Here's a homework assignment for every parent and children's ministry leader. Sit and watch 30 minutes of TV with your kids, listen to 30 minutes of music with them on a "kid" station, or play 30 minutes of the current popular video game. Popular media has learned something that Christians would do well to learn as well. Multiple inputs of information/influence have a much more profound impact than just one!
During that 30 minutes of homework you're doing, listen to the messages being conveyed. "You deserve the best!" "This will make you popular and happy!" "Everyone who is anyone has this or is doing this!" "You can do anything if you just try your best!" and other culturally popular agendas like them come through loud and clear. The trouble is, these messages are flat out wrong and will destroy the life of whoever chases after them.
Here's the good news! The same strategy of multiple inputs from popular media can also be used by Christians for incredibly positive results in a kids' life! Know why? It was God's design!
God knows that your kids will be dramatically influenced more when they hear the same message over and over, so He designed families and churches to work together to bring up a godly generation. It doesn't work if you just drop your kids off at church to let them take care of the "God thing." And it doesn't work if you as parents think you can teach your kids everything they need to know about God. Both of those extremes are harmful. Our kids need godly families and a relevant church!
So, 1) turn down the influence of popular media in your kids' lives. We don't hide our kids from everything out there, so they look and feel like social freaks around friends (I know a few Christians like that, and it's not a pretty sight), but we do set limits on how much and what they are exposed to. Media is not the best baby-sitter (even though as a parent, I know how tempting it is), because it does affect how your kids think and view the world.
And, 2) turn up the influence of godly people in your kids' lives. For instance, why don't you start looking for the teachable moments when you can bring God into your kids' worldview. Also, make sure your kids are plugged in to a relevant, Bible-centered church ministry where others can speak and model truth in front of your kids, too. Reggie Joiner is famous for rightly saying that every parent needs another godly adult to say the same things they say to their kids. I'm so glad my kids have other people from our church pouring into them. Here is a picture that two of Elli's favorite Kid City leaders sent to me after church last week! Where else but church can you be influenced for Jesus and get wrapped up in a carpet like a taco? :)
These are two pivotal ideas that Christan parents must do in order for their kids to be life-long followers of the Way. Now, go back and take in another 30 minutes of media with your kids, so you're not that socially freaky Christian!