Speaking of Speaking …

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speaking of speaking

In my 2011 book, Plugged-In Parenting, I included a chapter titled, “Ten Things You Can Do to End Fights Over Family Entertainment.” One of those suggestions was to get your pastors involved.

Here’s what I said:

When your kids hear other people—pastors, parents, teachers—echoing your advice on media, they may be more willing to listen.

Encourage your youth pastor to schedule a parent/teen night to discuss the subject of honoring Christ with entertainment decisions. Ask the head of your children’s ministry whether making good media choices could be part of the curriculum in Sunday school or children’s church. Talk to your senior pastor about including this subject in his plans; a sermon or two each year goes a long way.

I’m still a firm believer in that advice. And I hope you’ll take it to heart. Get your pastors on board. But it doesn’t need to stop there. Let me add an 11th tip:

Consider bringing in experts on the subjects of media, entertainment and technology to your church, youth group, school, workplace or any other gathering spot you tend to frequent.

As I mentioned, it’s quite possible your youth pastor or pastor just doesn’t feel qualified to address media discernment. I get it. If that is so, bringing in someone who does have that expertise might just be the ticket.

As I type this, I just got back from Houston having spent Friday and Saturday addressing a family conference conducted by a local church there (and spoke to the congregation on Sunday morning). Over the years, my team and I have been privileged to address dozens and dozens of groups on the subject of honoring Jesus with our entertainment choices. But I’m especially jazzed today because the reception this past weekend was extra-receptive. I think because the need is so obvious, people are hungry to get help in this area of family life.

The Plugged In Department here at Focus on the Family is small. We’re just five people. But I have a talented team, and I’d like to send them out, if only one or two times a year to address churches, conferences, youth events, etc., as the Lord would lead.

To facilitate this, simply email me if you’re interested. Of course, we won’t be able to say yes to every request and every event. And saying no is hardly going to be easy when I have to. But I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Email me at bob.waliszewski@fotf.org and let me know your interest and a bit about the group (church, school, workplace, youth event, conference?, etc.).

I don’t need to tell you how important the world of entertainment is in our culture. If you’re here, you know that already. But if you want to hear more from us than just what we write on our website or listen to on our radio reviews—and you think more people in your church or community would like to, too—remember: We might be able to make that happen.

Who wrote this?

Bob Waliszewski is the director of the Plugged In department. His syndicated "Plugged In Movie Review" feature is heard by approximately 9 million people each week on more than 1,500 radio stations and other outlets and has been nominated for a National Religious Broadcaster's award. Waliszewski is the author of the book Plugged-In Parenting: How to Raise Media-Savvy Kids With Love, Not War. You can follow him on Twitter @PluggedInBob.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Dan Haynes 7 months ago
I remember in '85-'86 or so when my C&MA church brought in an evangelist to talk to us kids about the eeeeevils of rock music. His presentation, including audio examples on a warble-y, too-slow cassette, was pretty entertaining and informative, and did a lot to shape my musical tastes. If we weren't already listening to them, my fellow youth group kids and I immediately went out and bought albums by the bands he mentioned. Lectures like this as well as the then-new "Parental Advisory" label were helpful in choosing what records were worth taking a chance on with our limited budgets during the pre-internet "Satanic Panic" of the day. Fun memories of simpler times!
charitysplace 7 months ago
I'd say this is a great idea... but only if your pastor or youth leader shares your standards.

I attended a young adult group at the last mega-church I went to. Imagine my surprise when they decided to watch and discuss "Crash" together at one of the Sunday night meetings. When I expressed concern over the bad language and nudity, it was met with raised brows and "Ah, we're all adults here, it's fine." So I went over the young adult leader's head to one of the elders in the church, who also shrugged and said she didn't see a problem with it.

I didn't stay long in the group.
B Evans 7 months ago
Was there any notice ahead of time that the group had chosen to discuss the movie? I can see why they might find it an interesting movie to discuss, but due to the content concerns you mention, advance warning would be wise.
charitysplace 7 months ago
It was a "Shall we watch it together next week, and discuss it the week after?" I don't think any mention was made of the R-rating.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Personally I think Crash is a wonderful movie, full of wonderful twists and turns, surprises, and very emotional moments throughout. Sure the cussing is a bit much at times, but is far less than other R-Rated movies I've seen. I just think it's fascinating to see the progression of the characters in the film. To see evil guys turning good and good guys turning bad just makes for a fascinating time at the movies I think. Well worthy of its Best Picture win.
Anonymous 6 months ago
ah.....the glory days of when actually good films won Best Picture......
-Davidiswise The Clown