During our kids’ service at church yesterday, I was scheduled to emcee as usual. For the most part, that involves introducing an entertaining video that has been an effective way to engage the youngsters in the Word before going to a small group setting for more intimate learning. Circumstance had a different plan though. The video was no where to be found. The Adventures of Johnny Rogers has been canceled, at least for this week.
Big deal, right? If you’re picturing a handful of preoccupied kids “watching” a VHS on a 26 inch TV strapped to a rolling cart, try this on for size: 40+ high-energy first through fifth graders with their eyes fixed on a propped out, pimped out stage with over a half dozen accent/spotlights where I stand with my hands-free microphone projecting out of the bumpin’ sound system in front of two 10-foot hi-def projection screens displaying first-class custom media related to the day’s message; and this is the regular routine that most of these neophytes have come to be familiar with and even expect. (That’s just how we do church at Elevation). Therein lies the problem though, or part of it anyway. They are expecting all the bells and whistles that they are accustomed to.
The other part. We need to be on our game; how we play is crucial, especially this week. This is a “must-win” for a play-off berth. From holiday travelers to C.E.O.’s (Christmas and Easter Only visitors) to hearts that just seem softer around this time of the year, the Christmas season tends to bring added opportunities to reach the lost. Now is not the time to fumble the ball; it’s time to throw a touchdown pass.
With the intention of killing time while an alternate video (or plan) was found, I hopped back onto the stage when it hit me. (And this is what I tried to convey to the kids, I think successfully). The Lord often speaks to us through rather ordinary circumstances. There were no videos during Jesus’ times, just Jesus. It seems that a tool that we routinely use to present the Gospel can also divert us from that same Gospel. But not today, not when the message must be clear, concise, and undiluted. Jesus needs no video to capture hearts nor do we to meet Him. He needs no embellishments. He’s Jesus and He is all we need. And that’s what the message was about. I guess you can say it was a pretty good Christmas message!