The Source for Youth Ministry


David: It was so funny to me to hear tribal people singing English songs of Beyonce, and Kanye, and Lil Wayne, and Taylor Swift, and all these guys, and I'm going, "Wow!" They were even singing a George Michael's song about "You Gotta Have Faith," you know, and I'm going, "No, you gotta have talent. That's what you gotta have." It was so amazing to me, how the latest and greatest songs from American culture are the songs that the kids sing as karaoke over here in South Africa.

Tyrone: Why is that surprising?

David: Well, I guess I'm just lamenting that. I guess I'm just lamenting that because I know the – and I'm gonna use a theological word here – I know the crap that we as Americans export to other nations and I guess I would just like to officially apologize for making you guys' jobs as youth workers, volunteer youth workers, that much more difficult here in South Africa. It surely does in our nation. Any thoughts on that?

Tyrone: You can't blame everything on the media that you export, the music and stuff like that. You know, kids everywhere, whether they're South African, American, European, they should be taught to discern and think for themselves and if they choose to listen to stuff that makes our jobs more difficult, we need to accept that they've made their choice and try and guide them through that. There's no way we can blame the music entirely; it's just what they choose to expose themselves to and we to guide them through that as best we can as youth workers, as mentors, and just as spiritual guides.

David: Now, let's turn the corner here because we have just a few more moments left, and I want to talk about youth ministry in South Africa. Tom and I have a mutual friend up in Pretoria, which is the nation's capital, about an hour's drive from here, 60 or 70 kilometers, as you call them. And Werner is in youth ministry there at the church in Pretoria which is our sister church from St. James. But tell me, youth ministry here, in Johannesburg in South Africa, and lots of – right before I left for South Africa eleven days ago I literally received three emails, three emails and none of them were from you, three emails from other youth workers in Johannesburg or right here in the JoBurg area that are in youth ministry so I want you to kind of wrap us up here Tyrone and tell us a little bit about youth ministry in South Africa. Do you have a big bonfire on the church grounds and get into loin skirts and leather thongs and dance around singing praises to Jesus? Or, what do you do there?

Tyrone: Anyone wearing a leather thong is to keep it to themselves.

David: Ha. They're not admitted to your youth ministry, is that right?

Tyrone: If that's all they're wearing, yes. But no, we just have a worship service as much as we can. We have Sunday morning. We have youth church....

David: Ok, but worship services, is that like you guys passing cobras around and walking on fire coals? What does a worship service look like for you guys? Help us out because we Americans can use our imaginations and it's often not a very pretty thing.

Tyrone: We go to church. We sit in pews.

David: Pews. They have pews here. Who's idea was those things? OK. Keep going.

Tyrone: Someone with an evil imagination. Moving on. And we have a worship team to lead us. We have songs, choruses, hymns, sometimes, a sermon, just a normal service in church, you know. We have electricity, we have carpets, and a roof, and everything.

David: Air conditioning?