Toddlers and Tiaras?!

I was shocked to discover some of the names of current “reality” television shows, including Toddlers and Tiaras (yes, very young girls being paraded in front of judges in beauty pageant glamour). Or, how about Extreme Couponing; Hoarding: Buried Alive; Real Housewives (of Orange County, New Jersey, or New York); 16 and Pregnant; My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding; 19 Kids and Counting; Bachelor; and Bachelorette; just to name a few. Anyone else out there flabbergasted or appalled by this phenomenon?

If these shows truly depict “reality” and viewers are flocking to them by the tens of thousands, then I’m not quite sure what the word “reality” has become in our day. Are these shows depicting your reality?

When I sit with leaders young and old I hear about their daily reality. Issues in real life encompassing topics such as relational challenges, physical limitations, vocational pursuits, spiritual desires, and financial needs. Each person or team is seeking answers to deep, lingering questions about the real God reaching into their real worlds and transforming them from the inside out. Reality for them is much more about the daily grind, the road less traveled, and the miles yet ahead of them on this journey we call life.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is the most relevant response to the realities we all face today. Whether your swimming in a turbulent sea of confusion or climbing a formidable mountainous challenge or enjoying the delightful winds of blessing, the Lord is desirous of entering smack dab into the center of your experience. He’s there to minister grace in times of conflict, peace in times of trouble, and joy in times of blessing. No matter what your reality is today, our great and awesome God is delighted to be listened to, called upon, and invited in. it’s in our reality where he longs to reign supreme and aid us in defining what Christ-centered reality looks like.

Let’s shift our attention from reality television and focus on the real issues of those who surround us today. Toddlers don’t need tiaras, they need childhood playfulness without the pressure to perform. Adults don’t need tiaras either, they need the hope of the gospel and the joy of knowing Jesus as central to every aspect of their lives. Define your reality around that which matters most, and not by what will rust, rot, or ruin life as it’s meant to be fulfilled….so that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter2:9).


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Steve Macchia

Founder & President

Steve is a graduate of Northwestern College (IA) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div. and D.Min.). His prior ministry includes serving on the pastoral staff at Grace Chapel (Lexington, MA) and as president of Vision New England. Since July 1, 2003 Steve has served as founder and president of Leadership Transformations, director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building, and adjunct faculty in the Doctor of Ministry department at Gordon-Conwell. He is the author of sixteen books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective),  Baker bestseller Becoming a Healthy Church, and Crafting a Rule of Life (IVP). He lives in the Boston area with his wife Ruth and is the proud father of two grown children, Rebekah and Nathan, daughter in-love Ashley, and papa to his beloved granddaughter, Brenna Lynn and twin grandsons, Aiden Joseph and Carson Stephen. “My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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