Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fun can obviously change behavior for the better

I don’t know if you’ve come across a video going around in the internet lately about how fun can change the behavior of people for the better.  It’s a fantastic video that we all should watch, especially leaders of young people.  Here it is, and watch it in its entirety before reading on:

We can all apply this very simple, yet important principle in our everyday lives.

Apply it in parenting, for example.  I remember this kid, or this toddler (I don’t remember anymore) who absolutely refuses to drink his milk, to the exasperation of his parents.  Then one day, the dad decided to make this into a game.  The next day there were two glasses of milk instead of one, and the child was challenged to a milk-drinking race.  After narrowly losing to his father, the kid gave a very determined stare and exclaimed, “let’s go 2 out of 3!”

This can be applied to eating vegetables, doing chores, you name it.  My kids are all vegetable eaters because I made eating vegetables fun when they were in diapers (two words: colored rice...plus theatrics from yours truly).  This morning, my kids washed the cars...although they were more thorough “washing” each other than the cars, themselves.

As much as possible, I try to apply this to my work as a high school teacher.  I have lots of gags in my lectures, and I try to put as much humor as I can in my exams (in some a. to d. multiple choice questions, one of the choices is something really silly, which the kids appreciate, and some even add their own jokes; “e. Chuck Norris” being especially common).  Hey, one of the biggest reasons why Francis Kong is one of Asia’s most respected and sought after speakers is because he makes his talks so much fun.

But I think the area in our lives where applying this principle is needed most in these trying times is on spiritual matters.

A fellow church goer was once asked, “how come your church is so full of such vibrant, devout, and Godly young people; while the youngsters in our faith’s churches wallow in sin, apathy, even contempt?”

Immediately, the reply came, and it was simply that the church, through the youth ministry, speaks their language and gets into their world.  If you ask me, a large part of their language and world is, in the words of the great Rebecca Black, “FUN, FUN, FUN, FUN, FUNFUNFUNFUNFUN...FUN!”

Give them that, and, like the video so clearly shows, they’re completely yours.  Of course, you also have to make it relevant, God-honoring, and life-transforming.  But, like the pictures on the menu, fun is what’s seen first.

I cringe when I heard the question above and so many others like it (and the ones given by young people are quite venom-filled, such as “I get absolutely nothing from going to my church,” and “If I had a choice between going to church or a dentist’s drill, I’d chose the dentist in a heartbeat”).

The video above shows the easy solution.  Get into their world; speak their language; make it FUN!

A very good example of this is our recent youth camp our church’s teen youth ministry has held in Dahilayan, called SOLD OUT.  Lynn begged and begged me to let her join, but I found her too young (she’s 11, not a teen yet) and didn’t allow.  But I know she prayed really hard for it and God set it up that I had to be in the venue as well, for work reasons.  So she joined...and had the best time of her life.

For four days, 150 teens (and pre-teens like Lynn) were exposed to:

great games like Amazing G-Race (haha, catchy), 4-way tug of war, some weird type of hockey, and much more;

[caption id="attachment_319" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Go Lynn, Go!!"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_320" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Lynn and Charissa...ready to take 'em down!"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_321" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Uh...broom hockey?"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_322" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="tug of war x 4"][/caption]

God-honoring talks by stellar speakers (“A Father’s Love,” “What’s so bad about sin?” among others);

[caption id="attachment_323" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Dr. Allan Melicor"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_324" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="One of the materials"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_325" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Chris Barrameda"][/caption]

and amazing camaraderie with like-minded youngsters, all set on being “completely, totally, unashamedly SOLD OUT to JESUS!”

[caption id="attachment_326" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Victory for the blue team, oh yeah!!"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_328" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The participants"][/caption]

Are these teenagers perfect?  No, of course not.  Teens, especially teens today, have great struggles, and these guys are no exception.  In fact, many of them are downright broken.  However, if the church and church activities are made for perfect people, than you and I, and these teens for that matter, cannot enter nor participate.  But there has to be environments set up to enhance their lives; environments that effectively and inspiringly bring them to the One who loves them, despite their faults and all that they’ve done.  I hope CCF is that church, and that the environment that the guys in the TEENS ministry work so hard to set up is that kind of environment.

Lynn just came back from a fun-filled SOLD OUT Reunion at The Abba’s Orchard.  The summer is not yet over, and for teens, for kids, for college students, you name it...there’s more where that came from.  I will use this website to invite you to whatever these are, if you don’t mind.

All for His glory and for the service of these precious young souls.


  1. nice blog dad, i just hope that the teens will be guided accordingly in interacting with the opposite sex.

  2. [...] Listening to the podcast of a great role model, Paul Tan Chi, in my last post reminded me of a conversation I had with my eldest daughter, Lynn, a few days after she came back from our church’s SOLD OUT youth camp.  [...]


Share this to friends!