I love stories.  In fact, I’ve been recaptured by the idea of story in the past few weeks (you can read a recent blog posting about story here).  But most recently I was captured again by story in the debate over a very popular story, Harry Potter.

I know, the debate over Harry Potter is essentially over.  However the debate comes to haunt those of us who lead children’s and family ministry because the movies are still being released.  For those keeping score at home (somehow people can only keep score at home, other places are not conducive for keeping score), there are three movies left.  This debate has a fairly polemical nature to it. The two sides (pro and con) routinely write books and fire away in articles and blogs.  But I’m less concerned about the polemic nature of the actual debate.  My brother John is.

John is a brilliant scholar who finds time to teach Logic to a group of homeschooled high school students.  One of the major assignments in the class is to participate in a formal logical debate over the issue of Harry Potter.  This debate is happening in just a few days.  Many of the books John allows kids to check out are books he stole from my library a few years ago (and btw I want those back).  I really hoped I would be able to attend the debate, but I just cannot make it.  Instead, I thought I would write a few thoughts on the power of story, the necessity for community, and the dangers of developing a Christian ethic of story.  This might sound lofty, but I hope the attached article helps you process your leadership in terms of the stories and media you are asked to weigh in on with your community of faith (be it iCarly, Hannah Montana, Twilight, Harry Potter, Lost, Desperate Housewives, and even Facebook or Twitter).  The scope of this blog posting cannot recount the data and the conclusions in one sweep, but I’m sure these will pop up from time to time as appropriate in the discussion of forming children’s and family ministry leaders in the 21st century.  Perhaps the central point is that as leaders it would be more appropriate (and Biblical) to develop an ethic of story than to just leave decisions about media solely up to individual families (and be okay with the variety of responses).

One caveat: This article was written in between breaks and during odd times in the schedule while I was in class this week.  I have not extensively edited it.  Download the article here.