Youth Ministry, Youth Culture, and The Comics! . . .

Some of the most insightful and thought-provoking cultural commentary can be found in the comics section of your daily newspaper. When you take the time to intentionally listen to both Word and world (starting your day, as Karl Barth once said, with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other) you should be taking a few minutes to scan the comic (or as my grandmother used to say, “the funnies”) page.

For parents, the comics can get us thinking about things we should be paying attention to and responding to. For youth workers, reading the daily comment page will not only do the same, but will provide us with another way to educate and challenge parents as they fulfill their God-given role as those primarily responsible for the spiritual nurture of their kids. In other words, when you find a thought-provoking comment that gives insight into truths about kids and today’s youth culture, pass it on to parents. It just might evoke a chuckle and a thoughtful response.

Here’s this morning’s installment of the comic “For Better or For Worse” . . .

for better or for worse

That’s certainly a thought-provoking discussion starter that a youth worker could use at a parents’ meeting! For me, I would use it to spark discussion on developing a peer group of parents who agree to approach cultural issues by setting standards that bring glory to God, rather than jumping in line and caving to the pressure to live by the standards everyone else is choosing.

Here’s the “Tundra” comic strip from a couple of weeks ago. This one’s a good one to spark discussions with kids about the powerful pull of peer pressure and the need to engage in decision-making that takes into account the future consequences of our choices. . .

tundra comic peer pressure

Finally, here’s an installment from the “Wumo” strip that ran a couple of weeks ago. As a youth worker and parent, I find the message here to be especially challenging regarding the games we play as we curate ourselves and essentially create false identities on social media. This one’s a challenge to stop our lying. . .

wumo social media

God’s given us all kinds of tools to use in our ministries and efforts to bring the light of God’s Word and the Gospel to challenge us where we need to be challenged. Use them!

Are any of you already using comics in your ministry to students and their families? If so, how?

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