Learning from Katy Perry

Youth Specialties
November 22nd, 2010

We have all heard Katy Perry’s huge hit “Teenage Dream.”  And, we (by “we,” I mean me) have all found ourselves singing this song at the top of our lungs while driving to Target…by ourselves.   Here is the chorus:

“You make me feel like I’m living a teenage dream

The way you turn me on, I can’t sleep

Let’s run away and don’t ever look back

Don’t ever look back”

Having spent most of my adult life coming along teenagers to help them navigate the high seas of adolescence, the lyrics of this song scream of shipwreck.  Further, having just had a daughter, these lyrics make me want to circle her up in bubble wrap while spending the next 18 years of her life reading her books about pony’s and dandelions. 

Despite my fears, I think Katy Perry may be onto something.  Maybe we shouldn’t be telling Katy Perry to stop dreaming, but instead we should help her learn how to dream.  Not only should we teach her how to dream, we personally should be dreaming and living out those dreams in our own lives.  I think one of the main reasons the “Katy Perry’s of the world” have come up with dreams like in this song is because the dreams we have offered with our lives hasn’t captivated the hearts and minds of our next generation.  A captivating dream needs to involve risk, conviction, passion and a whole bunch of people thinking,”That person will come to their senses and grow up someday.”

“Dreaming” may sound a bit elementary, but I believe living out the Dream we have been created for is anything but elementary…instead, it is central to our understanding of God’s Dream for Creation and his dream for our lives.  When rooted in understanding God’s Dream for our lives, pursuing our “dream” is anything but elementary or immature…it is a profound act of obedience.

Especially over these past couple years, I have been trying to act on my God given dreams.  At times it feels lonely, counter-cultural and terrifying, but I have never felt so obedient and enlivened.  It is in setting aside the dreams others/culture imposes upon me and in discerning the dreams that God has hardwired into me that my will most aligns with His. 

As youth workers who are passionate about helping our students uncover their unique role within God’s Kingdom, we need to lead by example in living/pursuing the God given dreams which reveal our unique role.  Our teenagers are watching.  So, what is that trip you have been waiting to take “someday?”  Or mission you believe in, but doesn’t pay very well (ok, maybe you're in that role right now!)?  Or person you know you should pull over and hang out with but don’t?  What makes you come to life? 


Youth Specialties

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.