Monthly Archives: February 2009

Katie Perry & Today’s Teenager

I’m not trying to cause this pop star more heartache, as that famous sign did.  However, much can be learned from Katie Perry’s experiences and where youth culture has been headed for the last 50 years. 

We know from the studies and surveys that young people are leaving the church.  Katie Perry, who used to be a Christian artist, is just another example.  Youth ministries are comprised of young people searching for answers, searching for authenticity, and searching to be known.  In this interview with Katie Couric, two powerful statements are said that reveal a sad commentary on our present youth ministry state. 

First, the producer of her album, in order for her to sell, told her to “rebel against what you know”.  What a statement!  This is the world speaking to your teens.  In order to be sucessful in the world, you are going to have to rebel at some point to what you know, and what you’ve been taught it Sunday school, youth group, or Sunday service.  And that is what these students are doing!  Pop culture dominates their thoughts, video games dominate their time, and the entertainment world dictacts their actions.  God is waiting on the outside, and we need to help let Him into the picture.

Finally, have you heard the words “I’ll start reading the Bible when I’m older” or “I’m just having fun now, when I grow up I’ll do all that boring stuff”.  In this interview, we hear “came from this, and you can always come back to it”.  Many of those teenagers in youth ministries across the country know the truth, they just choose to live another way.  I’m not in a position to judge Katie Perry because I don’t know her personally.  But her words are heard in youth rooms everywhere…and teens need to know simply knowing about Jesus is not enough.  Giving up on Jesus can earn you a grammy, but giving your life to Him, now that deserves an award.

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Super Bowl Illustration

When a player speaks of the owner of a professional sports team, how do they address them?  Rarely do you hear Dallas Cowboys players call their owner “Jerry”, or the New England Patriots owner is not referred to as “Bob”.  On the contrary, they call their owners Mr. Jones or Mr. Craft.  There is respect there.  These owners pay their salary, provide them with a job, and organize the team around them.

Well, what about the One that paid the penalty of sin, provided eternal life to all who believe, and organized the stars in the heavens?  The Lord God created the heavens and the earth, he deserves our respect & praise.  Sure, he may not be a NFL team owner, but He holds the whole world in His hands! 

 

Intergenerational Youth Ministry

Much has been said about producing youth ministry that is “intergenerational”.  This seems to be the answer from some “youth experts” to produce young people that will be the next generation of leaders in the church…when most churches are just struggling to keep these graduating students to remain in church.  Most of the concepts make sense and should be considered in the least.  I wouldn’t label it as THE answer for the mass departure of students from church after high school, but I think it deserves the title as one of the solutions.

Here is an example of the an article that encourages the intergenerational youth ministry.  Personally, I will do my best to fulfill the majority of these goals.  What about you?  Do you consider this model to be appropriate for youth ministry?  Here are some questions I’d like to highlight from the article:

Like a family business, who will take this over when we are gone?

What is our ultimate legacy?

What do we want to be known for?

How do we develop more relationships?

How do we know we are successful?  What is the fruit we are looking for?

Some good questions for all of us to at least consider.  Let me know your thoughts.