By Bryan Marine

When I hear the word media I am bombarded by images that make me sad to be a part of the culture that I am. The word media itself has become a word synonymous with evil. It is hard to find any reason why media should play a vital role in anything moral, especially sharing the gospel with teenagers.

As we all know, with the rise of the Internet and advances in technology, media has become an unstoppable force battling for the minds and souls of our young people today. Studies show that between television, internet, magazines, music and movies, students spend about 10 hours and 45 minutes a day being influenced by media (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv5Z2Xv8iJU&feature=related). With that kind of power over students how could we ever hope to compete with that! We do not have to, and really we can’t.

Think for a moment about how Jesus did ministry. He walked from place to place interacting with those around him. Sometimes these interactions were in large groups and sometimes with individuals. He would take every chance he could to reveal some truth of God to whoever was willing to listen, and most of the time he used real life examples using things around him or stories that people knew and could connect with. Think about the woman at the well; He used water to reveal truth because they were next to a well. When he called Peter and Andrew he compared his ministry to fishing because they were fishermen. Even his parables were often times stories, using everyday scenarios that everyone could identify with, that he would use to reveal some truth about God.

If we are to use everyday, ordinary, relatable, common things and stories in an attempt to reveal some truth about God to young people then the use of popular media is absolutely necessary.

Here are two reasons why we can’t afford not to use it:

1. It is how kids are used to communicating and receiving information.

From texting, to Facebook, to television, to music: media is the primary way that teenagers communicate and receive information. If we ever hope to engage students on their level, we had better figure out how to use media or else they just might not even hear it.

2. It is the imagery and story that they know and identify with.

Because it is the primary way that teenagers communicate and receive information, it is also the majority of imagery and story in their heads. Just like Jesus used common everyday things all around to reveal God truth, we must learn how to creatively use media as a tool to help relate the truth of the Gospel to a young person’s life.

My appeal to you today is to not be afraid of media. It is dangerous and evil in it’s own right but God is in the business of taking the broken things of this world and putting them to good use.

For more on this topic:

Article - http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/mission/features/3694-life-outside-the-faith-ghetto

CL Deeper Look Resource - http://www.yfc.net/resources/deeper-look-the-role-of-media

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