Why Christian Families Need Better Bible Videos for Kids

Bible videos for kids

As you may have heard, Faithlife’s motion graphics designers are hard at work producing Bible videos for kids. The project has been dubbed Bible Sounds: Anthems for Little Theologians, and the team hopes to break the mold of Christian TV shows for kids.

How, you ask? By throwing away the idea that kids’ stories need to have morals.

If kids can only visualize the Bible in moral platitudes, it becomes little more than a big, boring book.

The Bible is living and active (Hebrews 4:12), and its truths permeate all of life. As the church, the stories and adventures we point our kids to should reflect that. Drawing inspiration from the Bible should free artists to tell beautiful, powerful stories of the intersections between faith and life. But sometimes looking at Christian trinkets and other faith-based art, you’d think that biblical inspiration was a burden!

“If my kids are going to watch videos,” animator Fred Sprinkle says, “I want the videos to teach them something about the Bible or spark their imagination with a vision of God’s kingdom.”

Expecting more from Christian kids videos

It’s not just that moralizing is too simple. Sprinkle says, “I doubt the power of songs and videos that directly exhort kids to ‘obey your parents.’ I do, however, totally believe in the power of the stories in the Bible that implicitly show the beauty of obedience to a loving, grace-filled parent, like the prodigal son.”

When people asked Jesus to explain complex theological concepts, he often told parables. 2,000 years ago Jesus embodied the long-since clichéd rule of storytelling, “Show, don’t tell.”

So why do so many Christian TV shows for kids feel the burden to explicitly tell kids what to take away from the story?

Bible Sounds is being produced with biblical literacy in mind. “We focus on the Bible,” Fred says. “We don’t focus on behavior modification.”

While our motion graphics artists have been producing Bible art for years, and a number of Faithlife employees secretly double as talented musicians, the team recruited the help of Pastor Luke Morton and Jeffrey Kranz, founder of Overview Bible to write theologically-rich songs and scripts.

In this video, Fred tells a little more of the story behind Bible Sounds:

Support Bible Sounds on KickStarter and be among the first to share these videos with your kids. You can even download one of their music videos for free!

Comments

  1. says

    I praise God for such innovation! The children are being hit over the head with rules and regulations as it is in society. They need their curiosity peeked first as to our loving, kind Savior, not sent straight to the pit for unruly behavior. God bless your endeavors to save the children.

  2. Daniel says

    After watching these, it looks like we are still waiting for great kids videos. These appear to be more akin to moralistic stories (be nice; be kind; don’t lie; don’t be mean) like most of the children’s products out there rather than larger gospel-narratives a la Zondervan’s “Jesus Story Book Bible” or Crossway’s “Big Picture Storybook Bible.” Faithlife seems to be committing the error of Veggie Tales: turning the gospel into do this and not that, as well as focusing on the gospel imperatives (do! do! do!; don’t! don’!) and neglecting the gospel indicatives (you are children of God, forgiven, redeemed, loved, saved from sin, etc.). In addition, the music seems to be sung by characters who can’t carry a tune let alone much gospel weight. I showed these to another pastor I know who has four children, he was more underwhelmed than I was.

    I was fully ready to help fund the project after watching the promo video; then, I watched the sample music videos and quickly put away my credit card.

    • says

      Hello Daniel,

      I hear you. I agree with you! The last thing I want to do is make a kids show that is all about moralizing and telling kids do’s and dont’s. I don’t want my kids’ relationship with God to be focused around that. That’s one reason our family loves the Jesus Story Book Bible.

      Honestly, we’re new at kids content. We need a little grace. But we’re not new at animating and telling stories, and we are trying our best not to commit the “error of Veggie Tales”.

      My philosophy with Bible Sounds was threefold. I wanted to communicate either Bible literacy, gospel truth, or a kingdom of God concept.

      Examples:

      1. The “Mary Guessing Game” helps kids straighten out the 3 main Marys in the New Testament.

      2. “ABC Theology” is basically the gospel set to the alphabet. It was written by Luke Morton: http://greenlakepc.org/leadership/

      3. “Who is my neighbor” is all about Jesus’ redefining of what “neighbor” means. The animals that the guinea pigs end up helping out are the natural enemies of guinea pigs. (Good Samaritan + love your enemies)

      This is a work in process, and we’re getting better with each song. But I’m confident in the heart and quality behind this project.

      We may not have pulled it off to a Disney level of production, but we’re new at this market.

      Thanks for caring, and keep advocating for the gospel over lists of rules!

      Fred Sprinkle

      • Daniel says

        Hi, Fred,

        I thought the animation was great! Kudos to you guys on that. I’m definitely not looking for Disney-like products.

        And you’re most likely right, my review lacked grace. Shame on me for that, but still feel that the promo video over promised on a product that under delivered on gospel content. I am still reminded of Veggie Tales when I watch the videos than I am “The Jesus Story Book Bible,” “The Big Picture Storybook Bible,” or “The Biggest Story.”

        Hopefully this will be the first of better things to come.

        Sincerely,

        Daniel

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