Previously I wrote about five forces or broad trends that we are facing as children’s and family ministry leaders (the rise of the individual, connectivity, Twitter Speed, Rip-Mix-Burn-Share, and Motion Blur). I’d like to finally address the last force – Motion Blur.
From the original article:
Motion Blur: The result of the previous four trends is motion blur. Motion blur is happens when you take a photograph of something that is moving rapidly. The result is a less detailed picture, since the picture is trying to interpret all the movement and show the sense of speed. In the lives of kids and families today there is motion blur between the virtual and physical worlds they occupy. For kids and teens in the virtual world, friends and relationships on Facebook are just as valid as the friends and relationships they have at their school or neighborhood. Shane Hipps who wrote Flickering Pixels introduces the term “digitally absent” for those who would rather take a phone call than continue the conversation with the person right in front of them who took time to be with them (when the other person did not). Motion blur.
Motion blur is a reality for kids who spend 35 hours a week in front of a digital screen. Their definition of “friend” might look different to those of us who did not grow up with the ability to play games and interact with someone we had never met. How can we use what we know about kids today to impact them with the truth of the Gospel?
• Spend time getting to know the kids you serve: talk to them, ask them questions, work to understand how they learn, make friends, use technology, and have fun
• Make research part of your job description: look at Cynopsis Media: Kids Edition, Nielsen Media, or the Pew Internet and American Life Project for insight into how kids live digitally. Or subscribe to a blog that covers these issues (that’s probably a little easier because some of these sites are hard to navigate)
• Read Flickering Pixels
• Start noting the times when you are digitally absent as you interact with friends, family, volunteers, and kids.
• Work tirelessly eliminate digital absence from your volunteer team. I tell my volunteers that KidsWorld (the name of our children’s ministry) is not the best environment to check your email, text, tweet, or take phone calls. It’s a great environment to help kids meet Jesus and become more like Him.