Born out of two days of studying the lingering thought in my head and my heart is this...
If we define culture as 'all which is symbolic: the learned aspects of society' then as youth workers should we be creating a subculture of Christian Youth Work for our young people to be rescued into or is it our job to walk with them in their culture signposting the sacred?
Do we fill young peles diaries with so much Churchianity* that they have little time for their old culture? Do we delete their non Christian music and upload approved Christian artists? At school do we ask them to step away from their friends and come to the CU? All these thoughts and many more are currently rampaging through me! I'm aware of the cliche of living in the world and not of it but how do we communicate that and walk with young people as they transition and plate spin the different cultures they reside in?
As an adult** Christian I enjoy the secular, I find God talks to me through and in all manner of things and yet I appreciate that for many others this is not the case! I love being able to spot redeemable movie clips, music & books but this is often hard & can cause tensions in my theology & thought processes despite a degree in Applied Theology!
So how do you do it? What's your strategy for the culture divide?
Are you offering a lifeboat service, rescuing young people from the waters of the dark secular?
Or are you a little more like Steve Irwin wading through the jungle with young people spotting the beauty and risking the bite?
* By this I mean the programmed activities of Church that may or may not be about worshipping Jesus. Meetings, young leaders training, home groups, outreach, band practice etc
**I don't class myself as grown up but I am over 18 so I wear this label occasionally :)