It never ceases to amaze me that out of all the stuff that is going on in the world celebrities and famous people are talked about and televised more than anything else when it comes to the news. And I get the fact that it comes with being a celebrity or famous, but what I don’t like is we’ve become a culture hooked on drama.

So once again Bieber is in the news for breaking the law and Richard Sherman is in the news for throwing out how great he is in someone’s face. Now, the one thing I believe these two have in common is the same thing that I believe we all have in common, and that is the ability to fall prey to stupidity.

When I heard about Bieber/Sherman I immediately thought about my students and how they will respond to this news. I know that they are reading and watching drama like this unfold. There friends via social media are all talking about it. I can hear the football team defending Richard Sherman. And I’m sure the debate on Justin Bieber is going something to the tune of Justin Bieber is stupid or poor Justin Bieber. The debate on Richard Sherman is he’s either a loud mouth bully or he has the right to speak his mind since he’s a Stanford graduate and pro bowler. And since I know my students I ask myself the question how can I use what happens in today’s culture to help my students grow more like Christ. Here’s what I would share with my students.

  1. No one has the right to judge the person who falls prey to stupidity, because we would totally be unrightfully casting the first stone. We’ve all said stuff we wish we could take back now, but we weren’t thinking that during the time we were saying and doing the stupid stuff.
  2. Who you are in secret will come to light. It’s just a matter of time before it shows. So be who you want to be without the limelight. whether your limelight is just the kids at your school or fifty million people across the globe.
  3. Don’t be concerned with just the stupid acts you commit or Justin Bieber/Richard Sherman commit, but be concerned with why the act was committed in the first place because often times there you find the root of the problem which will lead to a solution that will bring about real change.
  4. Choosing the people you surround yourself with is one the most important decisions you’ll ever make. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character”. Show me the people you hangout with and I can pretty much tell you where you’ll most likely end up.
  5. There is a verse in Ephesians that says “Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”(Eph 5:17) this verse really sums up what I would share with my students who found themselves stuck in stupidity. I would say Don’t just do what God wants you to do, but also understand why He wants you to do it. Focus more on understanding God’s plan for your life and less on trying not to act thoughtlessly. And you will see yourself falling less into stupidity. And even if you do fall it will be way different then the times before you made God’s plan a priority.

I guess my thought to you as youth leaders is based on Ephesians 5:16 which says, “Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.” Now, I know some of you scholars may say, “Well contextually the writer wasn’t thinking in this vein,” in which my reply to you would be “shut up…I’m the Richard Sherman of youth ministry, you better recognize” hahahaha just kidding.

I think I can make a case that Jesus followed this verse not only in how he lived, but also in how did ministry. I will probably forever ring the bell that youth workers who minister ignorant of culture are most likely not doing very sustainable youth ministry. So I would say never be afraid to use culture to teach biblical truth.

Would love for you to add your thoughts. GO!!!!!!

hope it helps,

ac

I have never been one for celebrity gossip. I sort of “keep up” with it by looking over the racks as I check out of the grocery store. Truthfully, if I wasn’t in youth ministry or the parent of teens I don’t know if I would care.

In the last year it has appeared that Justin Bieber has been a train wreck. He had some crazy antics with a monkey in public. A friend of mine told me he had been “spotted in a church, breaking down as He rededicated his life to the Lord.” I never followed up on the truthfulness of the story and thought briefly, “I hope it’s true.” Then all of a sudden the announcement was made that he was “retiring” at 19, egging his neighbors house, and of course, his smiling mug shot made the news this past Thursday. Truthfully, it made me sad.

Justin Bieber

My husband and I got into a discussion today about whether or not it’s fair to ask children and teens to bear the weight of the spotlight. We are a country fascinated with voyeurism. Reality television, entertainment news, social media and the Internet give us the illusion we know people we will never actually meet. Young teens are put out in the public eye and expected to be able to handle it. I am almost middle-aged and don’t know if I could.

Then earlier today a friend of mine posted this article from NPR:

“We are well aware that news outlets, websites and social media seem to be obsessed with the news that pop star Justin Bieber was arrested in Miami Beach early Thursday morning.

According to the Miami Herald, he’s been charged with “DUI, resisting arrest and drag-racing.” The Herald adds that:

“When stopped by police in his yellow Lamborghini, Bieber barraged officers with a string of F-bombs, babbled incoherently, refused to get out of his car and, when he finally stepped out, declined to take his hands out of his pockets, according to the police report.”

We’re not going to join in the piling on or joking about the 19-year-old Bieber’s increasingly notorious behavior.

Instead, we suggest you watch this video from 2007 when The Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson talked about why he was not going to joke about another young pop star’s much-publicized problems. Ferguson, an alcoholic, spoke from the heart about how he was feeling “uncomfortable about making fun of these people” — troubled stars such as Britney Spears.

“We shouldn’t be attacking the vulnerable people,” Ferguson said. As he pointed out, celebrity Anna Nicole Smith died of a drug overdose. So did pop superstar Michael Jackson. Both had been the objects of endless fascination and jokes.

They need help, not ridicule, said Ferguson.”

 (Read the rest of the story and see the Craig Ferguson video HERE

In the 12-minute video, Craig Ferguson tells his story of alcoholism and admits at his lowest point he contemplated suicide. It’s so easy to point fingers or even shake our heads at the likes of the Miley Cyrus’ and Justin Bieber’s of the world. It’s a given that we shouldn’t poke fun at them, or is it?

Should we feel sorry for them?

Should we be praying?

Should we care at all?

When it comes to the teens in our lives. Do we use these lives as examples of choices NOT to make?

What do you think?

Leneita

@leneitafix



I was asked recently why/how I got into youth ministry. I told him clearly it was for the money!

After we had a good hearty laugh (sigh), I described how my great youth ministry experience as a student and in particular thinking my youth pastor was super cool got me thinking about getting into the ministry for myself. Besides giving him the Sunday school answer of “because God told me to” these were definitely catalysts the Lord used to make his calling me into ministry much more clear as I graduated high school.

This answer, however, spurred another question. He said, “You seem like a guy who students would think is cool, but you’re also a young guy. Will your coolness expire as you get older?”

I told him confidently that love, care, presence, and availability for students and a passion for God will always make me cool. It’s not about my clothes (lame), my knowledge of Justin Bieber or Kate Upton trivia (lacking), or my taste in movies and TV (vastly superior). It’s about pursuing God and being willing to engage students so they can do the same. I told him there were tons of youth pastors in their 40′s and 50′s and even more volunteers that age and older. It was a great opportunity to share the awesomeness of youth workers, especially the veterans!

I only hope I can be an effective youth worker 20 years from now and not take the sucker bait to accept the demotion to adult ministry… Well, unless God tells me to.

Matt Johnston is the High School Pastor at Journey of Faith in Manhattan Beach, CA. If you’re into it, you can check him out on twitter here and he blogs occasionally here. Also, be praying for him as he’s a Dodgers fan and baseball season is about to start. It will be a rough 6 months.

Drummer Boy Opener

 —  November 15, 2011 — Leave a comment

Drummer Boy from HSM on Vimeo.

Amazing cover of Justin Bieber’s new Christmas single Drummer Boy to open up our services for the Do Something series. Is it a little early for Christmas? Yup, but students packed Operation Christmas child boxes this weekend so we thought it would be fun to help get them in the Christmas spirit during the packing. Fun!

JG