I’m a big fan of maintaining relevance… but, I’ll be honest, I do not like Nickelodeon.
Nickelodeon programs often portray adults as stupid. Nickelodeon characters use sarcasm more often than they blink. Nickelodeon tells kids that the world would be better if kids were in charge… and often encourages them to defy authority figures.
That said, you need to own a subscription to Nick Magazine (or, find a kid in your program w/ a subscription and borrow the Mag for a week each time it comes out).
I’m assuming that you’ve read Aaron Reynolds’ The Fabulous Reinvention of Sunday School and you know the power of using character lessons that kids are familiar with and supplementing them with Biblical truths in your teaching. Right? If you didn’t know that, go ask the church next door for their copy of Aaron’s book (because, seriously, everyone needs to own it) and check out what he says about maintaining relevance.
A subscription to Nick Magazine is going to show you, among other things:
- what kinds of images and styles kids are visually drawn to
- what characters and shows are currently popular (once you know this, go TiVo them to get an inside look into your kids’ worlds)
- what the latest fashion and music trends are
- what kinds of products you may want to think about using in your Bible Bucks store… if you have one.
(sidenote: I’m not advocating for or against Reward systems in this post. However, if you’re rewarding kids with twisty straws and what they really want is a Bakugan Booster Pack to go with their Bakugan Launcher there’s a good chance they won’t be motivated to earn your Bible Bucks.)
Nick Magazine does the best job around at pulling together the latest trends and presenting them in a way that kids are drawn to.
Study it. It’ll be worth your while.