A New Kind of Culture
As those involved in youth ministry, “culture” is thrown around constantly. We are always talking about how culture affects our lives as well as the lives our students. We talk about how bad today’s culture is. We even talk about things that are culturally acceptable that shouldn’t be. But I want to talk about creating a new kind of culture. Why do we have to sit back and let the culture dictate our lives? Instead of being victims of today’s culture, let’s work around it and start creating a new kind of culture in our lives. We might not be able to change everything all at once, which would be nice, but we can at least create a new culture for our students. By impacting today’s generation to a different kind of culture, we can start to swing the state of today’s culture even if by a little.
So what exactly do I mean when I talk about a new kind of culture? Well one that is Christ-centered, first and foremost. One thing that I have noticed in our first year of full-time ministry is how little our students seem to know. Maybe it’s because I grew up involved so heavily in the church, or my amazing family, or the Christian education I got through middle school, high school, and college. Whatever the case, many of our students seem clueless when it comes to things of God. This past weekend we had a girls night and a guys night. I got to talk to our girls about our mouths (James 3) and how it relates to being a woman of God. I was appalled when I asked if they knew what Proverbs 31 was, and nobody knew except the student leader with whom I am going through Proverbs 31 verse by verse. It’s things like these that we take for granted. Because we have known things about the Bible for quite some time we tend to think of it as common knowledge, when in reality our students haven’t even heard mention of the idea. Find out what they don’t know – quiz them on simple truths if you have to – and start ingraining the simple principles of a genuine walk with God in their lives! Help them truly know who God is and to truly know His Word.
The other thing I mean by a new kind of culture isn’t really new. It’s not really spiritual either. What I am referring to is knowing classics. This could mean movies (such as Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). It could mean books (such as the Boxcar Children – which I would love to find a full set to have for our future kids.. and myself!). It could even mean “how things used to be”, such as no cell phones, etc. Our students should be “cultured”. They should know such things that may contain valuable lessons, or simply are good, clean fun. They should know what life used to be like, and let that affect how they live their lives. For instance, maybe they’ll be convicted and use their cell phones or facebook less if they realized how much they use it and the fact that the rest of the world survived without it for thousands of years. Classics are defined as something that withstands the test of time. Let’s create a culture, at least with our students, where such classics are made known and embraced. Educate your students and help them appreciate what they have.
A new culture means a new way of thinking. It won’t come easy and it won’t come fast. If we work together, we can accomplish much, and I’m asking you to work with us in creating this. Many of our students don’t have the kind of culture I explained either at school or at home. That leaves one last place, and that’s with us. While it is not our sole responsibility to raise our students in the knowledge and understanding of God, as well as a correct view of the world we live in, some of it still does fall into our laps. As I have said before, we are the last touch points in our students’ lives before they reach the real world. There is much to be molded, but don’t forget to mold them in this area also. It’s amazing how much a little perspective can change things!
Posted on March 28, 2012, in Cultural Issues and tagged Atmosphere, Authentic, back in the day, Bible, books, Christianity, Church, Church Ministry, Communication, Culture, Discipleship, Faith, Family, Family Ministry, God, Jesus, Leadership, Life, Movies, new, Parenting, Pastor, Religion, Student Ministry, Youth Ministry, Youth Pastor, Youth Work. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.