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Back to the Future (of Spiritual Growth)

 —  August 29, 2013 — 5 Comments

Marty McFly.

Biff Tannen.

Doc Brown.

Depending on when you were born, you’ve likely either had a full-fledged theater experience or an at-home movie viewing of Back to the Future. It’s arguably one of the better movie franchises to come out of the 1980′s, thanks to its writing, directing and acting.

backtothefutureLet’s not forget the car either. Seriously, I still want a DeLorean.

A website called the A.V. Club compared how the actors appeared in the original movie (with makeup that aged them 30 years) with how they now look 30 years later.

It’s an interesting commentary on pop culture.

Speaking of the 80′s, that was really the era when the average household began owning a video camera. Since then, we’ve gone from having to lug around large TV-reporter-sized units to putting phone-sized HD tech into our pockets.

I wonder… as a youth worker, have you by chance kept any video footage of students over the years?

  • Ever record a baptism?
  • Did you snag the moment they gave their lives to Jesus during a camp altar call?
  • Have you ever caught them talking about what matters to them?

Where is that footage? Is it just collecting dust, or could you serve those old students by doing something with it?

  • What if you had a pizza party with some students who graduated a few years ago and showed them some highlights from when they were active in youth group?
  • How about creating a Facebook page where teens (likely now young adults) could share their favorite pics and videos in one place?
  • Is there some guy (or gal) in his twenties who needs to receive a DVD in the mail of a missions trip you all went on together 10 years earlier?

Maybe we need to take a cue from pop culture and help the present-day people go “back to the future” they said they knew God wanted them to live. I did this once by showing a girl, who got wrapped up in guys her senior year, footage of her in her freshman year declaring she was going to put God first in her relational life.

What do you think this value could look like in your context?

Thank you for loving students!

-Tony

Tony Myles

Tony Myles

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Tony Myles is a youth ministry veteran, author, speaker, volunteer youth worker and lead pastor of Connection Church in Medina, Ohio... and he really likes smoothies.

5 responses to Back to the Future (of Spiritual Growth)

  1. Our youth group throws a huge bash for the students when they graduate High School which includes photos and video of them at every event since they started attending church. We also give them a dvd of the video as well as all the pictures we collected. It is one of the most looked forward to events of the year for all of the youth. Years later I still get comments on the videos and how thankful they are to have a record of their time in youth. Its a simple, fun job that means the world to them. How can i not do it?

  2. I LOVE that idea. I loved your point about an old student who might need to see a DVD from a mission trip a few years ago. what a great, simple way to reconnect someone who may be getting father and farther away. (Plus, I love these movies!) haha. Thanks for the post!

  3. So, I honestly think this is a great idea. I look back at my life and I wished someone could pull out an old baptismal picture or even the video. I would love to see that moment where I made the most decision in my life. It would be like watching a wedding video, and reliving the moment where you made the most important decision to be with a single individual for the rest of your life. There are certain memories that one just longs to relive.

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