Actually it’s called “All American Gospel,” but you can sense where we’re going. George Barna’s organization apparently does more than surveys and statistical analysis, as they are partnering with Church Communication Network Entertainment on a program that basically baptizes the American Idol format. Auditions will be held in up to 10,000 local churches across the country for 14-22 year old soloists who sing pop, gospel, hymns, or some other style.
It certainly brings to mind that bothersome church evangelical motif commonly called “special music.” Twelve finalists will then compete each week for a recording contract with a sublabel of Word Records. Apparently the show is not going to be on television, but is being marketed to church groups who can watch via satellite. Honestly, I gotta wonder how many churches would pay to sign up and then get a crowd together to watch Special Music Idol. The director of BarnaFilms explains the goal, saying this show “will help bring our youths – especially – back to church, where they can watch together and choose the next great voice in Christian music.”
Really? Am I too skeptical or cynical here? Will youths who are currently not in church be drawn in by the opportunity to watch this program? Do they care about any voice in Christian music? I just have to wonder if people are honestly thinking this would be a great outreach tool for teens… but if you want to do more than sing a CCM song at church on Sunday night, this is your chance.
What do you think?