So, over the years, I’ve had several “guest” posts about the importance of teaching teenagers the Bible:
Well, recently I had a chance to fire a few questions at another special guest: comedian Jeff Foxworthy, host of Game Show Network’s new TV show, The American Bible Challenge:
JG: Why did you say yes to hosting a “game show” about the Bible?
Jeff: When I first got asked to do the show, I didn’t just jump at it, I thought, “man, I don’t ever want to do something that exploits faith”. The thing that sold me on it, that’s unlike any game show you’ve seen, is that no one is playing for themselves. They’re giving every dime of it away to love on someone else. When you read the Bible, the only people Jesus got sideways with were the Pharisees. Not the tax collectors, or the sinners. It’s because they had head knowledge, but no heart knowledge. On this show you need to have the head knowledge to answer the questions, but it’s obvious these people have heart knowledge because they’re out there doing these things in their community whether we’re doing a show or not. They’re running food pantries or fighting human trafficking or different diseases, or whatever. I felt like that would be an appeal to someone who is outside of having faith. I wouldn’t have said yes if it wasn’t like that.
JG: What is your goal with the show?
Jeff: I think mainly, it would be make the message of God appealing to someone who doesn’t know it. That’s was real important to me. Those people are going to ask themselves, “What would make somebody spend their free time collecting food for somebody?”
Q: What has surprised you the most about contestants on the show?
Jeff: You know, one would think the people who would do the best are the preachers or the youth ministers, or whatever, but I think the most shocking thing is that these are everyday people. They don’t have a background in theology. But obviously this book has sung to them so well, it’s their life, it’s in the core of the life. That was the cool thing, to see moms, and grandpas and teenagers who aren’t even “in ministry” that know the Bible inside and out.
Q: I know that the Bible is a key part of your faith and life … what’s your favorite verse, passage, or story?
Jeff: I should probably be concerned about this, because I’ve never heard anyone else say it’s their favorite verse… (laughs), but mine is Galatians 1:10…”Am I now seeking the approval of man or of GOD? Or am I trying to please people. If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” It’s my life. In the business of comedy, you depend on people’s approval in order to make a living. I don’t want to get caught up in that. I’ll give you an example. In my career, I’ve probably turned down 6 or 7 movies because they were going to be a couple of months out of the summer and I’d look at my kids and think, I’ve only got 4 more summers with them, I’m not giving one away.
I love what I do. I love being a comedian. Almost 30 years and I still think, “I can’t believe I got away with this”. It’s what I do… but it’s not who I am. It’s NOT where my identity is. If it went away tomorrow that’s OK. The truth of the matter is, we’re never going to please everybody. I can do a comedy record that is the best-selling record in 30 years and someone is going to say, “I didn’t like that joke,” and I say “well, I really wasn’t trying to hurt anyone’s feelings”.
I do believe if I live my life in a way that’s pleasing to GOD, I mean really, how can someone else get upset with that? Pleasing GOD means I’m probably going to be a really good husband, and a really good dad, and a really good citizen in my community.
I think one of the biggest traps people fall into, is that we get so scared that we’re going to do or say something that’s not 100% right, and we lose our Joy. I don’t think GOD created us to be like that. If he breathes his attributes into us, one of those is joy. Let’s make the show fun and relevant. It’s called the Good News. Good news should make you smile.
To support Jeff and this incredible show featuring the Bible and Christians in such a favorable way, please encourage your church families and students to to tune-in this Thursday Night and watch “The American Bible Challenge” Season Finale. Go to the Game Show Network’s website GSNTV.com, click “Channel Finder” for local station listings. Feel free to re-post this interview, share it, etc.
Look for part 2 of the interview with Jeff Foxworthy tomorrow morning!