Hosts Jeff Eckart and Jayson Brewer interview Dr. Craig Detweiler. Craig is a media professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA, filmmaker, and author of iGods: How Technology Shapes Our Spiritual and Social Lives. What does it mean to hand over a smartphone, a very powerful device, to an adolescent when there is not an owner's manual that accompanies it? We discuss Craig's in-depth research in media and adolescents' relationship to social media, so we can have a better handle on how we can disciple students.
Hosts Jeff Eckart and Jayson Brewer interview Phil Joel from Zealand Worship. Phil is the former bassist for the band Newsboys and he talks about his personal approach to social media as well as his current band's approach to social media. The automatic assumption these days is that if you're going to have any presence in the world, you need social media. But, how can we keep our head's up and see the needs of others when we are so worried about ourselves and about what is going on in other people’s lives?
Social media affects all of us whether we like it or not. It’s not a fad or a trend, that will eventually go away like acid-washed jeans and jelly shoes. What if we could get inside the minds of students to hear directly from them about what they think of it, how they use it, how it is affecting their world, their culture, our world, and our culture? Social media has its advantages and disadvantages. It can be used for good or evil. There are plenty of digital platforms for a student to display what is on their mind and what is going on in their world at a moment. But, when we deal with the root cause of an issue and not the symptom, we can begin to better assist students in navigating the world they live in, especially on social media.
We place a lot of importance on seeing students being spiritually healthy, but there appears to be a lack of discussion on the topic of physical health in the circles of youth ministry and the church in general. Is food a key component to our obedience to God? Should food have more of a central role in our relationship with Jesus? Are we adequately addressing the issue of "physical health" with the students we lead?
We asked thousands of students questions about the topic of politics to see if it's important to them and where their level of interest is about the current political environment. We also interviewed a number of students from around the country about their views and opinions in regards to politics, so we can listen to some of their responses. But the answer to one question that stuck out the most was to this question, "What do you believe is the best solution to today's problems?"
If we aren't doing this one thing in our youth ministry settings, then what are we doing? We can spend an enormous amount of time in our week preparing for things that do not have a lasting impact on students or allowing their faith to develop. Are you missing doing this #1 thing as you work with students?