The Joyce Meyer show in PNG

By Emmanuel Narokobi

The Joyce Meyer Ministries traveling show has arrived in PNG and I was out at Sir John Guise stadium yesterday to have a look at Next of Kin Productions setting up of the huge stage which is just one of 3 which will be running from the 24th to the 26th of July. In the way of faith I’m a catholic, although a spiritually poor one at the moment and I know I gotta lift my game in that area, but the flesh has been too weak many a Sunday mornings just to get to church. But if faith can move mountains then right now faith has brought us a private jet flying, multimedia, multi-staged, multi-screened, multi-million kina concert extravaganza and all for the people for the price of nothing. All they want are your souls, well I shouldn’t put it that way, but all they want is for you to take part in their brand of faith.

I must admit I have on occasion stopped to listen to Joyce Meyer and her ‘wan-wok’ in Christ Creflo Dollar. Their brand of faith has made me listen and it is actually quite inspiring in that you are told that God wants you to be  holy and if you do then you open yourself to the Lords  blessings and so you can actually lead a prosperous life and in the light of the lord. I’ve come to learn recently that there’s actually a name for their brand of teachings and its called ‘Prosperity Theology‘. Simply put a religious teaching that God desires material prosperity for those he favors. Material prosperity in this theology not only includes financial prosperity but success in relationships and good health as well.

Now I’m not going to discuss the theological aspects of their teachings because I doubt that I’m qualified to do so, but what I have always been attracted to with these teachers of Prosperity has been how on a media level they have seemingly perfected a business model which could only work if you had a spiritual following. Make no mistake about it, these evangelical churches are media conglomerates and Joyce Meyer Ministries alone has a global presence of 15 international offices. Joyce Meyer’s radio and television show airs in 25 languages in 200 countries. She has written over 70 books and has a website with podcasts, streaming video and an online store.

So I would be interested to see how her visit effects the sales of religious music and DVD’s in the country, which in the end makes sense when you think about how such a media conglomerate would sustain itself. Yet I still doubt that coming to PNG would make a profit for her, not because we’re not interested in her but simply because the supply chains in the industry have not been set up appropriately for her to maximise her media presence in the country.

Imagine if all those Kundu Cards were Visa Debit Cards and Telikom’s X’cess and Digicel’s Web Stik had been launched some 12 months ago. You’d have a craze going on with downloads of music, and online purchases of DVD’s and books. Imagine if you have video enabled on bemobile and digicel mobiles, hell someone all the way in Southern Highlands would be able to tune in and watch the Ministry concerts happening live in Port Moresby.

The thing is I’m simply a media freak and the closest thing I beleive we will come to a full on media onslaught will not be some international singer coming to PNG but a Teleevangelist like Joyce Meyer. The Church brought us soul, R’N’B and rock’n’roll maybe soon it will bring us multi-media religious salvation and in doing so pave the way for a new way to reach the masses in a developing world. Whether its comforting or scary that’s another arguement, but I’m just simply amazed at the scale of her visit.

And for those of you that think she’s all about the ‘Benjamins’, you can make your own judgements by checking out her Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability approved financials and annual reports on her website. Actually speaking of money and getting back to the true purpose of Joyce Meyers visit, her website says that they will be praying in PNG for the leaders of this land to seek righteousness and the guidance of God in the affairs of this nation. I think I’ll go along on the weekend to help with the prayers.