, adultery, and having children out of wedlock. Arguments sometimes break out between church leaders, and wine and cocktails are occasionally consumed during social events. There's lots of high-end luxury cars (Bentleys, Cadillacs, Mercedes-Benz), and logos for Apple computers and other brands visible, too.
What's the story?
PREACHERS OF L.A. is a reality series that follows the activities of some of the most notable leaders of Los Angeles area-based Christian ministries. The cast is headed up by Deitrick Haddon, a minister and Grammy-nominated gospel singer who is restarting his ministry career after falling from grace from his church after a controversial divorce and subsequent relationship. It also stars former gang member-turned preacher Bishop Ron Gibson; Bishop Noel Jones, a preacher who enjoys the single life; and partying skateboarder-turned-pastor Jay Haizlip. Pastor Wayne Chaney and internationally renown bishop Clarence McClendon are also featured. From risking their safety by ministering in troubled communities, to hosting major show-stopping prayer services around the world, these men show that being a preacher is a full-time job, and one that is complicated and multidimensional.
Is it any good?
Preachers of L.A. offers an inside look at the business and culture of Southern California-based evangelical ministries, in which preachers are often treated like celebrities, and where services often look like major Hollywood-like productions. It also reveals some of the roles the preachers' wives or "first ladies" play in the community, as well as the various ways that these preachers combine their spiritual calling with their entrepreneurial skills to make a living.
Some of the more voyeuristic moments feel forced as the preachers (and on occasion their partners) specifically discuss controversial issues, like charging for ministry services, having an entourage, and the lengths to which women will go to get a preachers' attention. Viewers might be surprised by some of the ministers' opulent lifestyles, too. Ultimately, what this show reveals is that despite the fact that these preachers answer to a higher power, they are also very human.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what it is like to be a leader (or spouse or child of a leader) of a religious community. What are the expectations that people have about their behaviors or lifestyles? How does media depictions of people in ministry life impact our expectations? Are these standards too high?
Does this series offer a realistic picture of what ministry life is really like? Does what you see here represent all evangelical ministries?
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