Yup. I’m getting really old. I’m starting to talk about how different the world and culture was when I was in high school. I think it’s kind of funny to see me morph into my parents. But what’s not funny is the content I see and hear on the phones, iPods, iPads, and all sorts of other communication tools that students are using. I’m trying to figure out how to deal with what I believe is very unhealthy music, videos, and games and internet pages that are seen as acceptable by so many of our youth.
We’ve always insisted on content standards for your youth group events. I think that needs to be a given. I rarely get pushback on that from youth. They understand limits and accept them. But those same students have music on their iPods that is sexually charged and profane. It might be accepted in our world, but I sure wish it wasn’t accepted by the students in our youth groups.
This topic makes for great youth lessons. It’s also a good topic to share with parents of your youth group. When I’ve asked students to analyze the content of the material they watch and listen to, they are pretty quick to point out the aspects that are inappropriate. But what often comes next is a somewhat confident response that the content, though nasty, doesn’t affect them.
Some would argue that this is a topic for parents, and I suppose it it. But I love our youth group far too much not to think it's also a topic for me, for youth ministry, for the church, and for anyone else that can help sort this out.
I would love to hear from others who might feel my anxiety over the content that completely overwhelms our youth. How do we help them to understand the affect unhealthy lyrics, movies, and video games can have on them?
As technology explodes and new methods of communication continue to become available, this challenge isn’t going away.