Here is your 60 seconds to a more culturally relevent ministry and to keep yourself at least aware of popular culture, remembering that every area, group, and church is it’s own sub-culture .
What is “in”, current and relevant nationally or other places may not necessarily always be what is current in your context, so be aware, so these hints will hopefully keep you current and relevant for YOUR group!
- Subscribe to a couple Entertainment/Pop Culture Magazines (Billboard, Entertainment Weekly..)
- Sign up for Teen Marketing Email List (ypulse, media post…)
- Sign up for a Christian Youth/Teen Culture Email List (CPYU, Youth Culture Report….)
- Watch a couple Awards Shows a year. (MTV Music/Movie, Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice, Radio Disney (tween, pre-teen), Billboard….)
- Watch a couple episodes of Popular TV Shows occasionally. (yes, you might actually have to own a TV and have cable. Netflix & Hulu are good also)
- Have a Student Leadership team, allow them to influence and have ownership of the ministry. (students know what their friends like, need to hear, and like to do.
- BONUS HINT: it is probably not what your youth group did back in the day
- Go to School Lunches (you will find out A LOT, you will find out what is relevant to your group, area and culture. What is hot in California or New York may not be cool in small town Iowa ! )
- Take students out after-school (or whenever) ask questions, don’t talk but rather listen!
- Don’t Try to be Culturally Relevant by Acting, Dressing, Talking or Pretending to be something you are NOT! (40 year old dude, “muffin topping” it in skinny jeans…NO!)
- If you don’t know what the word means don’t use it! If you want to find out what it means PLEASE use “Urban Dictionary”