How familiar are you with teen sexting, girl bullying, club drugs or that teens are back into bowling? How up to date are you with today’s teen culture?
Check out these 5 websites to make sure that Catholic youth ministry at your parish stays connected to the world of teens you are seeking to journey with.
1) CPYU.org – Walt Mueller and his team host this amazing site for parents and youth leaders to keep up to date with the latest trends in youth culture. Walt spoke at our Life Teen Training Convention 2 years ago. He sleeps, eats and breathes youth culture knowledge.
2) ypulse.com – This teen culture site features the latest in how the marketing companies are trying to reach the teen market. There are always great trending articles at this site.
3) edopter.com – Teens are into social networking big time. Most teens pay less attention to email accounts than they do to Facebook. This site gives you the latest social network trends for teens and adults.
4) Barna.org – For years I have relied on the research that the Barna group has provided for youth leaders and parents. If you have a parent night planned, the Barna site can get you prepared with your case for youth ministry at your parish.
5) National Study of Youth and Religion – The National Study of Youth and Religion is being conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill under the direction of Dr. Christian Smith, professor of sociology. This initiative is seeking to provide fresh and unique perspectives on today’s youth and their responses to religion. Great insight into how deep teens are getting into their faith today.
*A word of caution. Don’t assume that just researching these sites periodically will make you an expert. The only way to really know what is going on in the lives of teens is to sit down and talk with them and listen to what they say. This is by far more important than all the research you can do online. The sites above are a good place to go so you can be less shocked by what the teens will tell you.
One of our goals at Life Teen is to transform youth culture. It is always good to know what you are trying to transform. Once you have a good understanding of what the waters you are attempting to navigate, you will know when to paddle, when to coast, when to hold on tight and when to let go and go wherever the Holy Spirit is taking your conversations with teens!
Teen culture is constantly changing, how relevant is the youth ministry at your parish for teens?