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

Is this culture too focused on entertainment?  

Don Tapscott in his book, Grown Up Digital(affiliate link), states, “Net Gener’s love of entertainment also has important implications for companies that want to sell things to them.  Nearly three-quarters of Net Geners agreed with the following statement; “Having fun while using a product is just as important as the product doing what it is supposed to do.”  Net Geners value the experience of using the product beyond its primary function.  They find amusement in accessory options…Net Geners become bored easily, so playing with their text devices keeps them interested.”

Are the students you work with entertained too much?  Are we apart of the problem? 

I think that a youth night has to have the element of fun in everything, but it can’t be the focal point.  One thing I do is break down the night in to parts, and actually look at how much time is spent playing games.  I want the game portion of the night to be 20mins.  It depends on the night, but I want to have a short, but sweet game.  Something that raises the fun factor of a night.

The risk with having too much of the night focused on entertainment is that your youth group becomes a YMCA group, it will lack focus, and focus on the Gospel!  I see a lot of youth ministries that are focused on entertainment.  We think this is the only way to reach a generation of students.  The students I work with want to see entertainment as a part of the night, not the focal point.

Two ways I make sure the youth group environment is balanced: 

1. Have a plan.  I write out the night, and look at the time frame for everything.  Is the game taking too much time?  If it takes too much time, what else has to give?

2. Think with the end in mind.  What is the outcome of the night!  I doubt that your outcome is: fun.  Well, at least I hope not.  Great outcomes for the night, or series could be: For the students to understand their identity in Christ, For the students to understand how much God loves them.   When you start to think about the end in mind, you will stop filling your nights with pointless games.

Is your youth ministry balanced?  Are you focused on games and entertaining?  How do you be intentional to not become an entertainer.  

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

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