Have a penchant for preaching the Gospel? Your chance to take your talents to the pulpit of a megachurch is finally here. Producers of a new reality television competition called “So You Think You Can Preach” want you to audition to be America’s next “ultimate nonlicensed preacher.”
The winner of the competition will receive a $25,000 cash prize, possibly a car, and the “opportunity to preach a sermon at one or two this country’s megachurches.” [Though, according to the show’s website, “all prizes are subject to change.”]
Created by Bishop Cashma Bryan of the Holiness Church of Jesus Christ in the Apostles Doctrine in Detroit, the show will host auditions in major cities around the U.S. over 10 weeks, a YouTube trailer says. The first set of auditions will be held Oct. 3 in Dearborn Heights, Michigan.
According to the trailer, the competition is a “family friendly show” that “America wants to watch.” The video posted to YouTube features snippets of sermons from amateur preachers showcasing their skills.
"We have judges, it's just like 'American idol.' It's very structured, the format is there and everything. So it's just like 'American Idol,' except in a religious way. And it's Christian, non-Christian, diversity. It's going to be a very interesting show across the nation. I can't wait for it," Bryan told the Christian Post.
Once finalists are chosen from cities around the country, they will compete in one last show in which they will be given just a few minutes to prepare and deliver three sermons on three different subjects.
But not everybody is thrilled with the show’s concept.
"As a licensed minister I can say honestly that I am very appalled that preaching is being used for profit on both ends of the table,” Minister Earl Washington Jr. told the Christian Post. “Clergymen and -women struggle with even continuing to pursue in the calling and this is just a slap in the face to those who struggle and study just to proclaim the word of God.”
The show has not yet been picked up by any television network.