Those who control the arts and media are the greatest shapers and influencers of culture and society. You see evidence of that throughout history. Take for example pre-WW2 Germany with the Nazi propaganda machine, or Communist Russia and China who not only controlled how much people knew but also took it a step further by dictating to the masses what they were actually allowed to know. We won’t even mention North Korea. Another, more recent, example of the influence of media is by looking at Former US president Barack Obama’s social media drive which many would argue helped him get elected because of the appeal his “Yes we can” campaign had with younger/undecided voters.
We cannot deny that media is influence.
Up until a few centuries ago, the church was actually the main driver and influencer of society and we did it through art. In fact, the church was actually the biggest supporter of the arts and often employed the best professionals in the world to communicate our message through various mediums (media), whether that be through painting, sculpture, music or literature. The point is, Christians engaged with the culture and influenced society in a real and relevant way.
But somewhere along the line, the church dropped the proverbial baton and turned its back on media and the arts. The result? Well, the church has been “left behind” (excuse the pun). Today, Christians find themselves in the unfortunate situation where we are playing catch-up with the secular media world when it comes to creating and producing good quality media that is actually worth the time it takes to engage with. Admittedly, it is getting better than it was 10 years ago, but I’m sure we’ll agree that there is much room for improvement. If you’ve watched enough Christian/family-friendly movies, then you’d know what I mean.
In a sense, the church lost its voice and influence because we didn’t keep up with the changing times.
Today, we live in the most distracted and disruptive culture in history, and the truth is that media is the language of our generation. If you’d like to see where society is and where its heading, look at the youth. You won’t have to look very far to find a group of teens sitting at a table with their eyes glued to their cellphones.
We easily have the most connected generation ever, yet ironically, it is also the most relationally impoverished generation in history.
But I would argue that
if media is the language of our generation, then the church needs to learn how to speak that language fluently.
Many believers would look at the current state of the younger generation and ask the question, “What about the church?” Or “What is the church doing to reach this media driven generation?”
I believe that a media literate church is able to speak the language of a generation and thereby have an influence in that culture. Its able to communicate a positive kingdom message that reaches further than the 4 walls of the church building.
Media is about communicating a story – and the gospel is the best story ever told. Talk about relevant! The message of redemption and grace is as relevant today as it was when the disciples saw Jesus for the first time after His resurrection. The world desperately needs that message to be known!
The church simply cannot rely on sharing the gospel inside the four walls of the church building alone, and still expect to have a global impact – there is more we can do. There has to be. We need to have a voice in media if we want to impact this generation.
Telling positive and authentic stories that matter – whether that be through video, photography, or other art forms is what Christian media is all about.
So how do we do that? How does the church inspire change in the hearts of a generation that is inundated with disruptive and distracting information?
Well, that’s precisely the question we answer in Victory Gap Year’s media stream. We believe that in order for the church to once again take its place as the primary driver of culture and society, then we need to develop the enthusiasm and passion of young creatives who have a heart to influence the lost through the lens of media.
Equipping these creatives with a solid Biblical Worldview and introducing them to the technical skills needed to eventually become major voices in the world of film, photography, and other media is what we believe will not only positively influence our audience, but it will ultimately see the message of the gospel radically shifting the hearts and minds of an entire generation towards the Father.
That’s our goal, that’s our aim – His kingdom being revealed through the lens of media.
What an exciting time to be alive!