Get Rid of Videos & Technology?

So, I’m standing here watching my amazing team at work this weekend when a flood of thoughts barrage my brain. Here’s my first thought:

Does children’s ministry in some of us larger churches or “cutting edge” churches use to much video teaching?

I’m watching what we do with all our stage lights, cool backgrounds and props, videos on our huge projector screens and two 50” TV’s, etc. and wondering if this is really cutting edge or the difference kids really want. Before I get into this I want you to know that we use video and lots of technology and we love it. However, these are just some random thoughts that pop into my head every now and then.

I know why we use so much video and technology. It’s because we’re “speaking the kid’s language.” They are growing up on technology and I do value the importance of keeping up and hopefully eventually leading the way. On the contrary, if we are trying to give kids a different experience that makes a lasting impression, I wonder if we should be doing a lot more “live” teaching and use less technology. They see television everyday for some several hours a day. Wouldn’t we be making a bigger impression if we let them be more active, use their hands, their creative minds and do more things in church instead of watching television in church?

I don’t think that it would be irrelevant or that we would be “behind the times.” I think that we would need to be more creative in what we do and that we could start a trend that doesn’t call for all the gadgets and gizmos. For example, I have four children and they absolutely love church, which is a great thing. They also love to be heard, do things and be a part of something fun—not just a “hearer of the word,” but a “doer of the word”—doing or experiencing in class. They love participating, not just watching. I know that we can say—because it’s what I would say—that we do a pretty good job of both, but I wonder if we really do. I’ve seen the way we do it and many others and see more watchers then doers.

Talk to me—give me your thoughts! Love you all. Funny Man Dan called me the Christian Eminem in my last post, so I’m just trying to stir your thoughts up. By the way, if I’m the Christian Eminem then FMD’s the Christian Robin Williams. 

PJ

4 comments

  1. Justyn,
    I appreciate your thoughts. In the group of kids I teach (270-ish) I’ve noticed the same thing. I’ve found that human contact is more beneficial than just pushing play.
    I mean really, we only have on average about 40 hours with a kid per year- shouldn’t we really try to capitalize on that and nurture relationships? It’s okay to bring out the toys every now and then, but when we play along with culture in entertaining the kids- sometimes it can influence their perspective and create a consumer mindset. You should see the adults in our service sometimes- or the comments left on the comment cards. They’re all critiquing. “The worship was too loud today”…”too slow”…”too fast”…”why can’t we have more hymnals?”

    They’ve been trained. Sadly, I think we all have to an extent…

    1. Absolutely. A great question now is: Is there anything we can do about it? Are we stuck with the way we do ministry? I see parent’s peaking into our older kids and complain that their younger kids don’t have all the same “cool” stuff. What they don’t realize is that we’re probably being more effective with the younger kids because they don’t have all that “stuff.” Even parents are programmed to value the look and cutting edge technology more so than the real content. (Obviously not all parents, but I’d say most.)

      PJ

  2. We are constantly trying to get kids into smaller groups so that someone can be touching them with their life.

    It is good when it happens but it does take time and commitment. Video and technology…not so much.

  3. As someone who has XBOX 360’s, big lights, big screens, the whole works I think we go way overboard in trying to be “relevant”. Most kids don’t see what we offer except on TV. They did get it at school, in sports, band, or drama. They get that at home besides video games. Somehow it seems we’ve fallin in love with tech and production and called it relevant. I think being relevant is lovin on a kid as his parents get divorced, or having a great follow up plan after a successful event. This from someone who enjoys cutting edge enviroments, production, and also believes they work really well in reaching kids but I just don’t believe it’s “neccessary” but it is beneficial. Thats just my two cents.

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