It’s been my dream to write Church – The TV Show (most likely broadcast on cable due to language and content) but it’s increasingly clear to me that I will never be able to get very far with it.
Where I am so far: Pitch written. First season charted out.
Why I can’t go farther:
- I cannot possibly create story lines better than real life. And I can’t share real life because of confidentiality. . . and for fear of lawsuits for those who believe I’m writing about them even when I’m not.
- I have hoped this would be a project that would make watchers say, “I could be part of a church like that.” But instead, I fear that too many will say, “Why would anyone put up with that?”
Most of us in professional ministry Have Stories. Riotous, colorful, outrageous, true stories.
Mine include cancer in unspeakable body parts, jaw-dropping misconduct, national secrets, epic romance, splashy worship, shameful racism, Lucille Ball-esque pratfalls, and unspeakably beautiful deathbed moments. Reports are out that Amy Poehler’s next show is church-centered. Because she is a genius, it will be funny and amazing. But it will not really be about Church as most of us know Church.
Maybe some of us should just create an oral project and hit the road with it. Or maybe we should pitch to The Moth the idea of spending a whole weekend telling amazing church stories. My first one would be “The Call Story in GYN Stirrups.” Some of you already know this story.
It’s a shame if we can’t share with people what Real Church is all about. Yes, it’s infuriating and shameful and ridiculous. But it’s also breathtaking and transformational and gorgeous. And the stories are rarely told.
This post is offered in memory of KB – my co-writer for Church. We shared episode ideas for over a decade and many of us miss her terribly.