Vol. 2 Issue 37 | September 16, 2016
Three Things This Week
1. Deciding to Leave
What it is: When Axis teams speak, we share the statistic that 40-50% of students raised in church will leave their faith in college. After hearing that, a wise youth pastor in Naples, FL added, “But that decision usually gets made in high school.”
Why it’s important: At some point, your students have to start owning their faith instead of renting it from you. As teachers and parents, are we brave enough to create safe spaces with our students to ask hard questions about their beliefs, and to move beyond Sunday School answers to the Ph.D. questions about life? And remember, faith isn’t simply an intellectual ascent toward certainty. The faith we oftentimes see in the Bible is covenantal faith, it’s people like Abraham and Sarah or Gideon and Elijah who committed to trusting God even in the midst of uncertainty. Ask your students this: Are you willing to act faithfully even when your mind is faithless? Because it just might be that in imitating Christ, they become like Christ, and that is where lifelong faith is born.
Here’s an incredible Axis Talk about evangelism and the Gospel to watch with your students!
2. Side to Side
What it is: Ariana Grande’s latest single, “Side to Side,” (<–warning: language!) features Nicki Minaj and has been jumping up the charts. She performed it at the VMAs, and everyone sang along. . . until they realized what it was about.
Why it’s bad: Grande uses “walking side to side” as a euphemism for having so much sex that she can’t walk straight. Considering that this song comes from her Dangerous Woman album, which she defines as “someone who’s not afraid to take a stand, be herself, and to be honest,” we wonder what message this empowered, “dangerous woman” is sending to the next generation? Is female empowerment really the freedom to act sexually promiscuous, or is this just another form of female debasement? What if real power is actually the ability to say no? Encourage your students to be their true self not by clinging to their fallen nature, but by claiming their new, redeemed identity in Christ.
3. Sext Happens
What it is: A new study from Indiana University reveals that nearly 1 in 4 adults share sexts they receive, despite 73% of participants reporting “discomfort with the unauthorized sharing of sexts beyond the intended recipients.”
Why it’s important: Those numbers are for adults between 21 and 75 years old. But what’s it like for underage sexters? 71% of teen girls and 67% of teen boys admit to sharing sexual messages or pictures with their boyfriend/girlfriend. And considering that this instance of a 13-year-old being humiliated for sexting is not an isolated incident, many of our students never consider the lasting consequences of having implicit (yet unfounded) trust in those they send their photos to. Here’s a 26-minute podcast that will educate you and your students about the dangers of underage sexting.
7 Most Popular Snapchatters
For some of us, Snapchat is the Upside Down, a dark reflection of the real world, a place we dare not go for fear of what we might find. But for millennials and younger, it’s just life as usual. These days, it’s not hard to spot teens covertly holding up their phones to get a quick Snap of their moment-to-moment activities. But Snapchat isn’t just about connecting with friends anymore; celebrities are increasingly using the app to build a following and to release news to the world. Here are the 7 most popular Snapchat accounts and what you need to know about them.
1. Kylie Jenner
Kylie’s Story is full of makeup, fashion, and self-promotion of her brands (which is the largest component of her presence). Many follow her to stay up to date on trends. Plus, she’s a Kardashian, so many of her followers keep up with the family through her posts.
3. 5 Seconds of Summer
The boy band that started on YouTube loves giving behind-the-scenes looks at their tour and adventures. They are definitely on top of upcoming trends in the music industry.
4. Taylor Swift
Taylor loves to post random stuff about her life. Lots of interviews and hanging out with friends. Her posts are sporadic, but her followers are devout nonetheless.
5. Lady Gaga
Gaga loves her “little monsters” (fans) and uses her presence to encourage those deemed “different” to embrace their differentness fully. She regularly posts about her adventures in different cities, her tattoos, and even gives hints about her upcoming projects.
6. Ariana Grande
The Snapchat filter queen. Seriously. . .almost every post has a filter of some kind. She’s constantly showing behind-the-scenes content from interviews and performances. There are also posts of her normal, everyday life.
Rihanna is great at “throwing shade” on Snapchat. What makes her unique is that she has masterfully blended her daily activities with witty commentary. Plus, she is constantly giving a behind-the-scenes look into her tour.