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Mtv is probably the stupidest channel on the face of the earth. They’re like the 40 year old who wears Hollister T-shirts and lip syncs Hip Hop. Is it wrong for me to be so excited that Mtv is now considered total crap and keeps beating to some different drum off orbiting somewhere in the “who-knows-where-the-media-is” cosmos? I hope the stats continue to show the media doesn’t drive the culture any more-I only hope it bleeds into both government and the political media as well. OK-the point of the article isn’t so much about the demise of Mtv-but rather an important look at where this generation is going primarily b/c of what opportunity is in front of them. It really fans the flame for churches to stop trying to be relevant (a cultural follower) and just be real.
Here’s a great article from youth specialties-enjoy!
Click Here for the origianal post.
<a href=”What” _mce_href=”http://www.youthspecialties.com/articles/what-went-wrong-with-mtv/”>What”>http://www.youthspecialties.com/articles/what-went-wrong-with-mtv/”>What Went Wrong With MTV?
by Adam McLane</a>
By Adam McLane All through my adolescence no organization was cooler than MTV. They literally defined what was cool for my generation, as Frontline documented in The Merchants” _mce_href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdzxc8Fpn3o”>Merchants”>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdzxc8Fpn3o”>Merchants of Cool</a>, MTV wasn’t just lucky to hit a specific trend at a specific time for 20 plus years. My jaw dropped as I learned that MTV’s programming hits were the results of intense and prolonged ethnographic study of their target audience. In other words, MTV wasn’t just defining what was cool by themselves, they were hopping on trends and exploiting them for their purposes intentionally. That made them not only cool but powerful in defining culture. During that period MTV was much more than a cable station.
Here’s what is interesting. MTV isn’t as powerful anymore. Sure, they are fun. Sure, they are profitable. Sure, they sell ad space. Sure, they fill their air time with programming. But they aren’t innovating The Real World, Road Rules, or the after school special known purely asCarson Daley anymore. That’s right, the company that succeeded for so long as a result of ethnographic studies defining their mission has now lost it’s place in cultural significance. Their power is gone.
And why is this? I’m sure there are a number of factors. As an outsider I can’t know what internal faux pax lead to their demise from the reign of teen culture creator. Yet I can state the obvious. They had the perfect ethnographically created content on the wrong medium for their demographic. See, the biggest problem MTV faced in the last 5 years is simply that their core audience doesn’t watch as much TV. Therefore, their programming isn’t influencing the right people anymore. Ads on their network aren’t nearly as effective. And songs are not popular because Carson Daley said so. And since they aren’t influencing the right people they have stopped defining what cool is. Cool is now defined on the internet in 2-3 minute videos. A kid with a $400 camera and iMovie has as good a shot at producing the next hit as a Viacom.
Suddenly, the industrial revolution had come full circle and cottage industry can now compete with mega industries! (You or I have the same chance of creating the next great thing as the Viacoms of the world!) Adolescents don’t need to watch TV anymore if they can get their own customized “me channel” online via Facebook, YouTube, and the rest. MTV’s flaw wasn’t that they stopped doing the hard work, it’s that the medium they needed to use couldn’t work anymore. Their model has ultimately been their destruction; now MTV is just one of 700 channels on my cable line-up. With students, the Discovery Channel has as much influence as MTV. Anime took off despite MTV’s ignoring it. Pop stars were born because of Fox’sAmerican Idol and not because of MTV’s Made.
What does this have to do with me? I think there is a profound caution for youth workers in examining at MTV’s fall from influence. Much of what we do every day is based on mountains of prolonged study of adolescent faith development and years of perfecting our craft. But I think that we are so convinced that we are merely perfecting what we are doing that we may end up like MTV if we are not careful. We may have a great message, a great band, a great event, and a great ministry that no one attends and is not powerful in the adolescent community it was designed to minister to.
One part of our job is to influence adolescent culture and point students to the timeless truth that a life with Jesus is more fulfilling than a life without Him. While youth workers are now better trained and more tuned-in to studying adolescent culture in their communities than ever before, we run the same risk as MTV. Many of us oversee organizations which are so inflexible that we cannot possibly adapt our methods fast enough. Most of us are shy about even evaluating our methods at all! The challenge for all of us in this is… How do we create a youth ministry paradigm that is nimble enough to adapt its methods to remain effective? Will our leaders support us if we kill a method that had been effective in the past? Will nostalgia lead to the demise of many youth groups?
We can learn from the MTV’s of the world and avoid the same fate. Keep the message. Never be married to the methods!</em>
Finally! What a great article-Thanks <a href=”Adamhttp://adammclane.com/”>Adam</a>! (Adams Blog)
Let’s let this one roll around in our heads for awhile. Also, understand although the “Merchants of Cool” study is very enlightening it’s also from 2001…don’t get stuck a decade behind.
Here are my response points/ideas/discipleship opportunities/yada yada
1. Youth Workers! Disciple your teens to lead teens. The next challenge we will face is trying to reach a generation who communicates in txt msgs, updates and tweets… make the most of your ability to communicate by communicating often…not that anyone’s going to read it, but that when someone care’s to…it’s there.
2. Equip your teens with Biblical Know-How! Stop feeding adolescents someone’s interpretation of The Word and give them The Word.
3. Teach your teens to be relational without being relevant. I hate the word “relevant”…it’s like we’re looking for a hook, a gimmick, a 2nd-hand similarity. Haven’t we come to grips with the truth that God makes the direct connection between one life and another? All it costs is our willingness to love others as Christ loves others. Discipline yourself to know your story, listen to their story and know God’s story, let go of your “I-think-I’m-cool” behaviors and allow God to connect others to Him through you and/or through your disciples…
4. Stop teaching teens to defend their faith and start teaching them how to defend The Word. I have a real problem listening to my own generation try to justify their faith in a world of multi-faithism. Is it too much to ask, or is it too far out there to come to grips with the fact that God set everything you need to know for life, for relationships, for discipline, for vision and direction actually in His Word (2 Peter 1)….
5. Seek out teens spiritual gifts, not just equipping them with good things based on their personality. How very rarely we validate the things God wants to do through us…things that we, by nature, would be incapable of doing without Him (Eph 3:20).
The next generation of youth workers, pastors, missionaries will either be blessed by the fact we have multiplied disciple making disciples or they’ll have to clean up another generational mess up in the church…you know, like the bar-room brawl most churches seemed to have over music ten years ago…and now most of our churches play what we call contemporary music…but it sounds more like stuff from the late 80’s early 90’s?
(Maybe we’ll write about that one later…no, I doubt it)