every generation has their "thing" that defines them and causes them to stand out among the other generations preceding them. after working with teenagers and immersing myself in their culture over the last few years, it seems that this generation of young people is being defined (by and large) by something very exciting and positive. in the midst of bloggers and former youth ministry "professionals" saying our whole paradigm for ministry needs to change, it seems that something bright is on the horizon.
i believe teens and 20-somethings in our culture today are ready to make real and tangible differences in response to the injustices and oppression around them. and the "around them" isn't just in their neighborhood or city... with the influx of social networking platforms, the "around them" is now global, and they're ready to make a difference!
see, they've seen a generation before them spend their energy and cash on themselves; the big house, the gated communities, the shiny cars, and the wider TV screens... and they've experienced for themselves a profound emptiness in spite of their wealth. and they're ready to make a change.
they may not believe in God... or in just God... but they believe in justice and they believe that their role in it is big.
it's an exciting time to be in student ministry!