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In a distant land, not long ago, a movie captivated audiences about the search for hope in a time of chaos.

For some of us this movie might have been “Star Wars”, for others it might be the “the Book of Eli”. For still others it might be “Napoleon Dynamite” or “The Dark Knight.”

Whichever movie it might be, we have to realize that pop culture often speaks about or even into the world in which we are living. And often times it is our youth who know the story being told and for some reason it speaks to them, sometimes superficially and in other times, on a deeper level.

As leaders or parents, we have an incredible opportunity in front of us when it comes to discipleship in those times when pop culture mends (or blends) its way into our lives and the lives of our children and teens. So what might these opportunities look like for us? I am glad you asked.

Here are some things we can do:

  • Be aware of the music or movies your family is listening to or watching. Part of faith nurturing requires us to navigate through the stuff the world places in our way and seek out where God is, or isn’t, speaking to us through them. A wonderful online tool for this is Plugged In where they spend time reviewing movies, TV shows and music.
  • Watch the movie with them. Let our children and youth know you care about that they are taking in and then be ready to discuss the movie afterwards.
  • Be aware of what our children and youth are watching on YouTube. People can spend a lot of time taking in this medium and without controls or boundaries the content can be questionable.
  • Listen to their music and be ready to ask questions about the band, performer and the lyrics.

The next installment in the Star Wars movie series is coming out on December 18th and it is called “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. As we journey through the Advent season preparing for the birth of Jesus Christ, take a moment and remember that our hope comes from our God who gave us his son as the ultimate savior.

Pop culture can often help us understand that story better or pull us away from it. As leaders, parents and churches, our call is to help forming minds understand which is which.

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