Posts Tagged ‘Orange’

It’s a real possibility. Current statistics of media consumption for families  reveals that over 80 hours a week on average is spent online, watching TV or listening to Mp3 players or a combo of all three.  (State of the Church & Family (c)2011) / Orange and Barna Group)

How Much Media is Enough ?

What does that say about us?

I believe it says that we’re addicted to entertainment, to stimulation. I know I am and I’m nowhere near 80 hours a week. It’s a natural migration for my mind and senses to want to be engaged. To avoid silence and stillness, not conciously…but subconsciously.

Why is that?

I’m guessing it’s a mixture of our human nature, technology and opportunity all coming together in a perfect storm. Our nature pulls us towards pleasure above all else…. our technology is so cool it’s overwhelming to the eyes and ears and senses and comes in waves of even cooler and smaller gadgets. The opportunity is almost endless with access points in our homes, schools and local McDonalds for anyone with a wi-fi capable phone, pad or pod.

Does that make Media a bad thing?

Not in my humble opinion. Media is what it is, neutral and unaffected by morality or values…it’s what we do with it that moves it from a non-factor to a huge positive or negative in our lives. It’s no worse than food, money, leisure, relationships or work in that regard. A necessary activity or resource that God has allowed for us to enjoy and use to our benefit.

What is the REAL danger behind it?

I believe the danger from media is its ability to subtly affect our beliefs and undermine our mental stamina. Ok…in english. Sexuality – nudity – violence – trashy talk and greed  can become common place in media, subtly removing our resistance to such conduct and replacing our conscience’s with apathy and indifference. Mental capacity starts to fade as we engage only the consumptive parts of our psyche and allow the deductive and problem solving – creative processes to atrophy and slowly fade. We’re content to allow others or things to do our thinking for us… trusting their reasoning and data over our own. (I.E.  Wikipedia vs. Personal experience)

Media and Teen Values ?

What do we do when popular Media suggests our beliefs are in error ?

Hard question. Reacting in fear is a problem… not reacting is a problem. The challenge is to confront the issues without rejecting the medium (media) or the individual teen or tween asking the question. Not responding or ignoring these obvious challenges to our values and beliefs will result in substantial changes in our kids values and principles and patterns of learning, problem solving and living…. a risk that I’m NOT willing to take.

Getting practical.

If media is out of balance in our lives, it becomes an idol. A mini-god. Just like sex, food, money or careers… this can usurp the role that God alone can play in one’s life or family. Time to take an honest look at the amount of media and entertainment that we’re consuming and then assess how we as parents need to filter it.

Slow things down – unplug from time to time. Say NO to your kids, and watch stuff with them… find out what they are absorbing from their peers, from their hero’s and from media…maybe its time to take the weekend off. Go outside, go fishing, hiking, antique picking, rake the yard, carve a pumpkin, visit a friend, clean the garage, volunteer for a charity, wash your car… Do SOMETHING that is physical and interactive and do it WITH your kids. Be spontaneous… make it fun and balanced. SLOW down your schedule… reduce the dependency on stimulation, and replace it with relationships, talking… walking, reading and writing. Engage your brain and your body.

Oh and don’t forget to model this for your kids BEFORE you ask them to change. Otherwise…we’re in danger of being ignored :)


Pastor B.

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Recent studies by Orange and Barna Research Group have revealed some surprising trends in Teen media use as it relates to families of faith. If you’re struggling with your teen or tween’s addiction to media, technology and instant communicationyou are NOT alone. Most families are struggling with keeping a relationship alive with their teenagers in a time when most of our kids are either out of the house with their friends and extra-curricular activities or plugged in and tuned out when they do stop by…

No one ministry or expert can solve every family communication challenge, but we can point you in the right direction by recommending a great new resource by Orange and Barna Research. Their “The Family and Technology Study” 2011 is up to date with trends, and statistics that will directly impact how you react and guide your families and youth groups. I strongly encourage you to invest in this resource if you have teens or are in youth ministry.

Courtesy of forsistersbysisters.com

This is a proprietary research product, so I’m not going to be able to give you more than a introductory statement/quote about their findings, but it gives us something to consider for sure.  Here is a summary from the first page of introduction…

“So, whats the bottom line? Well, technology is impacting families in a significant way, but not in the way you might think. The state of relationships between parents and teens are not as healthy as we might have hoped, but technology does not appear to be the culprit. Technology is not the enemy, it simply facilitates the way we were already relating to each other...” (Reggie Joiner, Jared Herd and Carey Nieuwhof, of Orange)

Clearly with the extensive and detailed research of the Barna and Orange groups, the technology and families trend is being studied and evaluated for us to benefit. If you purchase and study this report, you will find the challenges to our tweens and teens begin and end with the parenting oversight and behaviors, much MORE than in the energy and effort to control the consumption of our kids.

Translated…our kids are following our lead when it comes to media and technology. mimicking our personal use  down to almost the exact number of minutes of media ingested per day… over 225 minutes per day for parents compared to over 275 minutes for teens. (page 18 of study) The reality comes abruptly at us when you stop to think about it… our kids are simply learning from us.

So, if your kids are blasting away too much of their days online, gaming or instant messaging their seven hundred Facebook friends… it may be time to take a long hard look in the mirror of our lives and see how much we’re using our laptops at the dinner table?  Sobering reality to realize that the erosion of the family and faith cannot simply be blamed at the feet of the awful technological tsunami outside our doors… much scarier to realize it’s from the parenting habits well established within.

I encourage you take the time to find out more with a summary of their report at Barna Research, cost is $29.00 but well worth it for concerned Parents or Pastors. ( this is not an advertisement, I use their research regularly in my work and ministry and have purchased my own copy at a recent Orange conference, which I also HIGHLY recommend attending)

God has a strategy and a way for us as parents to reach our kids with the truth of an authentic faith… what may be the most difficult part of that mission, is the changes He may ask us to make along the way. Technology maybe one of the first places we get challenged to carefully consider…

Gotta go… Sorry, I really need to go now to practice my defensive moves on my “Call of Duty” game.  :)

Peace out,


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