Philosophy on Entertainment vs Teaching

November 29, 2012 — 6 Comments

I got the following question in an email the other day and I thought I would turn my response into a post. Thought it was a great question.

What is your philosophy on the question entertainment vs teaching? How could you combine those two things?

As the weekend coordinator, I love to make sure everything flows together nicely, but I love to make sure our students are not sitting there bored out fo their minds while they are learning about who Jesus is. I completely agree with you in the fact that our churches are competing against the world for attention and creativity. So truly believe that our churches should be more creative than Disney or Apple or Pixar, and use our gifts that God has given us to glorify Him through our services for our students. I believe we are creative because our God is the most Creative. With that said, there is a fine line between completely leaning on the idea of entertainment and teaching.

When I look at programming our services with our team, we make sure that everything we do is intentional. What I mean by that is that we do not do anything just to do it or because we can because it would be fun or funny or entertaining. We look at our overall message of the weekend, whomever is teaching and look at their points that they are trying to let our students leave with and we will program around that first. It can be really easy to come up with a fun video or game and then have the message go around it, but we really try hard and are intentional to make sure whatever we do in services point to whatever the message we are trying to have our students walk out with. So as long as a game or a video has something to do with that direction of the message, we will go ahead and plan it out and have it in our service, and we want to do it well so that it will be engaging to our students. We want to be intentional for the reasons we do add something into services to help point them to the message, even if it just loosely connects to it.

We love to have fun and our team is super creative, so we put out some pretty fun and entertaining things during our services. We just make sure that entertainment is not the end all in why we do what we do. Like I said above, we want to expose students to the Gospel, and playing games or having funny videos can be a great way to soften a students heart for church if they can have fun while learning about Jesus.

Here are some links to videos of some of the fun, creative, entertaining things we have done in our services to point students to points in our messages:

Hopefully these sort of give you an idea of how we incorporate entertainment and teaching within our services. We like to have fun. We think church should not be boring because Jesus was not boring. We love coming up with creative things and even have creative team meetings that involved our staff, volunteers and students who help come up with creative ideas for services. You can check out those meetings here:

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6 responses to Philosophy on Entertainment vs Teaching

  1. 

    My friend Trevor Hamaker put it this way:

    Without style, they won’t come. Without truth, they won’t stay.

    • 

      HA! I may or may not steal that.

      • 

        Good stuff dude! i really liked reading through your blog. I looked through a bunch of the links also. I am sure it can be done, but as for me that is not always the case. Let’s say you just have this fun icebreaker and it is to get everyone up and excited and has no real connection to your lesson point. Most the time, for videos it’s more straight forward, there is usually relevance, but for the games and stuff, not as much. Do you think you should cut everything that does not connect?

      • 

        Thank you for reading! Thanks for the kind words. I see what you are saying about the ice breakers. We do games and things like that, but it is somewhat connected. I’m not saying that it has to mirror the point exactly. As long as you can somewhat tie it into the “theme” or point of the night in some way, that’s the way I like to have it go. For example (puling it out of nowhere) if you were to play Red Rover and talking about Jericho, you can connect it to how you broke through the walls like Jericho. I dont know ha! The direction of the night all points to one main theme or point.

        Also, the way our room is set up, it is not ideal for that. We have tried before and they dont really work for us but you know your group better than I. So if you can make the connection and play it and it works for your group, don’t cut it and do it!

        Thanks again for reading and commenting!

  2. 

    do you guys have some kinda template you walk through in advance to help get everyone on the same page?

    • 

      As for making sure everyone is on the same page, the two links down at the bottom of the page will bring you through our process in which we come up with the ideas. But we have weekly planning meetings where we hash out everything in detail for the upcoming weekend and the following weekend as well. Is that what you were asking?

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