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General Ministry

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.

hourglassLag…

really…

(yawns, stretches)

stinks.

My computer drives me crazy on a daily basis for this very reason. Sometimes it locks up because I’m multi-tasking beyond its memory capabilities. Other times it takes a long time to process a video I’m downloading or creating.

You have this in your life, too.

Your smartphone that never seems to operate as fast as you want it to. The cashier doesn’t get you through the line as fast as you want. Your route home in traffic is slower than normal for no reason that you can tell.

And then there’s generational lag.

Watch this video and see if you can relate at all to being in a room full of teenagers and yet being off in some category of the conversation:

What is that category for you?

For example, as hip and in-touch as I assume I am, I’m always amazed at how little I know of who’s who at music/teen awards ceremonies. How have you ever felt like that over something in culture… or simply in terms of what’s happening in your student’s lives?

How can we reclaim our lag time?

2 COMMENTS

  • […] One of the more common questions I am asked by new youth workers is about my method for staying abreast of popular trends.  While we could ask why they are sitting in my office, and not someone else’s, could be explored (our community has an almost chronic tendency to hire fresh youth workers cheaply, and therefore we tend to see a large turnover in the paid youth staff sector) and may be discussed at a later date.  But their question, and a question I see bandied about often, seems to be one dealing with relevance.  But the mistake made by these questing youth leaders, besides coming to me, appears to emerge from a confusion between what is relevant to the culture students exist within and how to relate to teens.  While the two may be related, they are distant cousins at best.  If this trend were only visible in new youth workers, my musings would be unnecessary (even more so than they already are), however, I continue to see this same dogged practice amongst my peers who have been in ministry for as long as I, and, unfortunately, some longer.  It should be noted that I truly believe that the intentions of such a youth worker emerges from a desire to see students connected to God, rather than some ill-fated attempt at staying young or grasping at past glories.  My concern, instead, emerges from the systems, or the lack thereof, we put into play when we chase the trending, white rabbit.  A recent post over at Simply Youth Ministry, brought this tension to light as they defined the disconnect between students and youth workers as cultural lag (if you missed the post you may find it here). […]

  • […] One of the more common questions I am asked by new youth workers is about my method for staying abreast of popular trends.  While we could ask why they are sitting in my office, and not someone else’s, could be explored (our community has an almost chronic tendency to hire fresh youth workers cheaply, and therefore we tend to see a large turnover in the paid youth staff sector) and may be discussed at a later date.  But their question, and a question I see bandied about often, seems to be one dealing with relevance.  But the mistake made by these questing youth leaders, besides coming to me, appears to emerge from a confusion between what is relevant to the culture students exist within and how to relate to teens.  While the two may be related, they are distant cousins at best.  If this trend were only visible in new youth workers, my musings would be unnecessary (even more so than they already are), however, I continue to see this same dogged practice amongst my peers who have been in ministry for as long as I, and, unfortunately, some longer.  It should be noted that I truly believe that the intentions of such a youth worker emerges from a desire to see students connected to God, rather than some ill-fated attempt at staying young or grasping at past glories.  My concern, instead, emerges from the systems, or the lack thereof, we put into play when we chase the trending, white rabbit.  A recent post over at Simply Youth Ministry, brought this tension to light as they defined the disconnect between students and youth workers as cultural lag (if you missed the post you may find it here). […]

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