I am writing to you regarding the incredible need to train young Christian men and women for careers in the media. Today, we live in a media-driven culture. George Barna’s research indicates that the average home in America now has at least two television sets, and young people today spend 38 hours per week using computers, television, CD’s, and other media. In fact, by the time a typical teenager is 18 years of age, he or she has seen more than 100,000 beer commercials on television alone.
In that environment, it’s absolutely imperative that we train men and women as media professionals in order to counter a media-saturated, post-modern worldview that has gripped this culture.
As a media consultant to many of the largest and most successful churches in America, founding partner in a successful television commercial production company, a working producer and director in Hollywood, as well as a Ph.D. in Theology, I have a unique perspective on the issue. Here are the facts:
o Today, more and more churches and ministries are using multi-media, broadcast television, the Internet, video projection, and other technologies in their worship services and outreaches. The problem is finding trained Christians with the expertise to use the equipment effectively.
o There are remarkably few organizations providing information specifically devoted to church media production and technology to meet the growing demand for information and resources.
o Media-related ministries that focus on Christians making films, television programs, DVD’s, etc, are some of the fastest growing ministries in America.
o The National Religious Broadcasters – the advocacy organization for Christian broadcasters is experiencing record growth and impact around the world.
o More and more Christian young people want to express themselves through the arts and media – even at Middle and High School levels.
o Secular colleges are expanding Mass Communications departments, training young people to enter Hollywood and the entertainment industry with no Christian background or focus.
Based on my experience working with Christian colleges and universities across the country, I believe that if you expand your media programs and classes, purchase high quality equipment and facilities, and invest financially in these areas, you’ll find enrollments increasing, as more and more Christian young people look for ways to utilize their gifts and talents in the area of communication.
Personally, while I love to hear great gospel preaching, I’ve also discovered there is remarkable power in telling stories of redemption and hope. Throughout His ministry, Jesus told stories with great power and effectives – stories that changed people’s lives. Christian colleges, universities, and seminaries have done an excellent job at training people to preach and teach, but now we are being called to train Christian filmmakers, writers, producers, and media directors to reach a new generation with new skills.
I encourage you to answer that call.