Quit using sucky graphics for Middle School Ministry

I know many creative people who work in churches, producing amazing Media for furthering the Gospel. I wont claim to be anywhere near the level of so many I follow, but I also know I’m trying. But the tension comes when things start to pile up that need to be designed for the various ministries in our church, and I’ve still got small group curriculum to create for our upcoming series. Then the question comes, is this worth the time? Or when I spend the extra time trying to get that small group curriculum to look snazzier than times new roman with main points in bold. The question comes back, is this worth the time?¬†This morning I got to sit in on a breakout about Tweens led by Dan Scott, and he spent the first part of his talk going through some of the brain rules laid out by John Medina in his book Brain Rules. One of the things Dr. Medina lays out as the rules for the way the brain works is that Vision trumps all other sense, that if your visuals don’t keep their attention, they won’t hear what you say. Now, most people who have worked with Middle Schoolers for any length of time already know that it can be tough to keep their attention for a 25 minute sermon, which is why many do teaching times closer to 15 minutes in our ministries. But if we knew there were things we could do to enhance the environment and keep our students attention, wouldn’t we do them? More so, if we knew there were things we were doing that were actually causing our students to tune us out, wouldn’t we change them? I don’t think you have to have the greatest graphics any church has ever seen, but I have seen some ministries that make it seem like they don’t even try. If you need help, we have a growing resource of design’s on the Youthmin.org Marketplace. Many are free, almost all are customizable.    

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6 Comments

  1. just a little push back... Ben, great post. totally agree that we should make awesome graphics if we are going to make them. we do however need to also be aware that there are effects of the use of visual media in our culture. I have a tough time agreeing with the notion that our message is totally dependent on the quality of visual media. there is so much good dialogue that can happen. the books "flickering pixels", and "The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture. How Media Shapes Faith, the Gospel, and Church" are great resources to get us all thinking more critically about the use of this media in our ministries... again good post! I'd love to talk this out with some of you :)
    • I'd agree with that, and wasn't trying to state that our message is completely dependent on the visuals. I do think that if you're not trying at all, it will affect your message and ministry in the long run, but still hold that visuals are not the most important thing in our ministry. If it was, we'd all just write our sermons as infographics.
  2. just a little push back... Ben, great post. totally agree that we should make awesome graphics if we are going to make them. we do however need to also be aware that there are effects of the use of visual media in our culture. I have a tough time agreeing with the notion that our message is totally dependent on the quality of visual media. there is so much good dialogue that can happen. the books "flickering pixels", and "The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture. How Media Shapes Faith, the Gospel, and Church" are great resources to get us all thinking more critically about the use of this media in our ministries... again good post! I'd love to talk this out with some of you :)
    • I'd agree with that, and wasn't trying to state that our message is completely dependent on the visuals. I do think that if you're not trying at all, it will affect your message and ministry in the long run, but still hold that visuals are not the most important thing in our ministry. If it was, we'd all just write our sermons as infographics.
  3. Colossians reminds us to do everything as if we are working for the Lord, not for men. Excellence should be the hallmark of the church, and we should lead the way. Whether it's graphics, creativity, teaching, etc. we should be excellent. Graphics are just a small part of that equation.
  4. Colossians reminds us to do everything as if we are working for the Lord, not for men. Excellence should be the hallmark of the church, and we should lead the way. Whether it's graphics, creativity, teaching, etc. we should be excellent. Graphics are just a small part of that equation.

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