Paul Crouch is founder of the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), based in Southern California.

Why is television appropriate for mass evangelism, and are the results worth the cost?

The church should use any vehicle that has the potential to reach large numbers of people for Christ. As for cost, I can speak only for TBN. Some 70 million people have access to our programming. It costs about a penny to give a Christian witness to each potential viewer. And that doesn’t include the 4 million who have phoned in or come forward at a live telecast of a TBN-sponsored rally.

How many of these continue on as active Christians?

We distinguish between first-time converts and those who are rededicating their lives. I don’t know how many have gone on to become mature Christians. But millions have at least prayed the sinner’s prayer and asked Christ to come into their lives. We can’t dictate where they go from there. In his Great Commission, Jesus said we are to be his witnesses.

Is the impersonal technology of television consistent with the personal nature of the gospel?

Used properly, television is a personal medium. In church, people sit 60 feet from the speaker. With TV, they have direct eye contact. To give viewers access to a body of believers, we have telephone prayer partners to counsel and pray with callers.

In addition, we always urge callers to become part of a Bible-believing fellowship. Television should be the servant of the local church, a tool for pastors. One pastor told me his church gained 60 families as a result of referrals from the TBN station in his area. That’s just one of many examples.

Can Christian television damage the church’s testimony?

The recent revelations ...

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