Phil starts off the podcast by recounting his recent trip to a children’s ministry conference, and singing a song he wrote for the occasion. The crew talks about a viral news story featuring Pat Robertson, before bringing in this week’s guest – Phil’s mom! Scottie May has her Ph.D in Christian Education, and teaches in the Christian formation ministry department at Wheaton College where she specializes in children’s ministry. They discuss VBS, how to creatively engage children, attention spans, and how to be more reflective in worship.
Scottie May is an associate professor of Christian Formation and Ministry at Wheaton College. She has her Ph.D in Christian Education from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Scottie’s area of interest and expertise is children’s ministry, and she has co-authored 3 books.
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so wate who preformed paulmey in the christmas album did you or was it the voice acter?
Could you include a direct download link like you’ve done in previous links? Thanks. pvk
Hi Paul, sorry about that! We just posted the link. Thanks!
I love your podcasts for being thought-provoking and funny. I have to point out an error in this week’s, though. The 2nd VeggieTales video was “God Wants Me to Forgive Them.” “Are You My Neighbor” was the 3rd video.
As usual, I enjoyed this podcast, but it ultimately left me unsatisfied.
Electronic screens are only “altars” as much as people regard them to be altars. Futhermore, there is nothing inherently holy or unholy about a screen serving as an altar. It is a medium. It is a different medium, granted. But couldn’t we make similar disparaging comments about *any* altar, podium or pulpit, physical or virtual? Would we then not all be implying that God prefers to work certain ways, or indeed that God is precluded from working certain ways? These are all just extensions of our own preferences and/or needs.
I agree that a change in medium results in new impressions and interactions. But I believe that God is sufficiently transcendent to handle such changes. The assertion I’ve perceived in this podcast is that church should be different because God is different. But turning “different than the culture” into an idol is just as imminent, and just as misguided, as “same as the culture” is. It seems that God will accept praise in a variety of formats — even “non-participatory” ones. (How are we to know what’s going on in the minds and hearts of those who are not singing? And in the same way, how can we know that enthusiastic singers are actually worshipping?)
Pitching “cultural relevance” vs “spiritual relevance” just seems like a semantic dance. They aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. Indeed, cultural relevance is itself found in contrasting the culture. We are surrounded by this kind of cultural self-correction. Within the podcast there was a throwaway joke about yoga, but there it is: yoga is a cultural response to a cultural need. Surely we’re not supposed to be pitching Christianity as merely a “better yoga”!
Novelty isn’t inherently godly, and that goes both directions: more “progressive” and more “traditional”. Being sensitive to needs is a highly desirable trait (eg the need for silence, calm and relaxation in the face of a busy life), and I love the breadth of that call to action! That’s wonderfully intentional and beautifully engaged. But it’s all too easy to overreach and say that because I have a certain need or hang-up, so does everyone. Or so should everyone. Therefore God can’t use screens. (Or, therefore he must.)
Hey I personally VBS’ position is interesting. Having study a little film theory in school, their position reminds me a lot of Marxist Walter Benjamin. I may be getting this wrong, but he basically believed that when film came on the scene, media such as painting would become obsolete, since it could not capture reality in an absolute form the way that film could. He was very unhappy when film became all about heroes and villains because he did not believe that narrative had anything to do with reality. He thought it defiled the medium. I guess my point is I think Christians should believe in creative expression. CS Lewis loved Christian literature long before he was a Christian. Narrative arcs are a part of reality since the happenings of the Bible are a part if not an overview of reality. Jesus was not a liar because he used parables. So parables, fairy tales and narratives that are not based in reality still have something to tell us about reality. You can learn about Jesus by learning about Aslan. It is a good thing to have an imagination and be creative like your Creator. That was a lot of random thoughts. Sorry about that.
Phil, did you listen to Rush the day the President annunced his gun control inniciative? or, are you repeating what you heard on the regular media? I listened that particular day and he was not making fun of the children, he was pointing out how they were being used as props to push a particular agenda. How they were being used as ‘human shields’ to protect the President from criticism. He did mimic the voice of a child but no to make fun of those particular kids, but as part of his colorful illustrations.
Very much enjoyed the discussion about slowing down ones own soul, making space. So important, so counter to culture, so hard to start, and oh so worthwhile!
Funny thing about the animation discussion in this podcast. When my son was VERY young, he did at first become convinced that the David and Goliath story was about a giant pickle. However, we didn’t take this as a huge negative setback to his spiritual development as it also gave us the opportunity to tell continue telling him the Bible story, and explain that the Veggie version was just a way of telling the story, of being entertaining while teaching. Since then there was very little confusion and to date, watching vegetables, fruit, and puppets tell Bible stories has not caused him to question their veracity.