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It Takes a Church: Interview with Show Host Natalie Grant

Jun 05, 2014

“I hope churches begin to become inspired to create a space for singles. Singles need to be recognized and validated and let to be known that they have an important contribution to the congregation.”

Do you like game shows? What about dating shows? A new Christian dating show, It Takes a Church is airing Thursday, June 5th, 2014 at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) on Game Show Network. Curb Recording Artist and Multi-Grammy nominated Natalie Grant is hosting the show. It Takes a Church includes a single, their pastor and congregation in the process of choosing a potential spouse out of three contestants. “In a sense, churches will be playing matchmaker, but it’s a lot more than that,” says host Grant.

I had the chance to interview Grant who opened up on what the show is all about, including responding to negative feedback and why her seven-year old daughters will tune in.

How is It Takes a Church Formatted?

Each week a single interested in finding someone to know better meet three potential suitors and go on two dates. The church votes on who is most compatible and the single person chooses one suitor to pursue a relationship and get to know better. During each episode, the pastor helps guide them. The other two possible suitors not chosen are given a free membership to Christian dating website, ChristianMingle.com.

What You Won’t Find on the Show

Unlike shows like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, people are not pressured to rush into dating multiple people at once or in a hurry to become engaged. There is no expectation of marriage at the end of the episode.

Why Center the Show Around Finding People in the Church?

Using a church setting for the show seems out of place for many people, but Grant thinks otherwise.“The church is the perfect place to meet someone. It’s almost taboo to talk about our love life in church. It’s the place we should be talking about it. These are the people we trust. When you choose to belong to a church you are choosing to do life with those people. You are choosing that pastor to have the opportunity to speak Godly wisdom and counsel into your life and so they should be speaking into this part of it.”

What Can Young People Learn from This Show?

I was curious on what example and principles would be portrayed in the show. Grant stated, “It shows young people that your church and the people who share your faith, it’s the most important thing. Do they share your same values and same faith? That is of the utmost importance. It also shows that chivalry is not dead. Gentlemen who respect women who are caring, considerate and I love that in a culture that doesn’t show enough of that, that young women, like my daughters, will get to see that.”

Churches Can be Lonely for Christian Singles

Churches often focus on ministering within the community and helping families, but singles can easily be overlooked and feel less valued. Grant’s passion came through clear as she said, “I hope churches begin to become inspired to create a space for singles. Singles need to be recognized and validated and let to be known that they have an important contribution to the congregation.”

What made you decide to host the show?

Natalie hadn’t hosted a show before and her mind ran from the idea when she was first approached. “When I first was asked to host a Christian dating show, I said NO! I’m a local church girl and I grew up in the church and I’ve been in music for so long. I go in and do a concert and leave. But with this, I have the opportunity to get to know pastors and congregations and really spend time in the local church. That is my favorite part of this job and that’s what drew me to it.”

Will Your Daughters Watch the Show?

Grant said she is excited for her three daughters to watch this show! “I didn’t want to be part of anything that I would be uncomfortable telling my daughters that I did. I would never be a part of something I would never be okay with them watching.”

Dating Doesn’t Belong in Church

Grant talked about the negative feedback about the show and posed the question, “Where do you propose that people who want to have a high standard, high morals, high values and a strong faith – where are they supposed to meet someone? For those who are skeptical, just watch it and then hopefully it creates some healthy conversations.”

What do you think? Are you excited about this show or feel it’s inappropriate for a congregation to tell you who to date? Share your thoughts here!

About Natalie Grant

Natalie Grant is an award-winning Christian artist who released her first album in 1999. She won Female Vocalist of the Year in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012 and was nominated for a Grammy in 2012 for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance for “Alive”. Hit songs include “Hurricane”, “Held”, “Your Great Name”, “I Will Not Be Moved”, “The Greatness of Our God”, “Human”, “In Better Hands” and “Always Be Your Baby”.

She lives in Tennessee with husband Bernie Herms and their three daughters, seven year old Grace Ana and Isabella Noelle and three year old Sadie Rose.

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