When it comes to ministry, church and Christianity in general, sometimes we get wrapped up in the Un, Non and Hyper battle. What I mean is that we decide that everything we can support, enjoy and share with our teens or friends or anyone has to be implicitly Christian. Not just Christian, HYPER Christian. If it doesn’t have Joel Olsteen and Kirk Cameron singing a Michael W. Smith song, we don’t want it. This is dangerous for a myriad of reasons.
First, not all Christian materials are good materials. Yes, the idea behind Facing The Giants is inspirational, but it doesn’t make the movie any less painful to watch. Sorry guys, it’s just not a great movie, and showing it to our teens tells them that Christian movies have to be bad and can’t entertain them as much as teach them. Some movies that might fit the bill better would be Saved, Jesus Camp, or To Save A Life.
Second, not all secular materials are bad materials. This is the Un/Non Paradox, which is a professional sounding name I just made up. There is a difference between things that are NON-Christian and UN-Christian. Non-Christian is anything without a Christian message. Period. Bach’s Cello Suite in C major is Un-Christian. Lovely, if you are a cello lover, but not Christian…which is okay. We can enjoy things that aren’t mentioning Jesus. Un-Christian things are what we are afraid of, the things that are specifically against Christianity or Jesus. Consider the difference.
Third, we need to meet kids where they are, which for much of the time, isn’t knee deep in Christian movies, music and sloganed (spell check doesn’t like that word) t-shirts. It’s in real life. So we need to be able to relate. Sometimes, it’s alright to settle for “Non” over “Un”. If possible, be able to share a good Christian alternative, but be wary of poor quality Christian media. It can come across as insincere or gimmicky, two things we should never associate with Jesus.