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    What’s the strategy?

    By Jeremy | January 25, 2007

    Concerts of Prayer wants more. Katie Sweeting sent the following question in response to the prayer summit. My response is an incomplete thought. ... We need your help to fill in the blanks. Please offer insights and feedback in the comments section.
    You did an absolutely wonderful job with the prayer time. It was informative and challenging. I know people learned a lot – it was quite sobering. Now I’d like to see how we can reach these young people; what are some strategies and programs that have been successful with such a plugged-in generation?
    Katie, Thanks so much for trusting me with the opportunity. What an honor! I'm glad I could be of service. Your question is huge, and I don't have an easy answer. We've never been so plugged-in before, so there are no tried and true models for dealing in this space. That said, I think there are several keys moving forward: 1. Become informed. Get online, and begin to interact with others virtually. 2. Stay nonjudgemental. That sinners sin should come as no surprise, so don't act shocked when closet doors open and we get to peek inside. 3. Recognize that online interaction is not a substitute for face-to-face time. Raised on a cultural diet of MTV and video games, kids are both/and multitaskers. IM and blogging can't replace personal contact, but it can enhance those meetings when they occur. 4. Resist the urge to ban everything. We live in an oversaturated media world and try as we might, our kids will be able to access stuff even if we tell them not to. We might try to prevent the flood, but the levees have already broken. The question is how to engage despite the rising waters. 5. That said, speak openly and frankly with our kids about the dangers of media generally and online media specifically. They should know that corporations are exploiting them to make a buck. They should know that their value is much greater than someone else's sexual fantasy. They should know that our love for them is unconditional, but so is our expectation that they live lives of character -- even in that space. 6. Leverage the power of digital media. Not since Babel has the earth been so interconnected (Gen 11:2), with a common language (PC's all speak the same language whether London, Bagdad, Manilla, or New York) (Gen 11:1) and technology (Gen 11:3 -- bricks were a technological innovation in their day) that makes instantaneous global communication possible. Just as Paul made use of Roman roads to spread the Gospel and reformers utilized Guttenberg's printing press to bring the scriptures to common man, we need to steward the media technology currently available to us to spread Christ's message of hope, justice, and love. 7. Resist the urge to retreat into online "Christian" ghettoes. Kids can sniff out a fake, especially when it's a transparent imitation of something created by someone else. Instead empower kids to be salt and light within the neighborhood, whether real world or virtual. 8. Embrace the open source culture of the internet and its ability to empower the masses. Like all great technological innovations, the internet was built by people who shared their knowledge with others who could improve upon it. Google, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr and other great web 2.0 sites have exploded in popularity and reach because they make their resource freely available to end-users. They keep entry-costs low and everybody can get involved. Christians online need to follow a similar path. Freely we have received. Freely give. Whew... I didn't anticipate writing so much in response, but your question stirred some stuff that needed to come out. There's more where that came from. Perhaps a Part 2? Related Mooks, Midriffs, Myspace, and More - Downloads

    Topics: culture, internet, midriffs, mooks, technology, youth, youth ministry | 1 Comment »

    One Response to “What’s the strategy?”

    1. What's the strategy? Says:
      June 15th, 2012 at 9:51 pm

      [...] Jeremy posted his first attempt at an incomplete answer here.  What do you think? [...]