Every singer out there with songs on the radio is raising the next generation…so make your words count.” Taylor Swift on 60 Minutes
I never thought I’d write a piece quoting Taylor Swift, but this quote struck me. She recognizes the power of her words.
Oddly enough, I was at the Luis Palau Festival in Sacramento over the weekend for Kidz Blitz where she also reminded me of the impact of pop culture. Before we did our part, Radio Disney was on stage (we like to think they were our warm up act). They did something which they called “name that artist”, where they showed short clips of various singers with their faces blacked out. As I stood in the crowd behind a bunch of kids, I had to smile to see that even the younger kids – we’re talking 5 or 6 year olds – immediately recognized Swift when she was put up on the screen, as well almost every other celebrity they put up. And not only that, but most of them started jumping up & down excitedly with each new video – they were excited to see them! And they could all sing the songs that were being played, word for word.
It was a great reminder of the power of pop culture. I’m glad that Taylor Swift recognizes the impact her words have on this generation. However, sometimes I wonder if those of us in the church understand the impact of pop culture on kids. How do we treat the reality of pop culture in the lives of our kids? Do we actively engage in using it for good? Do we just ignore it?
As I thought about Swift’s quote and what I’d seen from the kids at the festival, some questions come to mind:
1. What role does pop culture play in your children’s ministry? How does that manifest itself in relationships, program and even our core values?
2. How are you using pop culture to connect with kids, without embracing/endorsing it wholesale?
3. With the ever increasingly easy access to pop culture in the lives of our kids, how are you equipping parents to “manage” cultural impact in the lives of their children?
4. How do you equip your leaders to handle the pop culture element with children?