Virtual Music Festivals Are Taking Over | May 22, 2020
Three Things This Week
1. Socializing for Senior Citizens
What it is: Some Atlanta high schoolers have started a new service to help older people find comfort and community during social distancing.
Why it’s beautiful: Sometimes, unprecedented circumstances beget unprecedented kindness. Instead of focusing on what they’ve lost or how their lives have been disrupted, these students looked beyond themselves to others in need, recognizing that there may be populations that have it worse than they do. Their service offers Zoom or FaceTime chatting, phone calls, virtual game nights, handwritten cards, and more to senior citizens, especially those who don’t have significant others or family members. According to their website, they did 6,475 minutes of calls and sent 381 emails or cards in the first 6 weeks. Whether they realize it or not, these teenagers are modeling a servant’s heart, living out “the golden rule” in ways we should all seek to emulate during these stressful times.
2. Block by Blockwest
What it is: The world’s first virtual music festival occurred over the weekend on Minecraft, of all places, and by all accounts, it was a massive success.
Why it’s probably not the last: Riffing off of the popular IRL festival South by Southwest, BXBW was started by the band Courier Club as a way to promote their first EP, but the virtual festival evolved into a much larger endeavor after technical setbacks caused a delay and allowed well-known artists to join the setlist. Artists pre-recorded their sets, while developers and players joined together to build out the server with three stages, “bars,” art, and much more. When it finally happened on May 16, it reportedly drew in 5,000 Minecraft players and 134,000 livestream views on Twitch and YouTube. Because it was so well thought out and immersive, the idea is sure to be replicated in the future, and not just on Minecraft, meaning your kids may have virtual access to something they might never have attended in person before.
3. Sorry about My Hair
What it is: As everyone spends more time in video calls, women feel the pressure to apologize for their appearance.
Why it’s just a symptom: Women feeling like they have to earn their place in this world through their looks is not a new problem, but video chatting may exacerbate it since it adds the new element of seeing our own faces during conversations and meetings. With our faces now front and center, it can be hard to focus on what’s being said or taught. As the article points out, women of all ages are asking others to ignore their “flaws,” aiming the camera elsewhere so they don’t show up, and using Zoom’s “touch up my appearance” feature to meet whatever arbitrary standards they think they need to meet. Teenagers especially are used to using Snapchat-style filters and makeup to look better on screen, so they may need our loving reminders that they’re beautiful always and that they never need to apologize for how they look.
During this time of uncertainty, when the future is unknown and anxiety and fear threaten to take over, we and our teens are much more susceptible to spiritual attack. We want to equip you and your family with the tools necessary to fight back, so we’re offering you our Spiritual Warfare Conversation Kit absolutely free! Simply fill out the form, then follow the instructions to watch the Kit with your family. We hope it blesses you and those whom you disciple.
Discipling Your Teen in Quarantine
If COVID-19 has revealed anything about us as parents, it might be this: Most of us have grown accustomed to and comfortable with outsourcing our children’s spiritual formation to the Church or Christian school. If we’re honest, we’ve probably relied a bit too much on the youth pastor, the Bible teacher, or the Church to shape the minds and hearts of our kids. But now, school is closed, church is mostly suspended, and it is suddenly up to us to form them spiritually. If you are struggling to re-claim your role as their trusted guide, here are five tips to help you redeem this quarantine time.
- 1. Talk the Talk: As we’ve said for several years at Axis, discipleship happens where conversations happen. Regardless of the topic, authentic conversations lead to faith-forming opportunities. So keep those conversations going. And remember, as you engage with your kids on everything from sports to social distancing, you won’t agree on everything. That’s okay! Lean into the tension and humbly ask what you can learn from them in the process.
- 2. Walk the Walk: Our kids are always watching, always learning, always soaking in what we do, not just what we say. If the news is causing you anxiety and fear, odds are they are learning to be anxious and fearful themselves. If the stay-at-home orders are breeding arguments, family feuds, and fights, their future home will look likewise. It’s simple (yet difficult): Be the adult you want your kid to become.
- 3. Schedule the Sacred: We’ve all been given a great gift: time. Instead of rushing to work or school, we now have time in the morning to come together to read Scripture, pray, and experience the sacred. You don’t have to do it every day, but schedule regular moments to gather for five or ten minutes. Read through one of the gospels one chapter at a time. Then discuss what you read. It doesn't need to be overly scholarly, just allow them the space to process God’s Word with you.
- 4. Have One-on-One Time: If you have more than one child, pick an evening or morning during the week to take a walk with each child, just the two of you. Or if the weather is bad, hit a coffee shop’s drive-through for a tasty treat. These intentional moments alone together will build trust, foster intimacy, and show them you are a safe place to come to with their hopes, dreams, and questions.
- 5. Take Off the (Figurative) Mask: You aren’t perfect. Trust us, your kids already know it, so be honest and transparent about your issues. If you mess up, own it and ask for forgiveness. A sure sign of spiritual maturity is learning to admit you don’t have it all together. If you are open about your failings, they will be more willing to share theirs.
Keep the Faith!
The Axis Team
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