The way Gen Z and Millenials learn is very different from past generations, and the way they research reflects a digital culture. According to an article by YPulse, many teens and young adults are not turning to the adults and mentors in their lives to learn. Rather, the trend leans towards online sources such as Google, Youtube, and even social media. Even between millennials and Gen Z, teens have a much higher percentage that seeks out information online. Only 27% of Gen Z students polled reported going to teachers with questions while YouTube and Google were in the mid-70s. The article remarked that "when they need trusted information on a topic that could impact their lives and opinion, Google is their go-to source, notably, before trusted people like family/friends or, among students, a teacher". The study also included online learning courses and learning videos. This may reflect the digital age our students live in with answers at their fingertips or a lean towards online learning with the past two years living in a COVID world. One of the questions we need to ask is where are our students getting their information?
Passion has released a new EP titled Live From Rehearsals. The songs and accompanying videos are from their rehearsals rather than their actual performances - hence the title. Personally, I feel like the song called God Really Loves Us is particularly powerful as it's just the reminder that we all need every once and a while. He actually loves us and spends time with us because He wants to, not because He is obligated to or out of pity for us. Some of the other songs on the EP include 1,000 Names and You are the Lord (We Cry Holy) and feature some of the worship group's regular artists like Kristian Stanfill and Melodie Malone as well as some new faces.
The baby food guessing game is a fun food game for students that are brave. For prep, pick up 5 or 6 baby food jars of different flavors. These can be whatever flavors you want, although grosser flavors might be extra fun (although you might want a trashcan on hand). Take the labels off and have enough spoons on hand for your students. Students volunteer to be taste testers and have to try to be the first to guess the correct flavor. This game can be modified any way you want, but one of the easier ways is to have different volunteers per jar so more people get a chance to play. Bring students up in rounds, 4 for the first jar, four for the second, and so on. When the round begins, students will begin eating the baby food all at once and they have to take a bite before guessing. Students can guess what the flavor of baby food is at any time but have to take another bite before guessing again. Students win when they guess correctly. To make it more competitive, you can split the students into teams and track points for correct guesses.
Have you ever gone to a Christmas dinner where you were excited about the meal, but even more excited about the dessert? You rush through your meal because you just know that the pie is going to be delicious. When you get up, though, you realize it isn't really the dessert you wanted. Aunt Janet made a pie but it's not the flavor you like. You know the pie is good and you did want her pie, but it isn't quite what you were so excited for. From here you have two options, you can skip dessert and just be hungry for the rest of the night or be grateful for the delicious food Aunt Janet did bring. Oftentimes, we pray for God's blessing and when He gives it to us, we squint and size it up rather than rejoicing in what He has given. Rather than eating the pie, we complain and walk away. We have to remember that God knows exactly what we need and gladly gives it to us. If you won't take your daily bread unless it looks like fruitcake, you might just end up going hungry.
Christmas is primarily the celebration of Jesus' birth, but another important aspect that also gets tossed to the curb sometimes is spending time with family and friends. Unless we intentionally make time for our relationships, we will get so wound up in the craziness of the season. Also, spending time with family can lead to conflict and tension for some. While it's okay to disagree on things, it shouldn't divide relationships. This holiday season, fight for the community, not with the community.