4 Things I Learned From A TV show

In my personal humble opinion the greatest show on TV that never made it was The Unit! I know I know. You probably never heard about...

In my personal humble opinion the greatest show on TV that never made it was The Unit! I know I know. You probably never heard about it. It was on CBS on Sunday nights. I loved this show. Every season it got better and better.

It was a show that revolved around a Special Forces unit for the Army. The basic premise was that these guys could never ever tell anyone who they worked for and who they really were. They went on the missions that never got talked about. They were the guys who performed the missions that no one really talked about. I got totally wrapped up into the show and loved every minute of the three and half seasons it was on.

So several weeks ago, I decided that I really wanted to watch the reruns. So I found a website where I could watch every episode. And over the next month or so I systematically went through every episode. I remember thinking as the last episode aired that I couldn’t understand how this show didn’t make it. The last episode was the best one I had ever seen. It had me on the edge of my seat and I had seen it before.

I was left with one haunting question. Why didn’t it make it?? How were more people not in love with this show?

Then I thought about how is it that some churches and ministries don’t make it. Or they never really reach that level of success that they should. I know this is an unusual comparison, but it struck me ever so clearly.

Here are 4 things that cost the unit and 4 things that will cost the church!

Too many false assumptions  - The unit assumed I knew a lot of things that I did not know. It made a lot of assumptions that I would be able to keep up with their lingo and that I could relate to the Army way of life. This wasn’t a huge deterrent for me, but totally could be for others. How many churches do the same. We make assumptions that people know something about the bible or that they understand why we worship. So of the most talented people in the world are beating their head against a wall because they have bee making very false assumptions.

The audience became to narrow – over the period of the show I could see them begin to get more and more laser pointed towards one audience. I did some research on why the show went off. And this is a quote I found. “While The Unit had an extremely loyal Audience of core watchers they were not reaching the heights we thought they would” how familiar does that sound. There are some loyal people in our lives but we have narrowed our focus towards them and now we aren’t reaching anyone but them and people like them. Do consistent things but fight the urge to lean toward insiders.

They listened to the wrong Voices – It was evident that they were listening to people tell them we want more of the same. Keep doing what you are doing. How many times have we gotten trapped in that deal? We have to be willing to listen to the voices that aren’t “in” yet. If we want to reach people that we aren’t reaching we need to ask THEM why.  Putting the wrong voices around you can and will be detrimental to progress.

Lack of willingness to change course – I read another article about The Unit that talked about the fact that the producers of the show were unwilling to change course. People were telling them that their audience was too narrow but they wouldn’t listen. They weren’t willing to go in a different direction even if it cost them everything. And eventually the show got cancelled. Are we willing to change direction or will we settle for watching the walls cave in around us?
Would you add anything to my list?? 

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