Becoming Chameleons in Our Cultural Surroundings

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“When you put a whole bunch of kids under one roof their (sic) bound to create their own culture; it’s its own mini world.”

This is a description of teenagers – from the 1920s.

Every year, thousands of teenagers enroll in our colleges and universities.

Teenagers today have also lived in their own “mini-world” – sometimes multiple mini-worlds. Many times, they have not just been a part of one mini-world but several at the same time.

Modern technology facilitates these multiple existences and identities. Often, these different mini-worlds have conflicting worldviews.

For many teenagers, this leads them to become chameleons in their cultural surroundings.

When they are with their church mini-world they mimic the church culture, and when they are with their sports team or their school club they mimic that particular culture.

Campus ministry has the same challenge and responsibility now as it did when it began in the 1920s and that is to challenge Christian college students who are completing their teenage years not to mimic the different mini-worlds in which they find themselves but instead to live boldly an authentic Christian life no matter the context, pressure, or expectations of those around them.

This is accomplished the same way in 2016 as it was in 1926: through biblical instruction, mentoring, Christian devotion and giving them opportunities to develop as Christian servants and leaders.

Ninety years from now, we will all be gone but, if we do our jobs right as Christians, there will be a vibrant group of Christian ministers and laypersons who will guide their generation of teenagers to exist in their multiple mini-worlds – not with multiple mindsets and identities but with the mind of Christ and His identity – living boldly for Him in every setting in which they find themselves.

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