in pursuit of jesus
a blog about student ministry, multimedia ministry, and leadership

Innovative vs Entertaining vs Boring

I caught a short segment on TBN with Kirk Cameron and Ron Luce.  They said that research shows that up to 88% of churched teenagers will leave the church after high school.  Cameron said that he thinks some are leaving because youth ministries are entertaining kids and feeding them pizza without connecting them with a real relationship with Christ.  Then, when they go to a college class (or main sanctuary) with just a group sitting in a circle with a Bible they lose interest.  Ron agreed and added that his (Acquire the Fire) Conferences have all the lights, sound, and smoke but they also passionately challenge youth to become followers of Christ.

 

Children’s and youth ministries often use puppets, videos, pictures, object lessons, drama, stories, and other ways to communicate God’s Word.  This can be called innovative(+) or entertaining(-) depending on your point of view.  We should remember that Jesus used parables to communicate.  I believe we should use whatever we can to communicate the message of God’s love and following Jesus.  Should these methods stop once a student finishes high school and enters the main sanctuary?  Barna research shows “44% (of the unchurched) claim they have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in their life today. (2006)”  Could innovative methods reconnect these people back to a local church?

 

In Craig Groeschel’s book, It, he quotes Tim Stevens of Granger Community Church.  Tim says, “The goal isn’t innovation.  The goal is effectiveness.  We strive for innovation because we want to be effective.”  One of Granger’s innovations is going multisite with no live elements.  Check out the details here.   I’m sure some will criticize Granger for entertaining people.  If it is effectively connecting people with Christ, does it matter if it comes across as entertaining?

 

If children’s and youth ministries effectively connect students to a growing relationship with Christ and adult ministries use innovative methods to communicate the same message, I believe we can turn the tide and make a dent in the 88% projected drop-out rate.  What do you think?

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3 Responses to “Innovative vs Entertaining vs Boring”

  1. No doubt about it Bro. We have to be innovative. You made a great statement in your blog. Jesus did use parables to get His message across. There weren’t videos and light shows and other stuff we have today, so parables were an innovative approach.

    I totally agree. We have to get the message across to children, teens and adults in very effective way. If that means more innovation is needed, then we need more of it. The world has a lot to draw people away from the church. The world is very enticing. But nothing should be more enticing than a personal relationship with the King of kings and Lord or lords.

    Our church uses videos very effectively in services. But I think innovation is more than videos and such during services. It’s how we approach the entire church concept, including the programs we have at church. At Harvest, we have a strong focus on discipleship, and those groups and classes can be found in a wide variety. From new Christian classes to sharing your faith classes to themed small groups to addicts recovery groups, there is something for everyone. It’s a very innovative approach that is working and making a difference in Dothan.

    Great blog Bro. You really got my mind going and my spirit excited this morning. Thanks.

    – Ken

  2. Good point that videos and what is done during services are not the only way to be innovative in the church. Granger (http://gccwired.com/) does drama, musicals, events where they parner with community organizations, small groups, short films, and a host of other innovations. They have about 40% of their weekend attenders volunteering in some capacity. Check out their SNL spoof telling the story of Joseph: http://www.gccwired.com/mediaplayer/playeropener.asp?id=135

    -Justin

  3. Great blog! We must be innovative if we are going to reach people. Most today know that but still miss the real point. Jesus used parable to engage–yes I said–engage the people in what He was teaching. To engage mean to motivate to active participation–yes I said participation. Participation is the chief end of innovation. If people don’t jump into worship “with both feet,” and into the truth of God’s Word “with both feet,” we are sunk!
    The Holy Spirit uses many means to “draw us in” and make God real to us!
    I love you brother…


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