What has become a hit show on the A&E Network features a group of unusual characters that could not have been cast by a Hollywood professional and dialogue that could not have been scripted by the best writers.
The show features Phil Robertson, the Duckcommander, his extended family, and a few friends and employees of the family business. After winning all the best awards at the Outdoor Channel with the Duckcommander show, they have taken cable by storm and are quickly rising to one of the top shows on cable. It is an unlikely bunch to enjoy such fame and to amass such a loyal fan following. They are not entertainers, at least not trained entertainers, they are just…well….they are just the Robertson bunch.
Most of the above is what you probably already knew. Now for some things you probably didn’t know.
Just how popular are they? Recently, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, arguably the best show on CNN, was able to only attract just over 500,000 viewers. Meanwhile, the last episode of the season for Duck Dynasty had 2.6 million viewers. Not too shabby, and they are trending upward. Soon they will start shooting for their second season, this year will have a healthy 25 episodes.
What drives them? You might be shocked to know that the motivating force is not fame and the money that comes with TV stardom. What drives them is a simple mission that began with the elder Robertson soon after his conversion to Christianity. They are focused on telling as many people as possible about the story of Jesus Christ and what he has done for sinful people, (that’s all of us..).
An open door. After reading the paragraph above you might question, “Yes, I see them say a prayer before they eat and Phil will say something about the Bible occasionally but they don’t share about Jesus on the show do they?” Of course it’s a fair question and I think many people who know the Robertson’s might have similar questions when they hear someone make the claim that they are all about evangelism.
What Duck Dynasty and other family media has done is to open doors that could never have been opened any other way. Phil, Jase, Alan, and John have all the speaking opportunities they can handle and more. Even before Duck Dynasty Phil was booked up for about 3 years in advance. They speak at sports shows of all sorts, sports banquets at churches and other venues, and almost anywhere they can get an audience. What you might not know is that every speaking opportunity features a rugged looking outdoors type dude with duck calls in one hand and a Bible in the other. They almost never speak anywhere that they don”t preach the gospel. This family has preached the good news about Jesus to far more people in the last several years than many major ministries ever could. They walk the walk and talk the talk, for this I most respect what they do and who they are.
The lost sheep returns. Duck Dynasty is truly a family business but one of the Robertson sons has been missing most of the time. The oldest son, Alan, has only had cameo appearances a few times, is clean-shaven, and has not worked very much in the business. For several years Alan has been one of the pulpit ministers at the church where the family worships. He is a gifted preacher and one of the very best I have ever heard. The lost sheep is coming home! Alan announced to the congregation of his church today that he will be stepping down from his preaching job at White’s Ferry Road to return to the family business where he worked building duck calls when the business was just getting off the ground. He will still worship with us, still be an elder, and will still preach often, but his principal job will be helping his family reach even more people for Christ. It’s a sweet bonus that they get to have so much fun doing it.
So, tune in when the new season begins and keep in mind that what you see on the screen is just a fraction of what the Robertson clan and their friends are all about. To them, Jesus really is Lord!