Sometimes ministering to students can feel as challenging as ministering to an unknown tribe in a remote jungle. The language is confusing, the clothing is strange, the music is bizarre — even the food is unidentifiable! However, if we are committed to reaching students with the Gospel, we must be willing to take up the task of understanding youth culture.
This isn’t a challenge to devote yourself to “cultural relevance.” It’s a call to equip yourself to help your students see their culture through the lens of God’s Word. This informed perspective enables you to tailor your message in a way that students can more easily connect the truth with their own lives. It can help you stay ahead of the trends that so easily entangle today’s students. It can help you inform parents about possible pitfalls and potential opportunities in current trends.
To help you better understand what is influencing and reflecting the worldview of today’s youth, we’ve posted links to some highly influential websites.
**A word of Caution: Crossings does not recommend all content on these websites. Proceed with caution. Most importantly, do not let cultural relevance trump Biblical literacy and a commitment to sharing the Gospel through the context of relationships.
Here are a few tips to help you study your students’ culture:
Go here to see what your students are listening to. Students use music to identify with each other. The type of music you listen to says a lot about you to other teenagers, when you’re a teenager.
Go here to see what your students are watching. See what is trending and what is popular. Be careful though — YouTube is like a time warp and Wednesday is coming.
Mashable is a social media and networking website. Keeping up with what’s new in this world is next to impossible unless you’re between the ages of 15 and 22. Skimming the articles here can be helpful when students talk about Snapchat, Vine, or Hadouken Memes. Don’t know what those are? Neither did we until we checked out Mashables.