Relying on youth for insight into the current trends, slang, and funny places on the internet is a privilege. How many teenagers are open to sharing the intimate details of their lives, sometimes even those that their parents are not quite fully in tune with or aware of, and they just offer it up to you if you ask!
One thing I like to do in return for this precious information is to try and given them some honest insight about adulthood and how adults encounter or interact with current events or more broadly the world around them. The metaphor I come up with in my mind is a business exchange – buying and selling of information in hopes that both parties come away with increased value.
If you could “buy” information from the youth of today’s world, what exactly would you shop for? They have insights and processes of thinking that would truly blow you away, so you must be a discerning shopper – and an open-minded one. But more importantly think about the other end of the exchange, what can you offer a young person of today that would leave them with something more valuable than they had?
I’m taking this out of context a little bit, but hear this verse from Deuteronomy:
But take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children’s children (4:9).
Ultimately the buying/selling metaphor in my head is not very biblical. Our children, whether they be ours or ours in the church, are a gift to us and we must make sure to be a gift to them. You have something valuable to impart upon the lives of our youth, and it is up to you to figure out what that is and make it known to them.