Each season the Westbrook youth ministry has one topic that is the focal point for a three month study series. Every youth worship night and small group discussion time centers around that topic. This fall we are going through a series titled, “Youth Culture.”
Groups have a culture. Whether that’s at school, at work, in friend groups, or in sports teams – there are things that define a culture. There are things that set that group apart from other groups. In youth ministry, we are asking ourselves – what sets us apart? What’s our identity? What do people notice when they come to a youth night? We want students to know the identity of the youth ministry. We want them to know who we are, and why we believe what we believe. In turn we believe those students will be able to find their own purpose and be able to form an identity of truth built around the Bible.
So, why did we choose to begin the school year talking about culture? Why is culture so important? Paul gives us an idea, he tells the church in Rome, “Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” (Romans 12:1-2 MSG) If you don’t define your culture, the culture around you will define you. For the life of a believer, we know that we are to be set apart, different from the world around us. We are choosing to be active in defining culture. We want the next generation to be strong, steady, and sure of who they are in Jesus. We have already seen so much life change when the power of truth replaces lies. God is at work. We are so excited for what's ahead. The future is bright!