I just made a playlist of all the cool songs on my computer for my 14 sister-in-law Jenna. What a learning experience. In fact I learned so much and was reminded of things that I had to post about it. Here are the things I learned…
- I am not cool. Doug Fields says that at 25 you will no longer be cool and he is right. I have 12,000 songs on my computer and she only could pretend that she liked 200 of them.
- I am old-She laughed when I asked her if she wanted a song from 2005 and said that is old.
So what does this all mean for someone in youth ministry?
If I had to name a target audience for my ministry it would be a 10-11 grader. I can not naturally know what will reach/effect someone that age. Yes I know God reaches who He wants when he wants but I am talking about the man-made preferences such as media that I believe He has given me to use as insights. Here is what I hope to do from now until I am dead to reach my assigned people group…
- Study up on culture. A youth pastor I respected told me once that he watches MTV every week and listens to and watches things that keep him in the know. That is a step in the right direction but isn’t the final piece. I can try to stay up on all the MTV, Facebook, and Jonas Brothers under the sun but it isn’t enough.
- We must involve the age group we trying to reach and effect in the planning, execution, and evaluation of our ministry and programming. This is not me point the finger at anyone but myself. I have learned this so much as an arrogant 25 year old. My age group thinks that we are cut out of planning and involvement in “big church” because we are young so we do youth ministry and than cut students off in the same manner. I am learning that I must now involve and empower students not just to do certain things at certain times but to be involved in my whole planning process from start to finish. I am already to old to be cool and when left to my self I will default to planning that reaches me and my 25 year old self in the same way that a 60 year old would plan a service not targeted at me.
Hope this makes sense, just some stuff I have been learning and thinking!