Yesterday, things changed whether we realized it or not. Yesterday, the NFL draft was wrapping up, and almost all the players that were expected to be chosen had gone, except one. It wasn’t for any lack of coverage for this player. ESPN radio was doing an excellent job of ramping up the drama in days two and three of the draft, much like they had done on day one for Johnny Manziel. This player was the SEC Conference defensive player of the year, Michael Sam. If you didn’t follow any of the coverage, Michael Sam was the first NCAA Football player to be openly gay. He is now the first openly gay NFL player, chosen as the 249th pick in the 7th round by the St. Louis Rams. ESPN had television cameras at the ready at the home of Mr. Sam and his boyfriend, waiting for the possible news.The cameras were rolling and filmed all the excitement and “the kiss.”
Youth workers, here is an opportunity. Some of your students (and parents) saw this, some are talking about this, and some are waiting to see how you will respond.There are a lot of wrong ways we can respond that will push others away, but let’s raise the bar and ask the right questions:
What does this story tell us about society? Where did things change? Why did they change?
What does this story show us about ourselves as person? Our reactions, feelings, or thoughts?
If you were at a friend’s house watching the draft coverage, and Jesus was sitting next to you, what might be his reaction?
How does this story fit with the overall story of God’s plan for His people?
Questions like this that can guide our conversations with students and parents into a spiritual discussion that engages our culture, rather than runs from it, can be a scary experience. It is worth the time and preparation.
What questions would you ask? Share in the comments below…