Mama Caro

Stephanie "Mama" Caro's humorous, straightforward style keeps her busy presenting at conferences, training events, camps, mission trips, retreats, churches, etc. She is Senior Consultant for Ministry Architects and author of "Thriving Youth Ministry in Smaller Churches" and "99 Thoughts for the Smaller Church Youth Worker." Her next book, “Ten Solutions (to Ten Common Mistakes Small Churches Make)” comes out in 2015. Stephanie is a contributing author to several ministry resources in addition to her regular column “Smaller Church Youth Ministry” in Group Magazine. Stephanie and her husband, Steve, live in Houston, TX.

This post has nothing to do with Small Church Youth Ministry. Just God, kids and one woman’s mixed emotions.

I was sitting in a hotel room Sunday night and checked in on Twitter…which was, of course, buzzing about the VMA’s. So I first watched JT – awesome! That’s talent and I teared up a little about his inclusion of N*SYNC in his Vanguard Award. Still a fan of Bye-Bye-Bye. You should see me do the moves. Its…unbelievable.

Miley and Robin? I still don’t know exactly what to say or think. It was the buzz all through three airports Monday as I traveled home.

My thoughts are mixed, on one hand vs the other:

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On one hand: What was she thinking?

The other: Who was doing her thinking for her?

On one hand: She knows better.

The other: Does she really? Who didn’t do stupid stuff in their 20’s? I mean REALLY stupid?

On one hand: She’s probably ruined her career.

The other: No she hasn’t. People will still watch. Who’s fault is that? Theirs.

On one hand: It was SO not children appropriate.

The other: Why were children allowed to watch in the first place?

On one hand: Where was her dad?

The other: She’s a grown woman.

On one hand: She wasn’t alone on stage, btw.

The other: Yeah, what about Robin Thicke?

On one hand: What about her professed Christianity?

The other: Good thing salvation isn’t based on the VMA’s.

On one hand: What about our students? She wasn’t a good role model.

The other: All the more reason for us to do what we do. BE the difference.

On one hand: What must God think?

The other: He loves her (and Robin) and wants THE very best for them. Jesus came for them, too.



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  • Matt says:

    If you were to turn this into a teachable moment, any ideas on how to go about doing so?

    • Mama Caro Stephanie Caro says:

      Great question. Off the top of my head, I’d ask the students what they thought. Make it a conversation and not a lecture. Ask them to take both the pro and con side. Use it as a time to get a head-check on where your students are at with it. Have them write a blog about it as “God.”

      • Kurt Johnston says:

        Your answer to the question posed is such a wonderful piece of youth ministry gold! please turn it into an entire post!

    • Amanda says:

      When I talk to my teens I plan on dialogue-ing about how there are REAL dangers when our friends don’t hold us accountable, and when others around us don’t have our best interests at heart. Another teachable point would be how everyone is focusing on her, but most people are ignoring Robin’s lyrics that glorify date rape. Neither one of them was a good role model, but as a society we tend to jump on the females but ignore the males. Why do we do this? What does it show about cultural values? How can those viewpoints affect teens’ school lives and relationships?

  • I Am Jonah says:

    Very conflicting emotions and thoughts. I think many people were puzzled. I’ll be honest and say I first judged her and then reviewed my initial response.

  • Jay Tucker says:

    Are you running into Christians who think that God doesn’t love Miley Cyrus or Robin Thicke? Also, I don’t know if Robin Thicke has ever professed Christianity, but we do know that Miley has. Christians hold a very real responsibility called witness. It does matter how we conduct ourselves. Christians need to begin holding each other more accountable for sin. We all make mistakes, we all succumb to impulses. However, this was pretty much a calculated effort intended for shock value. What were the intended results? More fame and money for the artists involved.

    • Tym says:

      I am glad I read this article. Surprisingly, this did not come up in my mid-week youth group meeting last night, but my wife and I have discussed it multiple times throughout the week. I definitely agree that we need to remember that Christ came for everyone, regardless of how massive, stupid, or even small, our sin is. Its all equal in His eye, and He came to forgive it all. I also agree that we, as Christians, should be holding each other more accountable for sin because we are told to do so (Gal. 6:1-2, James 5:16, and tons more scriptures speak to this). But, we have to be careful of that accountability because it can easily turn into judgement. If we cross that line, then we are just as guilty of sin as the person we are trying to keep accountable. That’s where I think instances like Miley Cyrus get us into trouble…. we are quick to pass judgement, rather than do something more constructive, like pray for her. Me included!

      Anyway, great points to think about.

  • Marli Brown says:

    Great blog – my thought is that her performance was not adult appropriate either. I wish somebody in the media would bring that up…my adult husband would not watch it because he knows he is a man and she was wearing hardly anything and acting in a way that could cause the heartiest of men to be dragged away and enticed…

  • Jeanne Chapman says:

    We did discuss this in our High School Bible study Wednesday night. The lesson was actually on popularity and what some people will do to be in the spotlight, to be well-known – essentially famous on their high school campus. There was a lot of good discussion and we did talk about Miley and her behavior at the VMAs. We also prayed for her. We had a lot of great discussion about many things and it was definitely Spirit led. There is still much to discuss too. A 45 minute lesson was not enough time to look at all the different issues.

  • […] 2. Miley and Robin? Can’t Put into Words… by Steph Caro […]

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