Singing my way down memory lane

A college friend of mine posted this morning on Facebook about hearing a song (“Love Shack” by the B-52s if you must know … go ahead and start doing the math) and being reminded of a specific event from (let me help you out) 20ish years ago. And it wasn’t just her … more than a few friends commented with similar memories. Now, thanks to her post I’ve been smiling about silly college memories for the last two hours, not to mention I’ve got the phrase “Tin roof … RUSTED!” running on an endless loop in my head.

All triggered by the mention of a song.

We all have soundtracks for our lives: music that reminds of us of seasons we went through, emotions we felt and lessons we learned. The B-52s are a part of mine, but so are Steve Taylor, PFR, DCTalk and Rich Mullins (among others).

The music your students choose to listen to right now is creating a soundtrack for their teenage years that will stick with them for the rest of their lives.

You can’t control everything they listen to … and I wouldn’t want you to. But there are two things you can do to help guide them as they are (albeit unknowingly) creating that soundtrack:

  1. Teach your students discernment. Talk about the songs they are listening to by Rihanna, Katy Perry, Toby Keith and others. Don’t shake your finger and rant and rave. Ask questions. Point them to scripture to help them gauge the Christ-likeness of the lyrics (and remember that there are sometimes positive lessons to be gleaned from some mainstream songs). Teach your students to uncover the Truth for themselves.
  2. Be intentional about helping them discover new songs and artists that will leave a lasting spiritual impact on their memories. Great Christian music can impact them now as they navigate high school. And maybe 20 years from now they’ll hear that same song and be reminded of the lessons they learned and the great times they had as a part of student ministry.

I’ve had a fun little trip down memory lane this morning. But I’ve also been reminded just how powerful music memories are. So what are you doing to help your students build an amazing soundtrack for their lives?



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3 Responses to Singing my way down memory lane

  1. Mark Pittman says:

    How weird was it to see a B-52’s concert on PBS the other night. I enjoyed watching them, but kept saying… PBS? Really? When did I move into their donor target-market?!?!

  2. Jason Franklin says:

    Thanks for this article. I started tripping back to Roxette, Petra, GNR, MWS, Amy Grant, Garth Brooks, The Cure, etc. Yea, I had eclectic tastes. Music does have a powerful impact on us, particularly at during those insane emotional teen years.

    I’m going to forward this article to the parents of my group. As those who minister to youth, it’s natural for us to talk to them about music, but parents don’t seem to. My folks just rolled their eyes at my music poked fun periodically — and I was grateful considering the flak most of my friends got from their parents, particularly the churched kids. From what I gather from my students, things haven’t changed on that front. It’d be awesome if God would use us to help parents and their kids communicate about the music rather than mock each other’s tastes.

    Parents and teens actually communicating WITH each other?! Must be a sign of the end!

    • Sheridyn Williamson says:

      Thanks Jason! I’d love for this to be a catalyst to more (some … one … any) conversation between parents and their kids. It can be a starting point for so many great conversations.

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