Social media gets a lot of flack, with one of the big criticisms being that people only show the highlights of their lives on it. No one gets to see the real-life of the person. However, a unique take on social media is a new platform called BeReal. BeReal's platform confronts this issue directly. You can read more about it here, but essentially, the platform sets a designated time of day for people to post. It's a small window of a couple of minutes where people can post what they're doing in just that minute. You can't control what's going on at that moment, so you just have to post about what's going on in that moment - the good, the bad, and the ugly. The platform is an attempt to encourage authenticity and call out the issue of putting on a front in social media.
"The Field" is a new album dropped by Kristene DiMarco just last week. Featuring 12 tracks, the album seeks to reconcile our need to know about God with the mystery of who God is. A couple of the songs include What if Jesus and Wherever You Lead, which was the single that she released earlier. DiMarco pulls from her own experiences, giving the album a richness that comes from someone truly feeling what she is singing about. "The Field" takes on a blues and pop influence with the tone of the instruments, with most of the songs being slower and more reflective.
"Pool Noodle Duel" from Youth Group Games is a super fun game that can be played upfront on a stage or if you have a small youth group. For preparation, you need to have two pool noodles and two cloths of some kind to work as blindfolds. Choose two students to come to duel against each other then blindfold them and give them their pool noodles. One student is the defender while the other is the attacker. Much like the game "Ninja", the attacker gets three strikes to try and hit the defender. The defender can still try and dodge, however. If the defender is able to dodge three times, the two switch roles and the defender is now able to attack.
If you want to make the game fairer, have them switch between defending and attacking each time. In another variant, place the pool noodles on the ground for the duelers to have to crawl around and find. In any variant, the first person to hit the other wins.
Knowing someone versus having a relationship with them... I was listening to a sermon the other day that talked about knowing about someone and actually knowing someone. Social media is a perfect example of this. For some people, maybe even you, their relationship with God looks a lot like that. Some people grow up in church hearing about Christ all of their life. They know all of the right answers and the right things to say, but they don't actually have a relationship with him. People can be fooled by acting like a Christian, but God knows the true state of our relationship.
1 Samuel 16:7 - But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
One quality that people respect highly is authenticity or vulnerability. It's something that is becoming rarer but more and more necessary, especially with social media. The ability to truly be yourself in the best and worst of times is something that will earn people's respect. You will earn their trust and put yourself in a position to be the person that they confide in once you've taken that first step. Putting yourself out there is extremely difficult, I know it is. There's always the risk of you getting hurt, but God can use those moments of vulnerability for His glory.