The life of America’s teenagers

I started writing this post about the portrayal of teenage-hood in Green Day’s music video, Jesus of Suburbia, but became so burdened by the seemingly impossible task before us as youth workers that I had to stop and approach this from a positive angle instead. Just watching the video breaks my heart, making me wanna reach through my computer monitor and say, “Dude, someone loves you!” It contains some graphical images that I do not feel comfortable posting here on my site, so if you decide to watch it, be forewarned that it is very real. It’s clear that they’re not holding anything back about how they feel, and apparently America’s teenagers identify with this since the song has been on the charts for some time now. I know I’ve posted about this before, but I’ll say it again, “Why can’t our churches be as real, open, and transparent as those in secular world?” How can we so blatantly miss the fact that this is what youth are looking for? They’re not looking for hype, big programs, or even “cool” youth leaders. What they want is to be real and authentic in an environment where they feel safe and accepted. Green Day’s video shows that this isn’t happening at home and maybe sometimes you think you’ve found it in a peer, but even that can quickly turn around to stab you in the back. Ugh, it’s all so heart-wrenching.

*deep breath* Okay, so after watching the video I decided I needed a good “pick-me-up” and that this entry should do more to offer encouragement for the answer that lies in Christ rather than point out what most of us already know to be true about America’s youth. Jeremy Camp’s video also addresses pain in life but from a much different perspective. His message offers hope, a message I intend to communicate to as many students as possible.

Posted on November 10, 2005

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