The best way to help people is often to meet them where they’re at, and for children, that’s often in front of a screen, where they spend an average of seven hours a day.
It would be easy to immediately see the consequences that could arise from spending such a bloated amount of time staring at digital media. But Erick Goss, the co-founder and CEO of the faith-based, kid-centric streaming service Minno, sees that statistic as an opportunity rather than an obstacle.
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Goss has had quite a storied career, from flying helicopters in the U.S. Navy and serving as a spokesperson in the Pentagon to working in digital marketing at Amazon and developing content with “Veggie Tales” creator Phil Vischer. But it was during his time planting churches that he learned a lot of parents are eager to talk to their kids about spiritual issues — but often don’t know how.
That’s where screen time comes in.
“What I’ve found is, if you give them a show or give them some media, it kind of creates an excuse to have the conversation that they want to have,” Goss told CBN’s Faithwire. “So they’ll watch an episode of ‘Veggie Tales’ and they’ll end up talking about God with their kids.”
Goss recently appeared on CBN’s “Quick Start,” where he discussed the inspiration behind Minno:
For Goss, starting Minno was a natural response to an issue he saw in culture and among Christians.
Down to its name, the Christian streaming service is rooted in the Gospel. Goss explained the name “Minno” was derived from the Greek word “Meno,” which means “to abide,” a nod to John 15:4.
“The idea is what can we do to really create a platform to help families abide with Jesus each day,” he said, “and really make Jesus a part of every day — not just Sundays.”
Although the initial instinct to reject screens might come from a good place, Goss makes the case that doing so is misguided and potentially even counterproductive.
He went on to say that, because “screens are just a medium for storytelling,” the focus should be less on the hours spent in front of them and more on the content kids are consuming while they’re there.
To make his point, Goss referenced renowned filmmaker Steven Spielberg, whom he said likely excelled in his craft because he had a great familiarity with screens and what has since become digital content.
“As I think about raising kids — and I’ve got three teenage daughters — I think so much of it is what are we doing on screens, how are we using it?” he asked. “And then, is there a way that that screen time can actually help me as a parent?”
“Kids can look at screen time as a distraction and mindless entertainment, or it can be a place where they can both be entertained and be transformed to know who Jesus is,” Goss added, noting he is a strong advocate for boundaries but argued the two extremes — no limit or a total rejection — are unwise.
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