(This is a part of a series: Reaching Teens in a Digital World)

Are you a fake?  Are you trying to hard to be cool? 

I wrote an article a few  weeks ago called, are you trying too hard to be cool?.  I was at a volunteer training day a few weekends ago and one of the speakers said, “dress your own age.  When a teen sees you trying to be “cool” or dress like a teenager they say in their head, “how sad”.  Teens today are cynical.  They Scrutinize everything.  And they will discern if you are being real or not.

The students  I work with want to know that I am being authentic.  They are googling you, checking/creeping your facebook timeline.  They want to know if you are for real.  The real question is: are you being real?  Don Tapscott in his book, Grown Up Digital, states, “At a time of uncertainty, young people look for companies they can trust.  They have a low tolerance for companies that lie when they’re trying to sell something, and they can find out pretty quickly if that’s the case.”  Students are looking to you, and your youth ministry asking the question: Can I trust you?  Everything we do in youth ministry should be building trust with students, and with parents.  Leading with integrity is what our students want, and they are looking for that in not just you, but also your leaders.

I am always telling my leaders and other youth pastors to be themselves.  That is what your church wants when they hired you.  Don Tapscott states the importants of integrity and individuality, “In a crowded marketplace, a company’s integrity becomes an important point of difference.”  Your youth ministry could stand apart by just having leaders who lead with integrity.

Don’t try to be someone your not.  Be you!

How could integrity or the lack of integrity effect your youth ministry?