Noise. It’s all around you. There’s noise in almost everything you do. My office faces one of the busiest streets in all of downtown Nashville. Even on the Seventh Floor I hear amubulances, fire trucks, horns honking, and a cars accelerating. I have even heard a car accident and helicopters whirling in the air.
All of this noise can be distracting, so I always plug my iPhone into my Mac as soon as I arrive at work and start listening to tunes I’ve downloaded to iTunes. I’m not going to lie, since the beginning of October, I’ve been listening to Christmas music, but everyone has to have a vice right?
Recently, I was teaching the preteens at my church using a passage from Ezekiel 36. The lesson was actually supposed to be about missions, but we ended up really getting into a great conversation about verses 20-21 where God talks about nations profaning His holy name. We discussed what profaning meant and what God’s holy name was.
This led to the topic of texting and the popular text and status message, OMG. JuliAnn was stunned and a little hurt that the phrase OMG—a phrase she used regularly—profaned God’s name. We talked about how some people might not think that it was a bad phrase, but most people knew that the G in the phrase stood for God, and the Bible clearly exhorts us to not take His name in vain. This led us to another rabbit chase of what phrase abbreviations were not appropriate. I’ll save that for another post.
The boys were really starting to understand what we were talking about, and I knew it. It was not long until one chimed in that the popular animated series Family Guy uses God’s name in vain all of the time. They said, "we know it’s bad, but the show is awesome, it’s so funny." I understood this as a tragic testimony against that we exist in a world of cultural Christians, it’s easy to stand for what you believe while you are in church, but we aren’t equipping believers to stand when they are alone. The kids in our ministries deserve better.
So, what can you do to as a minister to kids understand how the world’s answer and God’s answers are not the same. You can disciple them, expose them to good choices in media, and pray for them.
I have been privileged to develop a relationship with some awesome people at the organization called iShine. Founder, Robert Beeson, became burdened for his own children that their choices for positive music and television were limited, so he began producing television shows and developing an event called iShine Live. The event is geared towards older kids and preteens and exposing them to great music, amazing production, great Bible teaching, and wonderful role models.
Several members of the iShine family were at KMC10 and we had the privilege of sampling their music and hearing their prayers. Several of the artists have been featured in Bible Express and are amazingly talented.
Their musical styles vary greatly by band, from Paige the rocker-girl to the Rubyz, an upbeat pop group. Mission Six is a group of guys who rock hard with their God-honoring lyrics and positive attitudes. There are many, many more but I just don’t have space to tell you about them all.
You might not really care for a particular genre of music, but your preteens love it. The truth is, they are going to listen whether you like it or not, so why not expose them to the best the world has to offer. Give them positive role models, music with a message, and something they can tell their friends about. Go to the iShine page and check out their listing of artists. The variety will blow you away! Help your preteens reduce the noise in their lives that is pulling them away from the One we desire for them to be completely in love with. Expose them to great music from great Christian artists they can look up to.
I’ve got two huge prize packs to give away from the good people at iShine. All you have to do is comment on this blog to be entered to win. The pack includes 3 iShine DVDs, 6 iShine artists’ CDs, a pack of iShine silly bands and several more items! You’ll definitely want to win this pack and share it with your preteens. It’s great! You must comment by Friday at Midnight!