Tuesday, May 15, 2007

MTV Church

At the Exponential Conference 3 weeks ago, I heard Vince Antonucci, pastor of Forefront Church in Virginia Beach, VA speak about who influences our methods. He said we should all be getting our main influence from God but there are a lot of things we do in church that don’t come from the Bible. He said they are intentionally influenced more in their method by MTV, Letterman, Chuck E Cheeses, Starbucks, SNL, Disney, etc.

Now this should get a rise out of most people who grew up in church. But it got me to thinking. Many of us want to create an environment and experience that will attract the unchurched or at least the make them feel comfortable. But often what is cutting edge to us is not even in the cultural experience of the unchurched. We often prepare for hip'er Christians rather than the unchurched.

Music, television and movies are tremendously powerful emotional experiences that do more to shape culture that just about anything else. The church must learn culture by seeing what they are watching and listening to. Then we can present the love of Christ through these powerful mediums in a way that will unfold the arms of skeptics and open them up to real Christianity.

I read another blog by Tim Stevens this morning on the same subject. He says "exploring what people watch, read, and listen to will tell us a whole lot about how to speak their language and communicate the gospel in a way that can be heard."

He points us to the "announced shows planned by NBC for this fall and reported by Jill Vejnoska of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution."

He asks the question "what does this lineup tell you about our culture? What shows can be leveraged to help communicate our message?"

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

Why are "MTV, Letterman, Chuck E Cheeses, Starbucks, SNL, Disney, etc." and the like influencing our culture? The answer is simply to sale a product. However in order to sale their product they must get peoples attention. To do this they use innovative and creative ways to stimulate our senses in their writing, art, music, recipe’s, video production etc. So really you have to be in the people business to be in business and as you know the church is very much in the people business. I can go on about this but I will quickly get to my point.
Your Grandma’s church based on 19th century rituals will NOT exist in the future, because it will not reach people in the real world. Grandma’s offspring will end up being un-churched or hopefully in a church that is reaching the real secular world.
I believe churches shouldn’t copy what they see on TV or the internet but should be the ones creating their own innovative and new ideas. I would love for a Christian church come up with a contagious catch phrase like “Where’s the Beef” or “Whaaats up”.
So if you set up a creative and innovative church like God is calling you to do in the mecca of fashion and all that is cool and hip; you will save the city.

Ken Witcher said...

Great thoughts. I don't think most people want to copy these things per se but recognize the kinds of things that people give their attention to. If Chuck E Chesse and Disney get kids attention with dress up mascots, maybe a children's ministry could try this medium in some way instead of say flannel board.

The Eckerts said...

Haha! Flannel board!!! Boy, I'm so glad there is life after the flannel board! God bless you as you follow him to France.

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