Thursday, October 27, 2011
The Star Wars Effect
Contemporary music, television, or movies will never have the same impact. For example, I’m in my 50s, and my generation grew up and came of age in the 1970s. So most of my contemporaries like the same music I do, such as the Eagles, Pink Floyd, The Who, and Led Zeppelin to name a few. In other words, I like just about everything that fits into classic rock.
Star Wars helped shape my worldview. We are the most accepting of media influence at a younger age. That’s why Star Wars had the opportunity to speak to me on such a profound level. I call it “the Star Wars Effect”. As we get older, this effect starts to diminish. Our worldview becomes more rigid and resistant to new ideas. What we see and hear before we’re 20 will have a major impact on the person we will become as an adult.
Here’s my main point. If all of this media influence is capable of shaping our worldview, what impact does it have on our decision to accept Christ as our personal Savior? The Barna Group says that 85% of Christians made their decision to accept Christ before age 20. Furthermore, there is only a 6% chance of becoming a Christian after your teen years. What you see and hear before the age of 20 is absolutely critical to your development as a person.
Films can portray and express the total human condition. We can see ourselves in the characters, both good and bad. Movies can help change our perspective and can lead us to ask questions about our own lives. Films express our wants, fears, desires, hurts and conflicts. Media has a unique ability to educate and enlighten us. Movies challenge us to consider our lifestyle choices as well as the pathway we are currently pursuing.
Considering there is only a 6% chance that you will become a Christian after 20, it’s pretty obvious that our current forms of outreach are not effective. Maybe, we should take a closer look at how we can use media and entertainment to reach the world for Christ.