Editor’s Note: An Epic Generation
The next generation is one we think we know. The things we know about them will be common icons twenty years later: like their smart phones with extended texting keyboards, skinny jeans, Vans and Converse brands, Facebook, YouTube videos, and plastic rubber
bands shaped as animals (AKA—Silly Bands), fruits, and a variety of other
If you were to define them now by their favorite gadgets, you could say that this generation is not easily impressed. They despise fakes: both people and things. And on the latter—well, things have to be epic for them to pay notice. Technology visionary, Steve Jobs, sparked a technology revolution by placing Apple innovations in the hands of our next generation. He knew they were a discriminating audience and he paid notice as his developers designed some nifty toys. Jobs died earlier this month, leaving a legacy that impacted all of us greatly, especially this next generation who has grown up on Apple Macbooks, ipods, ipads, and even before that, digital CD players—an epic invention even adults found totally cool.
Word up: “Cool,” “Smooth,” “Fail,” “Epic,” and “Epic fail,”—not necessarily in that order—take on all kinds of unidentifiable forms: from the movies and music teens watch and listen to, to parties and fashion trends they follow, to the way they make fun of each other. Vampire books and movies is another epic craze—a bizarre teen trend you should know about, as it has been sweeping the nation like avian flu.
This next generation has spirit. They love in epic proportions. If you’ve seen our Christian school on the missions field—on or off campus—you know what I’m talking about. This is a revolutionary generation, who knows what they belief and why they believe it, and are not afraid to shout it out loud—in fact, they want to be heard.
So, yes, we think we have this next generation all figured out. Until… you watch them closely and really listen to what they have to say. If you do, you’ll be surprised, because they’re smarter than we think they are.
Teens in America—Christian and non-Christian alike—have similar expectations and goals: They want to fit in. They want to be loved. They want a future marked by success. But where they draw apart, marking a fine line on the sand, it’s in the way they lead their lives. They’re different. While one focuses on society’s trends mindlessly, the other follows their dreams, depending on the path their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, has for them.
In this issue, you will hear some fresh voices. That’s the sound of the next generation. In a way, The Messenger’s first edition of the school year is an illustration of who they are. Listen to how teens talk, what they wear, what issues concern them, and what matters most to them.
Don’t ignore them. Rather than pulling on earphones and listening to music as a teenager might, transform their voices into “prayers.” After all, this epic generation is our future. Let’s invest in them.