NextGen4Christ Blog

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The First Useful Thing You Can Learn From a Commercial
Posted 03/23/2019 by Laura

You want your kids to be excited about coming to church. You want to reach out with relevant tools and exciting new curriculum. You want to use all the best resources to create an environment that makes coming to church the best experience of the week: cool games, interactive lessons that makes the Bible applicable, great artwork that makes kids feel valued, and awesome contemporary music that makes worship meaningful and fun! But then comes along the negative opinions; will it work? Can it work? Aren‘t we just “watering down the Bible?” And “watering-down” means making the Bible understandable. I once saw a church claim they never watered-down the Bible reading from the KJV to 2 year olds, closing the Bible, and then asking them what happened in the story. Blankest stares in history - which makes you scared to think the opinion those kids were already forming about the Bible. Bible=Blank. Personally, that‘s not first impression I want my child to have about the Bible.

Communication is a funny thing. The truth is people get used “teaching” without realizing they are not communicating. They get comfortable with their method of teaching and dislike challenges or changes. The truth is anyone can “teach” if the working definition of “teach” is spouting off spiritual facts from Bible stories. But communicating takes extra effort and understanding what kids need to hear in order to listen to the truth of the Bible. There seems to be the stigma that teaching the Bible in fun, interesting ways somehow trivializes it. But the truth of the Bible still shines through: you’ve given the message of Christ to them in a way they can grasp!

But I can see where some people might get worried about changing the message - and if the message is being changed or altered so as not challenge sin or negative behaviors, it would be cause for concern. But too many people look at the children‘s ministry on the surface and say, “It looks so drastically different that the message of Jesus must be compromised, right?” It must have lost its depth and meaning. But the truth is, that is not the case. These kids are excited about God, memorizing the Bible, inviting friends to church, and carrying their faith into their teenage years. While it might be hard to explain the psychology of communicating differences to teachers who just fear compromising the truth, try it this way.

It‘s the Insurance Policy test. Watch the two commercials below: they are drastically different. Each commercial is meant for a different set of viewers. Call the company. Just call them for a quote. You may find it interesting that the policies of this company do not change depending on which commercial you saw. The product and its rates are the same, and the need for the product is communicated in each commercial. Yet certain people will undoubtedly be more persuaded to commit to the product through one commercial rather than the other. One person will remember one commercial rather than another. It‘s simply a communication difference. There is nothing sacred about the traditional style of teaching the Bible, considering the ‘traditional’ style was once ‘contemporary’ itself.

So share how important it is to communicate, not just teach. To communicate is to sacrifice. It means if they do not comprehend the message, you throw your method out the window and find another way to get your message to your kids. Make them want to sign their life away to Jesus. Convince them life with Jesus is better - not easier - but better. Accidents will come; sometimes unexpected and tragic. But you gave them Jesus as an insurance agent by sharing with them on their level why they needed one. They‘ll be in good hands!

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