In this episode of Faithfully Podcast, host Nicola Menzie speaks with Kristi Watts, most known for co-hosting “The 700 Club” with Pat Robertson on his Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN).
Watts, the first African American to co-host “The 700 Club,” discussed leaving that longtime TV magazine show and transitioning into her own ministry. She also spoke about her upcoming book, Talk Yourself Happy: Transform Your Heart by Speaking God’s Promises, politics, racism, future projects, and more.
Below is an excerpted transcript of the Faithfully Podcast episode.
Nicola: I guess most people know you from co-hosting “The 700 Club,” but nowadays of course you have your own ministry and you’re actually working on a book. So tell me a little bit about your transition out of “The 700 Club” and into your own ministry.
Watts: That’s a great question, because it’s still evolving as we speak. The book is called Talk Yourself Happy: Transform Your Heart by Speaking God’s Promises… It’s done and it comes out January 3, 2017, even though people can pre-order it now on Amazon. […] Kristi Watts Ministries is, once again, also evolving as we speak. Just the essence of it is to encourage people with the Word of God right where they are. I have a heart for women, specifically single moms because that’s kind of who I am. But just a heart for women and more of our emotional needs, you know. There are so many ministries out there that target the physical needs, in the sense of if you’re hungry, you need to be fed, if you’re naked, here’s some clothes, if you don’t have a home, here’s a home. But sometimes I think we need ministries to deal with the inner man, you know, our emotions, our issues, our challenges, our insecurities. Who are we? Are we enough? Not enough? What does the Word of God say?
So right now, at this particular stage, I offer just encouraging video blogs and Bible study tools and teaching tools just to kinda get your where you are right now to encourage you with the Word of God.
Nicola: […] I wanted to get into the “In God We Trust” campaign because that’s pretty recent and it’s a short film and you’re the narrator for that. So if you could just explain briefly what the campaign is and why you chose to get involved.
Watts: Well the campaign is called “In God We Trust” […] to get America to come together to pray, to fast and to vote. The reason why I got involved with it was mainly for the first two parts, to pray and to vast. Because it’s something about it as a collective body when we come together and we put God before our own emotions, before our own thought process, before our own perspectives and we seek the heart of God in our everyday life. And then we fast, which means we’re putting aside things that normally take priority and we put God first, then change happens.
I’ve never really been a political person, and that’s the honest to goodness truth, but having worked on “The 700 Club” for 14 years co-hosting, you can’t help but to become more abreast of the political climate of what’s going on and the laws that are past and things of that sort. The reason I became involved with it because, one, I’m a mom and so it’s not just about this generation but it’s about my son’s generation and what laws are gonna be passed that impact his life and his future and his family’s future. So we just have to come together as the Body of Christ collectively, united and say, ‘OK, Lord, what’s your heart on this situation?’ So that’s why I got involved.
Nicola: You say you’re not really a political person, but what do you make of the political landscape right now, where there are two main candidates being pushed as the choices we have? What do you think about what’s going on?
Watts: Oh my goodness, it’s a hot mess! Hot. Mess. You know…
Nicola: I hear your frustration.
Watts: I’m frustrated because I think I’m voicing the opinion and the emotion of so many Americans who look at two candidates like, ‘Are you kidding me? Are you for real? What do I do? Which one’s the lesser of the evil?’ At least that’s how I feel, not that I can put my voice in everyone else’s opinion. But the political climate right now is definitely a crossroads. I don’t know, but just in the past five years things have changed so drastically that it’s scary. And let’s be real, I’m a Christian and as a Christian I live off of the biblical principles that God mandated. And some people are gonna be happy, some people aren’t, and I don’t really give a rip. But I do not agree with same-sex marriage, I don’t agree with that. It’s not biblical. I don’t agree with abortion. I don’t agree with certain things that ultimately hurt the heart of man […]
But if you look at the political climate now, you’re like, ‘Oh my goodness, what do I do?’ I think the number one challenge is as Christians, and as individuals, we have to stop being consumed by the buffoonery of what’s going on and the propaganda of what’s going on and really get down to the issues, to the policies, to the platforms of the candidates. The Bible talks about [people] perish for lack of knowledge, and I think we know more about people’s marital statuses and how many times they’ve been married and who’s cheated on who — who cares! What is the platform that they’re standing by? And what position do they take? And how does that position or the platform that they are speaking for or against, how does that line up with the biblical principles that as Christians we need to hold dear and live by? So I think that’s the most important thing, is to really know what are the issues. And to be honest with you, I’m not really as clear on the issues with the candidates because there’s so much buffoonery going on and mudslinging going on and character assassination and just good old fashioned craziness. But I’m like, ‘Oh my lord, put that aside. What’s your real issue here?’
Nicola: I also wanted to see what your thoughts were on the issue, because I think it’s this campaign for the first time where we have the issues of policing that are coming up because of the Black Lives Matter movement. So the candidates have to have a platform on that, they have to address those issues. And you have a lot of high-profile athletes, such as Colin Kaepernick, who are expressing themselves through protest to bring awareness to these issues. So what do you think about what’s going on now in our country where these issues of policing and race are just front and center?
Watts: Nicola, I love that question and thank you so much for asking me. I am…you know it’s so interesting because working in Christian television and being an African-American woman, you know sometimes living in the South but being from New Jersey and a Jersey girl by heart, that racism is real. It is real. And the thing that can be so disheartening is that people think that just because you’re a Christian that it’s not in a person’s heart. Well, look, let me tell ya, there are many Christians, non-Christians, believers, non-believers, church heads, non-church heads, as well as officials like policemen and other political positions who have issues with race.
The truth of the matter is — here’s my Christian answer — the Christian answer is that it’s not a race issue, it’s a heart issue and that really is it. You know, we’ve gotten to the point where hate has just become so riddled in our own individual lives that, for some reason, we allow the pigmentation of a person’s skin to determine their self-worth and how we need to treat them, which is the most asinine thing I’ve ever heard in my life. That’s why we need the love of God, the forgiveness of God and the truth of God’s Word.
So from a spiritual standpoint, it’s a heart issue. From a racial standpoint, something certainly needs to be [done] and like a Colin Kaepernick, and I know he’s been very controversial. For me, God bless him. You know, that means that you want to protest in a non-violent manner and take a knee and some people agree and some people don’t agree. My thought process? We live in a country that gives us the freedom of speech and the freedom of expression, and he is expressing himself. What he’s done, is that he’s now allowed a discourse with individuals. Whether you agree or don’t agree, we’re now talking about [it]. Because the truth of the matter is race is a huge issue, and not just with police but it’s every facet of this world…
You know, part of me is thankful that the issue that’s out there is now being discussed. But the other part of me is so frustrated because I’m like, what are we gonna do about it? What are we gonna do that a police officer or whoever can shoot someone and there’s no consequence? What are we gonna do about it? What are we gonna do about the fact that everyone’s arguing about this man who took a knee and they’re upset because possibly he disrespected or dishonored the flag, which could be, couldn’t be. It depends on your perspective and God bless that perspective. But shouldn’t we be just as angry that so many individuals have gotten killed senselessly? The bottom line is, it’s not a race issue, it’s a heart issue and we all have to go back to the heart of God, the love of God, the truth of God to say, ‘You know, look, you are my brother in Christ, you are my sister in Christ’ and we just have to love people. But the only way we can love them is if we have Jesus Christ in our hearts.
Listen to Faithfully Podcast 15 featuring Kristi Watts, recorded October 4, 2016, via SoundCloud.