(photo taken from Kidz on Earth.com)
The first general session at Conspire was entitled “Discipled by Culture” and was presented by Phil Vischer. You can check out my live blogging of the session here. You can also check out Matt Guevara’s summary on the Conspire blog.
Soon after Phil began his talk, I was pretty frustrated because he kept spouting off statistic after statistic regarding the amount of media saturation that exists today in contrast to that in recent history. You just felt like you were bombarded by numbers and facts without the chance to absorb it all… let alone write them down. Luckily, I was sitting next to Larry Shallenberger who informed me that Vischer was quoting from a Kaiser Family Foundation study on media in the lives of children. After all the statistics you definitely realized how much media kids are exposed to.
My A-HA moment was when Phil commented on what he called HBO Envy. With the growing common use of cable television, networks are having to compete with the likes of HBO and the award-winning programming like Sex in the City, The Sopranos, Entourage, and Oz to name a few. So networks are pushing the envelope in violent and sexual content. Add to that something else Phil called Compressing Childhood where children’s programming is being targeted younger and younger and you have a gap in appropriate programming for kids after they graduate from shows like Hannah Montanna, iCarly and Suite Life.
What Phil said at the end I’ve heard him say before. It stuck with me then and it was nice to hear it again. It’s not our job to compete with all the media out there. Churches don’t have the resources to do that. We don’t need to compete with it all, though, because we can do something media can’t. We can love the kids in our communities, and we need to make sure we are doing just that.
- How are you loving the kids in your ministries?
- What do you think of the statement that we don’t need to compete with Media?