I was running yesterday and thinking about the kids who I love and are such a fantastic part of my life. A few weeks ago in Middle School someone asked the question—“What do you want to be known for?”
The overall and overwhelming answer was that these kids wanted to be famous. They wanted to be rock stars and movie stars—they wanted to be the next generation of icons, the people who raised them on television.
“We’ve all been raised on television to believe that we’d be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars…”
But we won’t. And there’s nothing wrong with having dreams and high aspirations but what are we feeding our kids? Who are we allowing them to love and admire?
There is no way that they would ever run a television show about our church. There’s a reality tv show out there for everyone about almost anything but there would never ever be one about our church. No one would watch it. It would be boring. Why? Because—while our church is not by any means perfect and the people in it are not perfect but we love God and because we love God we don’t sleep around, do drugs, fist fight, drink ourselves into oblivion, hoard dead things, kill people, or do all kinds of other things that would be crazy enough to be on television. So the kind of people in our church are not the kind of people they’re putting on television unless MTV is making fun of how boring they are.
So why does anyone care about the Kardashians?
Because they have all the stuff that our unredeemed nature desires to make ourselves god. They’re popular, they’re beautiful, they don’t care what anyone thinks and that makes them free to do whatever they want, people give them things, they’re rich, they’re glamorous, everyone wants to take their photo, everyone wants to hang out with them…
But when do you think was the last time that Kim Kardashian cared about anything other than her man-candy and how her butt looks on camera?
Do you think she has deep, lasting joy? Do you think she is secure in her identity? Do you think she’s even happy?
And most of my kids and the people I know will probably make fun of the Kardashians and say that they are silly. But secretly inside that’s the life they want—the life of a modern goddess.
Kim Kardashian is nothing like Jesus.
Why do we want to be god instead of being like God?
Why do we put these icons in front of ourselves to desire?
And then as it relates to youth ministry–how often do we inadvertently encourage this worship of icons? How can we discourage this epidemic which is nothing new but growing more and more dangerous?