Recent studies are saying that teenagers want to be famous. YPulse breaks it down to what they think young people are really saying:
1. They want to be validated and to receive constant attention and feedback (vs. feeling isolated and ignored)
2. They want to be discovered (not have to stress so hard about getting into good schools, what they will do for a career)
3. They want to be rich (not have to worry about money, be taken care of, possibly have money to take care of their own parents who may be struggling…and yes, to have lots of stuff)
4. They want to perform and entertain people (we all like to grab the karaoke mic once in a while, sing in the shower or fantasize about being Danny or Sandy in the Broadway production of “Grease.” The fact that reality TV is creating “American Idols” like Fantasia and Carrie Underwood who came from nothing, fuels this desire even more.)
5. They want to have fun (The hedonistic lifestyle that is sold to them through pop culture from “Entourage” to MTV looks like fun, does it not?)
The first one we can (and should) do in youth group.
The second we can also do, not in the sense of academics and careers, but in seeking them out from the community. Then go back to item #1.
The third we can’t provide, but we can teach and model lives that find security in Christ instead of money.
The fourth is easy — use them on-stage at youth group events. What’s not so easy, however, is teaching them at the stage is a platform for pointing kids to Jesus, not a place to gain selfish attention.
Hopefully we accomplish the last point, too. Youth group should be fun, not as it’s primary focus, but definitely as a defined core value.
Posted on January 16, 2007