Core Training 3 – Passions, Holy Discontent

At the Core Training (by Youth Specialties), we learned about Bite Back, which is an operation put together by Compassion International. I posted about this recently.

Today’s post, I wanted to share a few other topics that we learned about at Core. The reason I bring up BITE BACK Campaign again, is because it is built on some great truths.

Today’s youth, Gen Y, are very passionate. They are not too concerned with what older generations have said about “the way it is supposed to be” or “how it always has been, always will be.” It is a generation ready for change. And they want to bring this change.

In the past (for about 100 years or so), Christian camps have divided on theology. Conservative theology v. liberal theology. Conservative theology was founded around saving lost souls. While liberal theology was based on “helping people, showing God’s love.”

The beauty of Gen Y, is that they are not concerned with in-church fighting/debating. they see that both “saving souls” and “showing God’s love to everyone worldwide” as both being equally important. For the most part, Gen Y, does not take a side or fight about it. These young, Christians want it all. They want both. They are passionate enough to take it on and do the work too! There are countless stories across the country of young Christians taking on large -scale projects in to fight for their “holy discontents.”

They stand up for the things that really get them frustrated, fired up, and ready to take action for CHANGE. They feel discontentment about certain issues. And this discontentment is a holy one, because it is frustration and love for teenagers who are worlds away, in unfortunate situations. Bite Back is just one campaign where we are looking not only to save souls, but help defeat Malaria.

We met a young girl who puts on “fashion shows” to fight cancer. All of the models were cancer patients. 🙂 Her passion was administrating this event. Her heart was for the cancer patients. her love was Jesus Christ.

My youth group is working a few strategies to fight Malaria.
First we are going to put on a worship event. At this event, there will be a cover donation. We will explain the Bite Back campaign. We will rock out for God in worship, it’s our passion. The attendees will donate for the Bite Back campaign.

Second we are going to run a fund raiser in the school system. Yes, even people in the secular school will be on board to give money to fight these social issues. And by offering the community an opportunity to fight for this we will have a chance to seek local relationships and see people come to Christ!

Anyways the idea is that our generation is ready for CHANGE. We have Passions and talents. We want to use them not only to save souls (which is of the utmost importance) but also to help the change the world, fighting our holy discontents, and social issues that are not fair.

Unsettling News: High School Graduation Rates


Only 1 of 2 students graduate high school in US cities: study
WASHINGTON (AFP) – Three out of 10 US public school students do not graduate from high school, and major city school districts only graduate one out of two students, according to a study released Tuesday.

According to many news sources-like this one– (and not like the Y! article that I mentioned above) and a study cited in the articles done by EPE Research Center and the America Promise Alliance, US HS graduation rates are often over-inflated. When you hear many schools around the nation say that they have 80% or high graduation rate, the number could be misleading. There are several various ways schools measure the “graduation rate.” Law-makers are pushing to unify the definition and measurements devices used to determine graduation rates nationwide.
The study showed that in larger city schools graduation rate is close to and sometimes right below 50% while in sub-urban schools it is closer to 70% and in the rural areas closer to 75%.
Here is a full extensive report/ PDF if you are interested.

This is concerning and startling. It surprises me too because on one end of the spectrum, in America, we have high competition and stress about which college/university students should be going to to get the best education and a mindset that High School is just a brief stepping stone (of course “you are GOING to graduate High School, you are going to college!!”) I have spent a lot of my life a part of and around this group of people. I was apart of it. I am grateful of my parents and their financial help to get me through to receive my BA. They have left me to get my MA, on my own, which is okay. But now I am starting to feel the pressure. And I am starting to relate to the other end of the spectrum. But I am no where near he point where I can self-righteously say I can relate to not having a High School Diploma. That would be tough especially in today’s economy and the job competition I was talking about earlier. Some times as very fortunate people, living in and around other fortunate people, we often forget about the other guys who are not as fortunate. So I am calling for prayers and support for people who have tough situations and do not finish High School. The cities are tough places. So let’s support Urban Youth Ministries.

Technology and teenagers (part 2)

Gen Y and younger have live in an advanced society, too advanced – in technology and in lifestyle. Understanding the teenagers use of technology requires us to take a look at the world view of today’s teen, because if we take a snapshot of how today’s teenagers see society, we can better understand why and how they use technology.
With that said, the Technology and Teenager series will be an ongoing series. Today is just an introduction and brief synopsis. I will continue to refer back to this and feature more material that builds on today’s post in the future:
The World view
I would be fooling, only myself, if I thought I could write a quick paragraph or two to briefly cover everything throughly I wanted to here about Generation Y world view. I encourage you to do some more research after you read my blurb here, check out future resources I will provide as well as others to get a more complete picture. And read books like Youth Culture 101, Engaging The Soul of of Youth Culture (both by Walt Muller) and check out his Youth Culture website.
For the youth of Gen Y, technology of the internet and personal computer advanced right to them. Adults older do not understand how all of the technology works, have not experienced them as much and to the same effect as the youth of today, and are not required to be apart of the technological pop culture as Gen Y is all allowed and welcomed to.
For Gen Y, technology is almost like a second life or second personality, not only do most students have profiles on social networks, personal pages, blogs, and or other community with other Gen Ys (or anyone), but Gen Y is collaborating and connecting more online than any other generation has ever tried or had opportunity to.
Gen Y teenagers might share/cry out their deepest hurts and pains on IM, on blog, on an online journal, or in a social network. They do not feel like they can share these ideas with older adults/parents in real life. This is their safe haven, or so they think.
The youth culture of today does not feel like they can connect with their parents and talk to them as they really can/should and parents want them to (but they do not). Parents are struggling today to keep up with and connect to their children. It is an awkward state.
Teenagers are getting all of these messages from so many people. They can relate to their friends online (other Gen Ys) who also are not connecting with their parents. In some ways,they are the blind leading the blind.

Technology Usage
Technology gives them the freedom to connect with some one. They can share their problems to one another, IM each other, complain about each of their own respective parents, they are learning this technology together. They are being marketed to. They make plans online. They have access to the world in seconds, it is a whole ‘nother world out here online.
But like I said this is a very brief introduction. I have a lot of ways I want to run with this. But this is the beginning of more (hopefully) meaningful, meaty posts where my heart, ministry, and prayers are often.

Here is the first resources I want to provide, It is a teaching series called THE BLUR I used it to teach my teens about themselves- it is great for yourself or a big group:
My Generation One
My Generation Two
Postmodern Blur
The Blur

(If links do not work go to this site.)

P.S. – vacation in FL is awesome. I was at SeaWorld yesterday! 🙂