Steffanie Rivers

Have you looked at a music video lately and been dismayed at how skimpy the women are dressed, how much profanity is used in place of lyrics and how shallow the message is behind the music?

If so, you probably were born before 1985. Research shows most people born since that time have lower standards when it comes to how they present themselves to the world and how they communicate with each other.

Add to that a recent atheist marketing message that said “millions of Americans are good without God,” and you can understand the challenge of trying to instill Christian values in a teen or young adult.

One church promotes its message of Christian standards and spiritual growth by wrapping it in music videos and rapping it to a catchy beat. Pastor Tony Evans at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church in Dallas, Texas said packaging his message in a music video is the best way to reach people who routinely receive their information and entertainment in that format.

A few Sundays ago Evans introduced the videos during Sunday morning service. He prefaced the premiere by saying most parishioners would think the videos where too edgey. But he reminded us that teens – not the adults who filled the pews – are the target audience.

Just as traditional music videos draw in the audience with strong baselines and catchy hooks, these Christian music videos are doing the same. The difference is there are no women in skimpy clothing; no profanity in place of lyrics and the shallow message is replaced by one with substance.  During the first months of the fall semester church volunteers distributed DVD copies of the videos in high schools where cases of teen pregancy and STDs are rampant.

Although parents shouldn’t expect to shield their children from all negative worldly influence, the best way for anyone to prepare for life’s adversities is to have a solid foundation from the start. Proverbs 22:6 in the Bible says Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. The trouble is most children don’t get the Christian foundation they need. As a result, they have little to no standards to help gauge their choices.

Oftentimes adults focus on a child’s physical growth above her emotional growth. And rarely do they emphasize spiritual development. Yet all three deserve attention. Atheists have no shame in stating their beliefs. In fact they’re willing to pay to see their message on billboards for all to see. Christains should be just as convicted about stating their beliefs, especially when it comes to the destiny of a generation of future leaders.

Steffanie is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas, Texas metroplex. Send questions, comments or requests for speaking engagements to Steffanie at [email protected]. And see the video version of her journal at youtube.com/steffanierivers.