Monthly Archives: December 2013

5 Teen Culture Trends of 2013

As a youth pastor, youth culture is a passion of mine.  Throughout the year, I do my best to stay current with the trends, cultural shifts, and behavior of this generation.  Here is a summary or review of the youth culture in 2013:2012culturecloud

  1. Violence and bullying is a growing problem among teenagers.  (Dating Violence; Teen kindness & cruelty; Teen Violence; E-Venge)
  2. Social Media is taking over…As if you didn’t know.  (Social Media Report; Information Age; Boys & Girls Messages)
  3. Pornography use is just going to get worse and worse, as it gets more accessible.  (ABC News Report; What Parents Don’t Know; Biggest Issue of Teenagers Today)
  4. Cell Phones used to be for safety…now becoming more dangerous – From car accidents to easy internet access.  (Sleep Texting; Internet Use on Mobile Phones; Texting & Driving; Smartphones Causing Dementia?
  5. They like to play video games…a lot. (Gaming Addiction; Call of Duty; Grand Theft Auto Sales)

Articles are listed after each cultural trend.  Credit is due to http://www.cpyu.org for finding many of these articles and my favorite app Evernote for keeping them organized throughout the year)

 

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2013 Goals Evaluation

If you are a regular reader of my blog, I thank you.  Also, you maybe remember the goals I set for the 2013 ministry year.  Well, it is always a good idea to look back and see how we did on each of those goals.  Below are the 10 goals and the evaluation grade.????????????????????????????????????????

Student Takeover   Broaden & Heighten the expectations of students in ministry & youth group participation.  Continue personal discipleship & Leader Training.

A-.  During the course of the year, we provided multiple opportunities for students to participate and lead.  In fact, we set aside one youth group night per month for the students to lead the entire night – from attendance to set up!  Would have been an A, but without having everyone involved, it wasn’t quite accomplished.  Something to shoot for, 100% involvement!

Parent Connection    Parent Seminar & Improve with weekly youth culture updates

B+.  Much better this year.  Held a parenting seminar, provided youth culture updates each week regularly, and hosted 3 parent meetings.  Improvement needed in the area of parent involvement in activities (more than just providing snacks)

Family Life Planning     Begin offering life planning for student ministry parents.

A. My goal was to begin this, and I have been able to begin this with several families.  Looking forward to more of this in 2014.

Easter Outreach Community    Easter Egg Hunt planned by leadership students

A.  Praise the Lord for how well this went.  I could not have asked for better leadership by the students, and they deserve an A.  Over 125 kids came to our first student-led outreach!

Youth Pastor Network    Launch a network in SW Columbus.

B.  Sure, I was able to launch the network.  But due to schedule conflicts and limited participation, the group was typically only 2 or 3 guys.  Still, it’s a start!

Public School Ministry    Still working on ways to enter public schools to share Jesus.

B-.  Was able to go to school and speak to Special Education department and put my name in for help with counseling.  Other than that, still needs work.  Possibly working on doing an ant-bullying program for the coming year.

Youth Leader Equip    Improve equipping & discipleship in meetings.  More opportunities to equip for service.

B.  Some improvement here of more intentional equipping in leader meetings, discussing ways to mentor/disciple.  Need to broaden scope of training.

Better Documentation of MSM    I’m talking pictures/video.

B-.  Doing a better job with this, trying to post pictures and video when possible.  Still working on getting a MSM video together for the website, which would drastically improve this evaluation grade.

WIN Event    World in Need Event to promote spiritual and physical needs globally

A.  One of my favorite events of the year.  Liked it so much, going to do it again this coming year.  What an eye-opening, worldview forming event this was.  Well worth the time and effort.

Inter-generational Church    Promote events and ways to bridge generations in church, church programs, church events.

B.  Could definitely use improvement, but was able to pull off the best inter-generational event in my ministry career.  Did a “speed-dating” type event, connecting the older & younger generation together.  Still hearing about it even 4 months later!

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Christmas Traditions: Telling The Christmas Story

We all have our Christmas traditions.  Whether it be setting up the Christmas tree, baking the cookies together, or watching a certain Christmas movie (My Top 5:  Home Alone 1 & 2, Elf, It’s a Wonderful Life, Santa Claus and Christmas with the Kranks).

What about a new tradition?  Telling the Christmas story in a special way each year.  Here are some ideas:

Ideas for using The Story of Christmas…Nativity

1. Use your own manger scene figures with the story, or cut out the figures we have provided.

2. Stage each part of the story in a different part of the house.  For example, the angel may have appeared to Mary in the kitchen.  Today’s version of the manger could be the garage.  The shepherds would be outside in the yard.  King Herod would be in your best room.

3. Read one part of the story every night for a week before Christmas, or load up the camel (that would be dad) and give the kids a ride from place to place all in one night.

4. Give each of the children a story figure to hold and allow them to act out the story as you read it.

5. If your children can read well allow them to narrate the story.

6. Incorporate household props to make it fun.  For example,  a dish towel with a shoe lace tied around a child’s head makes a great shepherd hat.  Crowns can be cut out from this template for the kings.  A pastel sheet wrapped around a child and tied with a rope makes a great Mary dress.  Wrap you angel with a white sheet and put a little garland on her head.

7. The Magi were the gift givers from which we get the gift giving tradition of Christmas.  An effective way to limit gifts and point children back to the real meaning of gifts at Christmas is to tell your children they will get 3 gifts just as Jesus received 3 gifts.  If your children believe in Santa you can throw in a fourth gift from him or have Santa fill the stockings.

8. End your story with a birthday celebration – A Baby Jesus Birthday Party.  We recommend red velvet cake as a festive tradition your children will beg for.  This is our favorite Red Velvet Cake recipe.

(This excerpt comes from iMom blog, and want to give them credit for their work.  The full blog article can be found here.)

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Teen Culture Survey

At each major event, I like to require a registration card for some sort of give-a-way.  Attached to the registration card, is a short little survey to help gauge teen culture.  Here an example:

Which one is better?register

(Circle Answer)

 Drink:    Pop     Energy Drink     Water

FREE:  Shopping Spree at Favorite Store    OR

 Concert Tickets to Favorite Band

 Dislike More:    School      Chores     Miley Cyrus

For those that are curious, here’s the results of the survey:

#1 Drink of Choice:  Pop (or Soda for my East Coast Friends) – kinda surprised energy drinks only got 1 vote.

Would rather have a Shopping Spree at Favorite Store…although malls are going down in attendance.

Dislike More:  Tie between School & Miley Cyrus!  No comment.

 

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