The cable television program Duck Dynasty® has become reality TV’s most popular show, due in large measure to the transparency of its main characters, the Robertson family, as they tackle life with good humor and back-woods charm. They’re also not shy about sharing their Christian faith and the central place the Bible plays in their lives.
Bible Gateway interviewed Korie Robertson (@bosshogswife) (Willie’s wife) and Chrys Howard (@chryssy2mama) (Korie’s mother) on their new collaborative work, Faith Commander Adult Study Guide with DVD: Learning 5 Family Values from the Parables of Jesus (Zondervan, 2014).
This five-week preaching series and church campaign is based on the parables of Jesus. It shares five family values that can be applied to all ages, preschool to adult.
What role does the Bible play in the Robertson and Howard families?
From Korie’s earliest of memories, faith has played an important part of her life because both sets of her grandparents were strong Bible believing people. Both of Korie’s grandfathers were elders in the church and strong leaders of their large families. Korie had, and still has with one of her grandmothers, loving, confident grandmothers who loved God and sent clear messages that faith and family are of upmost importance. Korie’s grandmother on her father’s side was a firm believer in the power of the word of God and would write out Scripture for each of the children and send it to them, or she would quote a Scripture to them before they left for an important event. What a blessing it has been to have that kind of faith handed down to us as Korie’s parents! That was what we knew to do as well and our home was built on God’s Word as truth and living a life of service to Him and others. On family vacations we would sit around and work on what we called our “Legacy for Living” list. The list is very long now and it includes all the things that we as a family felt were important to living a life well-lived. On the top of that list is sharing God’s message of love and hope to as many as we can.
Why do you think Duck Dynasty has captured such a broad audience?
We truly believe it’s captured a board audience because of three things: it’s wholesome entertainment the family can enjoy together, it’s built on humor instead of drama, and it shows a not-so-perfect faith-based family working together. As a family, we’re honored that so many people have found our show worthy of their time to watch. We know we live in an incredibly busy time for everyone and time is valuable. For so many to see value in our show is humbling.
Why did you decide to collaborate on these books and DVD curriculum?
Working together just comes natural to us. Over the years, we have taught classes, put on parties, decorated for weddings, opened stores, cleaned garages and on and on. Korie served as our church children’s minister for many years and I have been the director at a summer Christian camp for over 25 years. Korie grew up at that camp and then, as an adult, she and Willie spent many summers volunteering their time working at camp. Our heart of hearts is teaching children that God has a plan for their life and His ways are the right ways. Our first vision was a Vacation Bible School curriculum because we have spent many hours pouring over other people’s VBS material and adapting it for our needs at camp or at church. Then, with the help of our publisher, our vision grew to include the whole church. We’re so excited about it! It has something for every age group. This was a natural progression for us as well, as Korie, Willie, and I have all worked with teens for many years as well as taught adult classes.
What are the five parables and the corresponding faith values that are explored in Faith Commander?
- Redonkulous Faith — Matthew 13:1-23 (NIV) — The Parable of the Sower
- Radical Forgiveness — Matthew 18:21-35 (NIV) — The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant
- Ravenous Prayer — Luke 11:5-10 (NIV) — The Parable of the Friend in Need
- Real Obedience — Matthew 21:28-32 (NIV) — The Parable of the Two Sons
- Rowdy Kindness — Luke 10:25-37 (NIV) — The Parable of the Good Samaritan
How are the “larger than life” experiences of the Robertson family, as depicted on your reality TV show, similar to the parables taught in the Bible?
Parables are stories and the Robertson’s are the best story-tellers ever! It must be genetic because they all can do it. And they use their stories to teach faith-based principles, which is exactly what Jesus did. He used everyday happenings to teach Godly lessons. He used things that people could relate to. The Robertson’s have that same gift—the ability to tell a story and then wrap it up with a life-changing message.
What is Redonkulous Faith?
Redonkulous is just a big, crazy, fun word that means it’s bigger than anything we can imagine. It’s believing when others don’t and won’t believe. It’s trusting God with every inch of your life. It’s giving it all to Him and never asking for it back.
What do you hope churches, readers, and viewers will achieve by their encounter with Faith Commander?
We hope they meet God and learn to see Him in their life every day. We hope they have fun while learning that God’s message is as relevant today as it was 2000 years ago. We want them to laugh and sing and shout that God’s is still alive and His word has the power to change lives. We hope that children and adults everywhere gain a new perspectives on faith, forgiveness, prayer, obedience, and kindness, and that they understand that these five things will make that families stronger and enhance all their relationships.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
It’s been such a fun journey working on this curriculum together. We have many others to thank who helped us on this journey. The folks at Zondervan have been masterful at crafting our words into a product the entire church can enjoy. Our good friend, LinDee Loveland, who is our current minister, was invaluable as a resource for fun activities for the VBS portion. And for our family, the entire Robertson crew, who took the time needed to write or record or whatever we needed, we are so thankful.