8 thoughts on “thoughtful posts on youth culture”

  1. This is brilliant.

    I use my mySpace account to continue in ministering to the youth group I’ve moved away from. I’ve received messages and comments in the middle of the night from teen girls reaching out for advice and encouragement.

    Is there a way that YS could start educating youth workers and volunteers to start “hanging out” with the kids in their youth groups, on mySpace? Maybe have a mySpace forum at the next NYWC for those that have concerns or questions about joining? In doing so, you’re not only in contact with the youth that attend your church but all of their non-church-going friends from school as well. I’m not saying that to make it into a convert-the-teens-of-America-to-Christianity thing but to help in understanding the magnitude of lives that are impacted by adding one “friend” to your list. These kids just need to know that they have an ear that’ll listen to them and possibly offer a solution if they decide to send you a message or bulletin at 3am. Also, if they want to browse your profile and/or blogs, they have the freedom of doing that (approaching you) whenever they feel a need.

    This is my own little survey here but I truly believe that the teens of today are spending more time online (and on mySpace) than they are with watching television. It’s an amazing avenue for communication with youth.

  2. The my space thing is so interesting.

    Everytime I am on there and seeing what is happening there, I am reminded of Chap Clark’s “Hurt”

  3. Hey Mark

    I have posted some more thoughts on youth min. If you’d like to link to them then that’d be cool. If not I won’t be offended!

    I don’t think they are all that sensational, but I have tried to point to some ‘answers’ in the current scenario.

    Bless you mate


  4. The myspace thing is a really tough subject for me. I understand that the kids are there, I’m just not 100% sure that we should be. From a guy’s perspective, the whole myspace system is just oozing with sexual content and suggestive images. My fear is that by being on there we not only endorse it for those who are already plugged in, but we also encourage others to hop on board as well. Right now our ministry has a myspace page with very little on it, it mostly just points to our main website. I have considered taking it down, if for no other reason than for our sexually confused middle school boys. In an age where so many of our pastors, parents and other leaders struggle with sexual purity, I’m very weary of a site that promotes it so well. I’m still on the fence with this one, but try this test for me and see what you get. Try going to myspace.com and clicking through 3 pages without finding any sexual content. I’ve done it several times and not succeeded once. Just some food for thought.

  5. Sean,

    I’m gonna sound harsh here and I’m sorry if it offends you but I am so tired of watching adults run away from kids that need help because the adults are afraid of condoning the negative aspects of the culture if they spend any time in it.

    Do you refuse to take youth out in public for fear of enticing them to the scarcely-clad females or the billboards and posters condoning alcohol, cigarettes and sex?

    I just went to mySpace again and was on it for 20 minutes without having seen one sexually explicit scene. I see more when I turn on the television for 5 minutes. I have only found the content you are referring to, a handful of times and I’ve been on mySpace for over a year. Maybe it’s the profiles that you are choosing to click on. You’ll find that kind of stuff ANYWHERE on the internet, it doesn’t only affect mySpace. Avoiding this amazing way of communicating with teens because it has some negative traits to it is just as dangerous as my parents never speaking to me about drugs and alcohol when I was growing up for fear that I would turn to it if the topic was approached. Their approach didn’t work and neither will yours. These kids will find ways of getting tempted whether you are on there or not. Have you even considered that maybe they’re getting more information about it, and negative at that, from kids at their own school? We need to TEACH our children how to live in the culture they are in as opposed to running from it for fear that they’ll be tempted. If we don’t teach them the right way to live, then what happens when the only info they are fed is from kids telling them which porn sites to visit and where they can get alcohol? We can’t avoid the world because *we are living in it*. Instead of housing ourselves in a bomb shelter for fear of infection, let’s learn how to bring light *TO* the darkness.

    Again, I’m not upset with you Sean, I am just so irritated with this way of thinking. I’ve seen too many lives hurt and lost because of this mentality.

  6. Jen,

    No worries, I’m not easily offended. I would ask you to re-read my comments, because I think you read something that isn’t there. I’m not preaching that we run and hide and never talk about the subject, in fact, if you read what I posted you’ll realize that my ministry has a myspace page. And your “Maybe it’s the profiles that you are choosing to click on” comment was a bit of a low blow, but still no worries. What bothers me is the “TRUE: Live.Love.Learn” ad that features a girl in a barely-there bikini, with the catch phrase “It’s nice to be naughty, find sexy singles here”. This isn’t any part of any profile, it’s just the ad that pops up almost every time I log in. The other day it was gone for a little while and an “Ice Age 2” ad was in it’s place. And that’s just one quick example.

    So, I’m with you 100% that we need to teach our kids how to live in culture, but at what point do we draw the line? As you can see, I still have a myspace page, so I’m not off the fence on this one yet. One quick look at xxxchurch.com though, and anyone can see that the level of men (espescially Christian men) dealing with pornography and sexual purity is epidemic right now. So basically, I’m not saying “Hey, let’s all go run and hide from myspace”, but I am wondering how we intelligently and sensitively address this issue and help protect our young boys without merely sheltering them.

    So, I think we’re on the same side here. I don’t want to pick a fight or anything like that, but would love some serious dialogue back and forth on the subject.

  7. I appreciate you understanding that I wasn’t attacking you. Maybe I did misunderstand your comment, “I understand that the kids are there, I’m just not 100% sure that we should be.”. I definitely think that we DO need to be on there. I think we need to understand what exactly is going on and how to “combat” it or teach kids how to deal with it. We should be doing the same thing in preparation for them entering school and *anywhere* in the public eye.

    In the last few days, I still haven’t come across any questionable ads when getting on to mySpace. I’m not saying they don’t exist, I’m just saying it’s been alot more absent from my visits than from yours. I have seen them, almost everyday, when I go to hotmail to check my email though.

    I do understand your point in fearing for young boys (and all boys and men for that matter) and them being exposed to “the barely exposed”. However, my problem with wanting to protect them from mySpace is that the problem with sexually explicit ads isn’t only on mySpace. It exists in every facet of the internet; from commom websites, to email sites, and to blogging sites. These type of ads are everywhere.

    I would suggest that any male (or female) having problems with sexual impurity, should probably not be “surfing” the internet at all…not only mySpace. I’m just wondering how far do people go to avoid temptation? It’s all around, including the schools these kids go to AND the churches they attend. In a day and age of so many distractions from communicating with people, I think any form of communication with youth needs to be embraced and utilized.

    After moving several states away, I’m just encouraged that the girls in my youth group still *want* to maintain contact with me. I’m clinging to that open line…

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