Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Case for Kids

Our desire is to reach these kids with entertaining, fun, relevant messages. We’re fighting to win a generation that is over-stimulated, overwhelmed, and under attack. Marketing campaigns are designed to reach kids; television channels like Disney and Nickelodeon can sustain themselves with shows about preteens and tweens; and the High School Musical franchise has set the standard for what our kids are expecting from everyone else. Somehow we have to tap into that mentality and do a bait-and-switch with the messages. If our Worship Teams sound like Miley Cyrus but sing about the redemptive power of Jesus Christ; if our room looked like the set of iCarly but centered its design around the 3 Basic Truths, we would be getting somewhere.

But shouldn't the message be more important than what it looks like?

Well sure. But how often are you going to go into a restaurant that is dingy and falling apart? It doesn't matter how good the food is, people will not walk through the doors to find out. The Church is dealing with this same identity-crisis: the message is amazing, the image is lacking. Let's look at my cable channels for example. On any given day I can flip through at least 45 channels that have their own specific identity--Lifetime uses a lot of colors that are pleasing to the female eye, Spike uses a little bit of an edgier image that reminds me of a construction site... all these things subconciously tell the viewer, "This is where you belong."

Then there's the one channel that is a Christian TV channel--it features commercials by churches that look like something out of 1987. The discussion panel sets look like the inside of a Goodwill. I'm watching these channels wondering, "who is really going to listen to what's going on if they are so distracted by what it looks like?" That is not a channel that screams out to 23 year old me, "This is where you belong." But I'm a Christian, so immediately I feel like I need to support this channel, but I can't. It's boring.

But Christianity is not boring, our messages are not boring, we're not even a boring group! We're individuals who can design, dream, build, and create with the best of them. But how am I going to communicate that to someone who, when they hear the words "Children's Ministry" immediately think of flannel boards, goldfish snack crackers, and the song, Father Abraham? The Church needs a makeover. Not a makeover that compromises the message of Jesus Christ, but a makeover that encourages the Seeker to give us a second chance. A makeover that will appeal to the overstimulated masses. A makeover that makes it okay for a messy-heart to belong? A makeover that screams, "This is where you belong."

No comments:

Post a Comment