Our youth, to say the least, are on sensory overload. They are bombarded with entertainment designed around split second images on music channels like MTV, CMT, VH1, BET, and websites like Youtube.com and MusicJesus.com. Most young people are comfortable being stimulated by this overload. They are exposed to it in the music, images, flash of lights, and even words on the screen. Are music videos bad?  Do they hold any value? Can they be used for educational purposes? I dont know the answers for the first two questions, but I believe they can be used for an educational purpose in a Christian environment.

What if a popular secular or Christian song could be put together with Scripture and images in a format similar to a music video? What would we have? A powerful educational format that the youth are comfortable with and can easily learn from. What you need is listed below along with a few starter tips to get you going.
  1. Windows movie maker (software program) any version will do
  2. Windows Media Player (software program) any version should be ok
  3. A song that lyrically and musically fits the scripture you want to present
    Note:  Do not bend Scripture to the song or video you want, always start with Scripture then search for the song to avoid any form of Isegesis.
  4. Images from the web, your youth group, the church, or images you go and capture. Try using images of faith:  the Cross, Scripture, and most important, images of Jesus. Make sure not to use material that has a copyright on it–more on this later.
  5. Time – You need anywhere between three to eight hours to make a decent music video.

Start by finding a good song, listen to the local stations the youth listen to, or find a classic song that just cant be disregarded by any age group. A year ago a song called All The Same was released by the band The Sick Puppies. This song was a big hit on alternative radio stations in the U.S. The lyrics conveyed someone saying to another person, No matter what happens Ill love you. I will always be here for you when you are ready to come back to my love for you. Combining images of the youth group and images of teens off the web, along with images of our Savior, a still motion video was made to express Christs love for all of us no matter what we do or who we are.

As the youth watched, they were drawn in by the message of Christs love shown in the video, and not once did anyone lose focus on the screen. The value of using media and technology in a medium like a music video for Christian education is huge. It pulls them in, holds them, and moves at the same pace their brains are used to functioning. Granted, this type of thinking embraces our fast-paced culture, but after their attention is captured and thinking begins, the slower pace of a peaceful Bible study or a conversation can take place.

Great videos can also be found at websites like BluefishTV.com and sermonspice.com, but these are not music videos specially tailored to your youth group.  If you are a youth director who uses a lot of videos from sites like this, then next months issue could save you some money. Next month will feature a step-by-step process for saving files, loading images, and creating a time sequence for your video. We will also cover what to click on your desktop and how to organize files so you can retrieve them easily next time you want to make a music video.

If you are interested and want to get going on your creative videos, check the need list above and get the programs you dont have on your desk or laptop computer. Start looking for images and songs all around you. Write down the ideas and save them up. Next month well put them into place and create.