When Aaron Winneroski ’17 got his first job right out of school — working as children’s video producer at a megachurch in Lexington, Ky. — he thought it would be the first stop in a media career.
Instead, he discovered that what he loves about the job isn’t the media component at all. What he loves is ministry.
“Media got me in the door, but now I just want to work at churches,” Winneroski said. “I’m realizing it’s not even about the media — it’s about making sure kids get Bible lessons in a way they can hold on to. I’ve actually considered going back to seminary to get some sort of ministry degree, which is something I never imagined!”
Winneroski is consummately prepared for the media component of his job. From Day 1, he knew how to use every tool in his studio, creating high-quality videos to illustrate children’s Bible lessons. Currently, he’s creating a video series called “Toybox Tales,” which illustrates Bible stories, drawn mainly from the Old Testament. Animating isn’t the goal, however; it’s just one tool to bring the Bible to life.
“We’re all so passionate about reaching these kids,” Winneroski said. “Sometimes I’m not even doing video work — I might be cutting out papers or cleaning up — but it doesn’t matter. Reaching kids is the ultimate goal.”
One of the challenges of the job is finding ways to turn biblical stories into children’s cartoons while maintaining the integrity of the message.
“We’re doing a story on Moses right now, and I’m trying to figure out how to take this Bible story and make it entertaining but keep it true,” Winneroski said. “What can you add and take away? Can we make up something goofy — is it too far? If anything takes away from the main message, we don’t do it. It’s about finding that balance.”
During college, Winneroski fully expected to spend his career working in media. Asbury’s rich liberal arts curriculum gave him a broad foundation, though, which prepared him for an unexpected change of plans — and he’s found that some of his most important classes were ones he didn’t fully appreciate at the time.
“I’m using not only what I learned in media classes — I’m using what I learned in English classes, bringing in historical things and drawing on Old Testament classes,” Winneroski said. “At Asbury, we learned the complete narrative of Scripture. Now, to create these videos, I’m constantly looking back, reading my Bible and using what I learned at Asbury.”