If you are in the business of working with students in youth ministry, you typically get (if you are lucky) 1% of their time in a typical week. And yet students are spending hours taking in media PER DAY. We are drastically outnumbered when it comes to the time that we have. And time is a battle we won’t win.
But how can we, as mentors of students, have more influence than the media when it comes to helping students process their faith and belief?
First, let’s quickly break down what we’re up against.
The media lies. All the time. From my perspective, there are 2 basic types of lies that the media promote: intentional and unintentional. For the sake of this blog, when I say “media” I’m referring to entities whose business is news, marketing, and/or entertainment related in nature.
The unintentional type is the “values of this world,” different worldview kind of lies that we, who are Christ-followers, might detect. These are subtle messages that come through constantly:
“You’re not beautiful enough”
“You need this”
“This is okay”
“This has great value”
These lies aren’t usually, if ever, spoken directly, but nevertheless they are real.
I’m talking about the intentional type, the kind that is purposefully deceiving. This probably isn’t news to you. I had a personal experience that opened my eyes to this truth. Let me tell you what happened.
I was just returning from a trip with students back to our church campus. When only a handful of students were left who were being picked up, a man burst through the doors saying he needed to call 911. As we found out, his friend was shot at point blank range just moments after we had returned from our trip. This murder had occurred on our church property. The media stories that followed in our medium-market sized city went beyond just telling the details of the story to outright fabrications of so called “facts” about what happened.
From then on I viewed the news and the media differently, wondering how much of what was being said was true.
DOES THE 1% MATTER?
Yes, we may only have 1% of time in a student’s life, but our awareness, love, and prayer can change their life.
Be aware of the lies students are hearing, and tell them TRUTH.
“God loves you” “God cares” “I care” are important statements to be making both in action and verbally as you invest in their life.
No, we can’t compete with the media on entertainment. But where we can ALWAYS win is with LOVE. When we take an interest in a student’s life and actually care about their well being, that cannot be measured in it’s impact.
You may be the only adult who prays for a student. Take them to the throne of God with courage and boldness as you ask for God to reveal His goodness to your students.
Bottom line, in our culture, which is saturated with media, can we overcome and overpower this influence? …the answer is YES!
Jeff Eckart, CEO
Never The Same
© 2016, Never The Same