Identity and lifestyle walk hand-in-hand through the malls that define contemporary culture… It is at the mall that you pick and mix your lifestyle. At the same time, the selection isn’t as individual as it sounds. The choices are still pre-selected by powers outside of our control.
What an awesome quote from “The New Conspirators” and Tom Sine…
In the documentary, “The Merchants of Cool,” it is reported that the consumers are trying to colonize the pre-teen and teen culture through a 450 billion dollar budget.
We need to question ourselves as youth leaders as to whether or not we are portraying the western dream as God’s dream, as Sine puts it. I personally think it is important to use and embrace culture to the extent that the God is evident in all areas of our lives and, as hard as we try, we cannot neglect the influence and voice of God found on the screens and stages that are all around us.
As youth leaders, we are given the task to help youth decode their culture and media that are penetrating their lives. We all know kids are not dumb and are capable to decode it all for themselves, however, it is unlucky for them as they not only have to deal with the marketers and researchers, but they need to deal with a little problem called peer-pressure. That is where the youth leaders of the today come in as we get to do what we love everyday: Hang out with the youth in our churches and show them how they can live a life like Christ. Those should be our two callings as youth leaders, should it not? Teach kids about God and to be present in their lives.
Through the power of presence we are able to move beyond the calling of the mall towards challenging the claims that are presently redefining reality. Once we can challenge this mentality and provide our youth with the same ability, the great revolution of living like Christ within our culture can truly begin.