It’s all about…
Full stop. ALL CAPS. In bold, underlined and italics. With all the hashtags to go with it. #myidentity #dontjudgeme
Just look at the biblical record:
⦁ Adam and Eve set aside their God given identity to be identified as “knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:5
⦁ The Israelites set aside their identity as the people of God in order to be “like the other nations” by worshiping their gods and having a human king. 1st Samuel 8:5
⦁ Even some New Testament believers found their identity in who led them to Christ or who baptized them. 1st Corinthians 1:12
And it’s really no different today. We all have a desire to place our identity in something special and meaningful. This is put on display for us most often and in the extreme with youth culture. From the clothes they wear, to the music they listen to, the hobbies/sports they participate in and now their social media accounts youth can customize their identity in every imaginable way.
Check out this short video from Youth Ministry expert Jonathan McKee on what’s changed and what’s stayed the same in just the last five years. Everything’s Different in Just 5 Years
But the increase in options for students to find their identity have only increased the rates of hopelessness, insecurity and suicide among teens. This means that students are looking for something real, lasting and meaningful to find their identity but coming up short in the world’s offerings. The only thing that will truly satisfy them is finding their identity in Christ.
It’s our job as church leaders, parents, and fellow students to display what finding our identity in Christ looks like and sharing how others can do the same through our outreach, discipleship and day to day interactions.