Pastor John Gray serves as an associate pastor at Lakewood Church, which boasts the largest congregation in the United States, but he is prepared to receive some negative criticism once the rest of the world watches him on the new OWN network docu-series, "The Book of John Gray."
In the OWN series that features a heavy dose of both drama and comedy, cameras follow Gray's ministry efforts along with his family life featuring his wife, Aventer Gray. The associate pastor is already warning his wife about the negative feedback their family may receive from critics.
"I told my wife, you can't respond (to internet trolls) because the moment you respond, you bring them to your platform and give them a microphone they never had," Gray told Eurweb. "What I've learned from this experience is, I'm enough. I didn't become anything for this show to happen, I was me. Whatever that means people are going to see it."
Aventer believes God is using her family in their latest venture, but isn't fearing the negative feedback that may come along with that.
"I've learned there are seasons for different life elevations. In this moment, I feel like God wants to stop the manipulation, he wants to show his heart is for everybody and we are the vessels he is using to do that," she said. "Instead of being afraid of inviting everyone into our home, I've become a little more comfortable with it. I've learned to embrace it and understand everyone isn't going to like us."
Instead of fearing what the critics will say about the series following the boisterous pastor who works alongside famed televangelist Pastor Joel Osteen, Gray said he is expecting some people not to receive his family onto their television screens positively.
"I don't care how they perceive our family, as long as we know the truth because I can't control how people will interpret our lives once it's disseminated. The fear is the unknown," Gray told Eurweb. "They're going to say ugly things on the internet like, 'John Gray is fat,' or 'your wife is ugly!' And these people usually have 13 followers with a private page."
Aventer said the Grays are remaining focused on pleasing God more than people with their new show.
"As long as the Lord is pleased with me and my husband, He is pleased with me," she said. "We do care how people perceive our family but we feel like God has breathed on us and He will continue to ..."
Gray has already captivated a crowd of people during his Wednesday night service at Lakewood Church. He told media tycoon Oprah Winfrey about helping the service grow from 2,500 to 9,000 people each week.
"In Houston with traffic Oprah, you can't even stay saved in the traffic. You have to come to church after all the cussin you do on the highway," he told Winfrey on her "Super Soul Sunday" program. "You know for 9,000 to come, I believe it's because they know my heart is pure and I'm authentic in what I share. I believe what I speak."