Every now and then I find something positive in pop culture that’s worth passing along to our CPYU constituency. This morning I found one of those things while doing some writing for the upcoming January/February edition of Simply Youth Culture that we producing in partnership with our good friends at Simply Youth Ministry.
We’re including one of our unique CPYU 3D media reviews in every edition of Simply Youth Culture. Our 3D media evaluation paradigm is something we want to see taught to every child, teen, and adult. A few years ago we produced our How To Use Your Head to Guard Your Heart: 3(D)Media Evaluation Guide for youth workers to use with their kids as they teach them how to think Christianly and biblically about media by funnelling everything they see and hear through the three-step Discover, Discern, Decide process. (By the way, the guides – along with everything else in our resource center – are 15% off this month).
For this edition of Simply Youth Culture I decided to find something positive to review. I ran across a wonderful new video from Travis McCoy that premiered last week on MTV. The catchy and upbeat “One At A Time” delivers a straight-on challenge to kids, encouraging them to get involved and make a difference in their world. McCoy – the lead vocalist for Gym Class Heroes – is also an ambassador for MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation, a group that promotes and funds grassroots HIV and AIDS prevention efforts globally.
While you and I might not agree with the presuppositions the Staying Alive Foundation holds regarding sexuality and sexual ethics, there’s no arguing with the song’s challenge to step up, see the world’s need, make a difference, and address issues one person at a time. As McCoy walks through the South African landscape issuing this challenge in the video, you can’t help but think about Jesus and His heart for the poor. In a world where too many Christians erroneously equate the Gospel with personal salvation and personal salvation alone, it’s time we start to think more seriously about the implications of the Gospel in relation to how we function in a world where all things groan and cry out for redemption. Are we called to simply hold on until the end and Heaven becomes real for us? Or, are we called to serve as Kingdom ambassadors obsessed with bringing Heaven into every nook and cranny of the earth? The answer is all too clear. Yet, for some reason, we ignore it.
Travis McCoy’s “One At A Time” is worth watching and talking about. It’s a great springboard for discussions about what it means to seek justice for the poor, sick, and oppressed.