Where I live (the Washington DC area), most students return to school this week. So as a service to youth pastors (to keep them from making hackneyed references) and adults everywhere (to make us feel old), here is this helpful guide to this year’s freshman, aka the class of 2017:
They were born in 1999/2000, which means they were too young to remember September 11. But it also means that:
They are too young to remember Billy Graham crusades (he has done 9 in their lifetime, the last one in 2005).
Unless they’ve been paying close attention to 1 Chronicles, they have no idea who Jabez is. The Prayer of Jabez was released before they were born.
Ditto with The Purpose Drive Church. That book came out in 1995.
As far back as they can remember, Michael Tait has been the lead singer of Newsboys, and DC Talk is…who again? DC Talk has not released a new studio album in their lifetime.
For the most part, the emergent church movement came and went, all before they entered middle school.
The five largest US “churches” have remained fairly constant through their life (according to people that measure that kind of thing): Saddleback with Warren, Lifechurch.tv with Groeschel, Willow Creek with Hybles, North Point with Stanely (and if you have to ask which Stanely, I refer you to the premise of this post), and Second Baptist with Young.
Speaking of hackneyed, today’s freshman have parents on Facebook, but they most likely stay away from that themselves.
Derek Webb left Cademan’s Call when they were three-years-old.
John MacArthur was preaching through Luke when they were born. And in their life time, he completed Luke and Mark.
The Passion Conferences are older than they are.
In their life time, the road in front of the White House has never been open to traffic, and there have only been two presidents.
Obviously, their Bibles are on the cell phones. But so is their music. They have never owned CD’s.
The NAS was last updated before they were born, but the ESV, Holman, and New Living Translations were all released in their life time. Oh, and there have been three drastically different versions of the NIV in the last ten years (maybe one day they’ll get that thing right).
The Promise Keeper’s Men’s movement had pretty much run its course before they were born.
The US has been at war for their whole lives, and if their parents are military, they have possibly gone through three deployments.
The LA Forum has never been for the Lakers, but always as a home for “Faithful Central Bible Church.“
Not only had Amy Grant already crossed over, but for their entire lives, Grant has been Vince Gil’s wife.
The WWJD bracelets were gone before they were born, but they did grow up wearing ID bracelets at church.
The first time Driscoll repented of his language in the pulpit…was before they were born.
I’ll end with some good news: They probably have never watched TBN. The only Christian TV they’ve been exposed to has likely been through stations like NRB, Sky Angel, GodTV, etc. (hey, at least its a step in the right direction, which would of course be no TV).
And finally, Tim Challies has blogged every single day since they started kindergarten.
What am I missing? What would you add to this list?