Christian family uses hit American TV show as a platform for ministry

(Image: Wikipedia)The Robertson family, stars of Duck Dynasty, are using their show to promote family and faith. From left to right: Kay, Phil, Willie, Si, Jase, and Korie.

"Duck Dynasty," which stars the Robertson family of Louisiana, is currently one of the most watched shows in the United States.

The show completed its third season on the Arts and Entertainment network.

This season's was the most-viewed show in the nation that night.

It beat out perennial ratings king "American Idol" for that honor.

"Duck Dynasty" depicts the Robertsons as they live their lives and run their family business from their Louisiana bayou.

The show emphasizes faith-based values along with country wit and living.

The show opens with Willie Robertson, aged 41, introducing his family and the business which was founded by his father Phil.

"The backwoods of Louisiana are now home to a new breed of millionaire," Willie tells the audience.

"Forty years ago my father Phil Robertson invented a revolutionary kind of duck call that changed the duck hunting industry and our way of life forever. As CEO, I turned my father's one-man operation into a booming enterprise."

The viewer is quickly introduced to the male family members, all sporting long hair and beards, black face paint, and camouflage clothing.

The entire extended family, males and females, are shown holding rifles in the air.

Except for scenes of the men driving expensive cars, the Robertsons by all appearances are stereotypical people from the backcountry. However, the show reveals that they are really astute business people with an abiding love for faith and family.

"I must say though, money didn't change some things," Willie says in the show's introduction."We still manage to stay true to ourselves."

In the next scene after he makes that statement, the family is shown praying over a meal.

Watching "Duck Dynasty" is the best way to gain a sense of the life and character of the Robertson family.

In one episode, called "Family Funny Business", Willie Robertson is fretting over a $100,000 order due the next day. He is especially stressed because the rest of the family is nowhere to be found.

The men are either fishing or clearing out beaver dams.

Willie needs them, however, to get the order out.

His brother Jase designs the duck calls and manages the assembly team. Willie's Uncle Si is a teller of tall tales, but he also manages operations.

In the meantime, Willie's mother Kay is competing for the family's time because she is producing a cooking show she wants to put out on DVD.

"Mom is always looking for ways to expand the brand," Willie says in the show's opening.

She sends the men out on an overnight expedition to hunt bull frogs, which will be part of a dish she will prepare on her show.

The next morning, family patriarch, Phil Robertson is shown preparing the meat with his grandson. He tells viewers that he makes an effort to counsel all his grandsons

"Find you a meek, gentle, kind-spirited, country girl", he tells the boy."If she knows how to cook and she carries her Bible and lives by it, and she loves to eat bullfrogs - now, there's a woman."

Phil Robertson was a lay evangelist long before he became a success on television. According to Gospel Coalition, he was once known as the "Billy Graham of Duck Hunting".

He has baptised several hundred people in a river near his home.

Robertson is now invited to speak at hundreds of churches and organizations every year, and is the author of a new book which contains biblical teaching.

The rest of the family also share their faith in public.

"It's a total mission and ministry," Kay Robertson said of "Duck Dynasty" in an article in The Christian Chronicle.

And viewing the show inspired at least one man to become interested in Christianity.

Brandon Hooks told the Chronicle that when he watched "Duck Dynasty," he began to appreciate the values of the Robertson family.

He checked into their background and ran across a YouTube video of Willie sharing his faith at his alma mater, Harding University in Arkansas.

Hooks then listened to Phil tell the story of Jesus in some of his messages. This led Hooks to ask for baptism.

He attended the Robertson's church and was baptized by Jase.

"They have been consistently evangelistic," said Mike Kellett, a minister and elder at the Robertson's church."Jase and Willie were both in my youth group years ago and were reaching out to lost teens."

Both Phil and his son Al serve as elders in their church. Al Robertson just stepped down as a minister there after 20 years in order to get involved in the family business.

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