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Video Salvation Presentation For Kids?

A friend of mine, Gina McClain, over at LifeChurch.tv posted the above video that was put together by the LifeChurch.tv content team.

Gina asked me to repost the video here for some feedback. Jonathan Cliff also has it posted over on his site. The LifeChurch.tv team is wanting to have something available for parents, primarily, and anyone else who would like to have a brief presentation of salvation that can be shown to kids. As they are developing this, they are looking for feedback from people to see how they can put out something that is quality and effective.

So go ahead and leave a comment here with your thoughts!

Here are some of mine:

I think the art and animation are pretty good. I would say that the style is probably attractive to children from 4 years old to at most 7 years old. With that being said, the language used in the video needs to be simplified further. What I mean by that is there are some phrases and concepts used that would not be understood by children that young. There is a lot of time used to explain what a cross is while “Jesus dying in our place” is not given any explanation. Also, while I do like the ABC presentation, I prefer to use Choose rather than Confess for C.

On another stylistic note, I would lower the volume of the “boinging.” It’s louder than the voices, and it should probably be more of a background sound.

The only other comment I have is to maybe add a note that children can talk to a parent or pastor or church group leader or someone like that about what it means to follow Christ. If this is really meant as a tool for parents, then the video shouldn’t take leading their child to Christ themselves away from them by having it in the video. I’m not saying take the prayer out of the video but giving the option for children to pray with their parents or whoever is watching the video with them.

Someone from LifeChurch.tv had posted on Jonathan’s blog asking what might work for older kids… I think that any kind of animation would be lost on kids 7 and older for something like this unless you had access to movie quality animation (I’m talking Disney here). What might work better is something live. Most of the older kids are watching Hannah Montanna, iCarly, Suite Life on Deck, etc. When my wife and I were talking about it, we thought that even an updated (cultural-wise) version of McGee and Me type videos might work.

So what about you?

What did you think about the video? Do you think it’s a good idea?

What do you think of a video as a salvation presentation tool?

What ages do you think this would appeal to?

Be honest. Let’s help out the LifeChurch.tv content team! I’ve really appreciated their generosity in making their resources available for free at OPEN.lifechurch.tv. If you are looking for curriculum, videos, sermon series, graphics, etc. check it out. It’s all FREE!

5 Responses to “Video Salvation Presentation For Kids?”

  1. Jason Smathers September 28, 2009 at 5:28 am #

    I see several issues here, but here are three of the bigger ones:

    Jesus did not take the punishment for all the sin in the world. He took the punishment for all who believe in Him. If Jesus took the punishment for all the sin in the world, then everyone would go to heaven.

    The video says Jesus was perfect just like God. Two problems here: 1) Jesus is eternal and is perfect eternally 2) Jesus is God, not like God.

    I'd like to see the image of Jesus removed (2nd commandment).

  2. Mark Douglas Smith September 28, 2009 at 11:45 am #

    This very interesting Gospel message does a pretty good job actually of explaining our true state before God as sinners. (Could do a better job explaining what being dead in sin is all about.) Also nice was the role Christ plays as the great exchange on the cross: my sins in exchange for His righteousness. Two possible pitfalls of the presentation need to be addressed however: 1. Repentance is described in the sinner's prayer portion which I liked: "I don't want to sin any more.", but repentance and belief need to be fleshed out a bit more and how they are related. Most modern gospel messages don't show the relationship between the two and certainly don't express that these two are also part of God's gracious gift to us. Salvation is a gift but so in the ability to obtain the gift which clearly also comes from God. (Its your kindness that leads us to repentance, Rom. 2:4. Even belief or faith is also given to us by God and not self generated or inherent in us: Heb. 12:1-2. Jesus is the captain, author and perfecter of our faith.)
    2. Having a sinner's prayer for kids can lead to false professions of faith that look great on the 'how many conversions this month' report. I certainly think we should lead children in prayer for salvation and do it often. Yes, we are saved at a specific point in time and space when the Holy Spirit applies salvation upon us but with kids,we can manipulate them into a prayer when they are not saved. They respond to "Just as I am", the song and leave "just as they were" the unrepentant, unsaved kid who prayed a prayer but now have a false, 'easy believism' religion that everyone will use to help prop him us during his life. "Of course your saved son, don't you remember when you prayed that prayer in church back when you were 6." I have seen this over and over again and it is shocking, hurtful, unbiblical and not where we want to end. I always pray with kids and my own kids that God would continue to show them these gospel truths and that he would open their heart to respond to the gospel just like Lydia was enabled by God during Paul's message in Acts 16:14.
    With some tweaks this can really be a nice tool in the ministry arsenal. Even though I personally am not a huge fan of fake characters teaching real truth which I think sends a mixed message but I can't say that it is sinful for others to do it either. So, keep up the good work of working with kids and sharing the gospel with them.

    Smathers: good catch on those two points: punishment for sins of believers and not the world and the deity of Christ clarity.
    2nd commandment issue is iffy. Don't make for yourselves graven images. This was for the danger of worshipping the image as God or as a replacement for the one true God. Now if they end up worshipping that picture then we have issues but I don't think showing a picture of Jesus is a sin.

  3. dr. robin dugall September 28, 2009 at 12:58 pm #

    what really needs to happen is this – children need NOT to watch video presentations but need to SEE and experience the love, mercy and Kingdom life in their parents…real and authentic followership in Jesus in a relationship…in a contemporary incarnation…most people forget that the bible itself talks about people who experienced God WAY BEFORE they decided to write the narrative down. In addition to that, this video doesn't get the story right…don't start with Genesis 3…start with Genesis 1 and 2 and God's desire to be in relationship with us. There are other issues but not worth getting picky about…mostly the assumption about children and how to "get" the issue of salvation is misguided!

  4. Anna Wood September 28, 2009 at 4:21 pm #

    I appreciate the heart behind wanting to bring children to Christ. We need to remember, however, that converts to Christ in the Bible were not little kids. They might be youths (as in Timothy) but were old enough to be able to understand sin and the cross. Salvation comes by hearing the Word (and understanding the Word), repenting of being a sinner (I've seen people who repented not of being a sinner but of the pain that sin has caused them), and coming to Christ. We die and become a new creature in Christ. It is doubtful that a very little kid can get that. God hates sin (not just what it does to us but the fact that it is an affront to His holiness.) God is usually presented as a lover longing for His lost beloved to come to Him. God isn't waiting and hoping that we might turn an eye to Him. He is God. He needs to be reveranced as such. He does love us. The cross proves that. It is His love that allowed Jesus to die. However, His isn't a weak, longing kind of love. He isn't just waiting, longing, hoping that we will notice Him. We need Him. He is complete without us.

  5. Matt September 29, 2009 at 2:35 am #

    I've seen this a few places and I'd like to respond to this video from two different perspectives. From a theological perspective, I think there are four things that we have to include when we tell share the good news (1 Corinthians 15:1-11): The person of Jesus Christ, the plan of salvation, the proofs of the faith, and a personal story of life change. The video does a fairly decent job of the first two things and maybe the third isn't that important for kids, but it lacks the story of life change. This is fundamental because it shows us that these are not just a set of religious beliefs, but something real and active. In this case, the method takes away from the message.
    From a creative point of view, I know that the video took countless hours to produce. It's great. It's fun. It's a cartoon. It's not amazing. But I applaud the effort.

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