Living in an lol world

In a world of chat rooms, IM’s, Facebook, tweeting, and texting…emoticons, internet slang, and fast-pace technologies…the world is ever-changing and with it aspects of relationships and ministry are impacted. What specific ways have these things changed? Now, more than ever our lives are run at the same fast-pace “need” for information and getting the inside scoop on everything. Staying updated on people’s lives, trends, and new relevant aspects of ministry is a 24/7 job, aside from the programming, planning, meetings, and discipleship that have to go into a typical youth worker’s schedule.
Relationships are impacted because the shorthand 140 character limits we have on our social networking sites do effect how we quickly exchange conversations between one another. The casual “Hi, how are you?” turns into a reply of “Good, how are you?” And then that’s the end of the conversation. In order to have more relational closeness self-disclosure must occur which allows people to go beyond the typical biographical data into things such as preferences, goals and aspirations, religious convictions, deeply held fears and fantasies, and self-concept. In Motivation and Personality, social scientist Abraham Maslow develops a theory of human motivation known as the hierarchy of needs, which state that there are seven categories for human needs. The categories of needs are: physiological, safety, the belongingness and love needs, esteem, self-actualization, our need to know, and for aesthetics.
Understanding this and other adolescent development issues can help youth workers to share with parents and volunteers how to deal with students who have issues socializing and understanding how God has made them to share their gifts with the body at large.
Lastly, in my experience in working with youth with behavior, attitude or social problems I have learned that it is best to see them as a story. Seeing people’s existence as a story has caused me stand back and ask “What’s your story?” instead of “What’s your problem?” to people that clearly have adverse attitudes and behaviors. Events, people, and concepts all shape a person’s story and should be considered when trying to learn how to work and relate together. Everyone’s life has a setting (where they came from), conflict, interactions with others, and an eventual climax. Our goal as youth workers is for the climax to be in a relationship with Jesus Christ and a lifetime of following him.

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