I have always loved video games! My parents allowed me to have an Odyssey 2 Video Game system. I played as much as I could! In fact, I had most of these games and played them regularly. As my wife and I looked at the future of our children, we wanted the best for them. I wanted it to be fun, too. As most parents, we did not have special training and the kids did not come with manuals! We had to decide what values, morals, ethics, and education we wanted for our children. We prayed and we discussed. We wanted what every parent wanted: better for our kids. Dulcie put the headphones on her belly and we played classical music. We read and spoke to them in the womb. But once they arrived, we knew our job had not changed. We wanted to create an atmosphere where they could learn as much as possible. My kids have, as far they can remember, played with Leap Frog products. They are now 12 and 9 and we are still going strong trying to create that atmosphere where they desire to learn.
It seems that the church has fallen on hard times in many places. I hear from so many that attendance is down, baptisms are down, and the finances are pinched. Some have thrown up their hands and quit. Some have tried to emulate somebody else and are failing at it. Those that are seeing some success have learned a particular principle: we must provide an atmosphere from which God can draw them to Himself. This is the partnership we have. Look at what Jesus said to those following Him.
For no one can come to me
unless the Father who sent me draws them to me,
and at the last day I will raise them up. — John 6:44
The people thought they wanted entertainment and desired another “sign” from Him. He dismisses this approach and reminded them what was really needed. We cannot continue to entertain our children and youth and expect a future worth living in tomorrow.
- We encourage.
- We enable.
- We engage.
- We educate.
We do all these in a way that kids will desire God and are being opened so God can draw them. Entertainment is the vehicle which carries these four items. Like the HOV lanes….never drive your ministry with just one item. Cars that drive themselves are science fiction! We cannot only have entertainment. Those ministries that engage these 4 values and package them in a way that is fun and lively will see kids, and their families, reached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In addition, this generation will not be lost and hope can once again be established in the hearts and minds of our church and denominational leadership.