What could Netflix tell us about the preaching of the gospel? Alot. We have lost the last three generations because we didn’t understand media. We can’t afford a fourth generation lost. t
Let’s face a fact: Netflix has the attention of your teenagers and the young adults; not the church. The Church, by and large, has made itself irrelevant to the culture we are called to engage. After all, our answer to Hollywood was Jan Crouch.
Jesus told us to be salt, light and the city on the hill but we are too concerned with developing our own competitive culture; we will never actually reach the mainstream culture. If you need an example, ponders the band Jars of Clay.
For far too long, we have walked into very well lit sanctuaries; turn on flashlights and yell “I am shining for Jesus.” A flashlight does no good in a lighted room; we only does good in the presence of darkness.
How we lost the Nexflix Generation
We lost before the internet or mobile phones. We lost them before Goonies, Indiana Jones, Ghost Busters or The Princess Bride. It came before we heard, “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” Heck, it even came before MASH was on the air.
I do not remember the name (and I can’t find) but Loren Cunningham from Youth With A Mission tells a story about how a film maker asked the bible school leader to send him talented actors. The reply that he would rather they go to hell than be in movies.
Pentecostals have a black eye in history: we did not engage the media and we wonder why it got so messed up. Where was the salt of the earth? What about the light of the world?
In the end, the blame is on the Church, not Hollywood. When we cared more about mocking “the one eyed devil,” we lost the ability to influence movie production.
Can we get the Nexflix generation back?
I believe that we slowly are. We can’t do with cheesy movies like the Omega Code, irrelevant televisions shows like Duck Dynasty, and music like Darlene Zschech. Christians like it but the lost find it annoying at best.
We have to create professional, high quality venues that are full of salt but also lack being chessy. This is one reason that I believe people like Tim Tebow, Bono, P.O.D. and Denzel Washington have been able to influence. They can do faith without being annoying about it.
The Netflix gospel is using media to minister the gospel of Christ to the lost and dying world. I am just not sure we are ready for it, quite yet.