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new from Barna

November 20, 2007

The Barna Group released the results of a new study called Christian Parents Are Not Comfortable with Media but Buy Them for Their Kids Anyway. Probably not the best title, but …

This is really weird. Parents generally don’t like the conent of DVDs, CDs, etc, but will buy them as Christmas gifts anyway.

DVDs: About 78% of Christian parents will purchase DVDs for their teenagers, and 87% for their pre-teens. At the same time 26% are not comfortable with their purchases.

CDs: About 60% will of Christian parents will buy CDs for their kids, but 33% are concerned about the content.

Video Games: Just over half of all Christian parents in the U.S. have bought video games for their kids in the past year, and between 40 and 46% of those parents are worried about the content of said games.

Does this make sense to anyone?

The report goes on to talk about how fathers and Hispanics are the least likely to buy media products for their kids that they disagree with (which raises the question about wives/mothers rebelling against their husbands’ better judgement and buying the stuff anyway?), and how parents who consume a form of media have fewer objections to making it available for their kids.

George commented, “Many Christian parents are striving to serve two conflicting masters: society and God. They refuse to believe that they cannot satisfy both.”

And while I don’t actually view the entire world through the lense of youth ministry, this one has obvious implications. The ultimate burden of responsibility falls on the parents, of course, but this is also telling me that teenagers who are growing up in “born again” Christian homes are asking for, if not insisting on, this stuff. Parents and youth ministries need to make sure we’re teaching our (pre-) teenagers about the spiritual influences they’re allowing in their lives.

It’s also pointing out the growing conflict between society and the Church. Every day is a tick on the end times alarm clock, and the closer we get the harder it may be to present “relevant” youth ministry. There’s a day soon coming when we’ll have to ditch Relevant for Revolutionary and just be honest and unashamed about the fact that the Christian life has very little in common with secular society.

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