Diagnosing Youth Culture Trends

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Word of Life Fellowship is committed to reaching youth with the gospel of Christ. In this panel discussion, leaders and teachers from Word of Life discuss current trends affecting teenagers in the church, covering communication with technology, popular sins, living in contradiction, godly role models, and more.

Before you watch the panel discussion, watch this funny video about the way that trends influence the life of the teenager.

Your students probably do not tie their shoes together or wear toilet seats, but they feel the same pressure to conform to current trends that may seem just as ridiculous to you.

In this first clip, the panel discusses communication and technology issues and the problem of trendy sins.

Communication in youth ministry is difficult. Technology has created a need for youth workers who can communicate by more means than standing to deliver a message, and speaking to students about sin has the added difficulty of a culture that embraces some sins as slight problems rather than offenses against God.

How have you struggled with incorporating technology into your ministry work? Have the students resisted or jumped on board?
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What "hip sins" do you see affecting your youth ministry? How do you address these in your group?
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The panel continues this discussion by discussing why teens in this generation trend toward the contradiction of embracing their faith and wordly living.

The panel warned about the trend of contradiction. Many students have no problem separating their faith and secular lives. This embrace of the secular leads to sins which are not random but all stem from a few core issues.

  • The breakdown of the family
  • The lack of real relational intimacy
  • The unfilled need and longing for God

Do you see the connection between the symptoms (the hip sins) and the core issues? How does one lead to the other?
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Read Romans 1:16–32. How do you see the sinful substitutes that Paul lists in the culture of your students? How can you use this passage to teach your students to marry their faith and secular life?
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In the final clip of this panel discussion, the speakers encourage youth workers of all ages to keep their relationships with students a top priority while modeling a life that has been transformed by Christ.

No matter what life stage we are in, we have something to offer students if we accept them in the love of Christ. Adults that love kids this way are the kind that students look up to and look to emulate.

What do you in particular have to offer to students from your life stage and experience?
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What parts of your life are worthy of imitation? What parts are currently not?
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In the end, no matter what problems your youth face, Jesus is the answer. All of us in leadership will do well to love kids through their problems and listen to their struggles, but always bring them back to the gospel.

For more RightNow Media training posts and teaching videos with Word of Life Fellowship, click here.