At ym360, everything we do falls into one of four categories: Bible Study Resources, Training, Community, or Networking. For us, networking means highlighting great content, great people, and great ministries. When we find something valuable, we share it. This happens most frequently on our Flashback Friday posts. But it happens in other ways, as well.
One of the ways we focus on Networking is by linking to solid content we encounter on blogs or websites.
Walt Mueller is one of the most solid voices in youth ministry, especially when it comes to looking at youth culture. His organization, CPYU, has long been an excellent resource to equip youth ministers and parents with the knowledge and tools needed to teach students how to engage culture as Christ-followers.
The post we're linking to today is an in-depth look at some of the major trends Walt is tracking. It's well worth your time to read it, and to pass along to your students' parents.
We've posted below an excerpt of Walt's post "Major Youth Culture Trends You Need To Know." Read the excerpt, then head over to Walt's blog to read the rest.
Major Youth Culture Trends You Need To Know, by Walt Mueller
If youth culture is the soup our kids swim in everyday, what are some of the ingredients that serve to shape the values, attitudes, and behaviors of our kids that warrant our response? If you were to stir up today’s youth culture soup, here’s a surfacy look at eight of the “big” cultural ingredients and trends you must monitor, understand, and respond to as you cross-cultures to do ministry (missons work!) with children and teens.
1. Family Breakdown
Every child you know and minister to was created to live in a family. That’s the place God made for a child to be nurtured into a spiritually, physically, and emotionally mature adulthood. But for a variety of reasons, the family is failing miserably. More and more of your kids are growing up in homes marked by emotional detachment, father-absence, divorce, unmarried parents, single-parents, cohabitation, domestic violence, and sexual abuse. When it comes to the state of the family, things are not the way they’re supposed to be, and our kids are paying the price. And, when the family fails to function as it should, the doors and windows of the home are thrown open, allowing other institutions to raise and shape the kids. And by the time they’re old enough to raise families of their own, a growing number of our kids will have never had a healthy model of family and family roles.
2. Media Influence
Ever wonder who’s raising the kids in today’s world? It’s the world of today’s media. The latest research from the Kaiser Family Foundation reports that the average 8 to 18-year-old is now spending 7 hours and 38 minutes a day engaged with media. . . and that doesn’t include time spent on computers in school or doing schoolwork. . . nor does it include time spent texting! In addition, over 70% of 8 to 18-year-olds have a television in their bedroom. That means they can watch anything and everything, without the benefit of wise and Godly parental filters to help them process what they see in healthy ways, or to make good viewing choices. Perhaps the most powerful media force is advertising, which comes at them 24/7 through every media outlet. With kids seeing upwards of 4000 marketing messages a day, you can rest assured that they’ll never buy every product they see in the ads. But the reality is that the greatest power of those ads is not to sell product, but to sell a way of looking at and living life. Sadly, few if any kids have parents or other adults in their lives taking the time to teach them to think Christianly about this marketing glut.
Click here to head over to Walt's blog and read the rest of "Major Youth Culture Trends You Need To Know."