Fighting The Digital Drain In Your Youth Ministry by Andy Blanks
Here’s a fact: Our information-rich culture serves as an obstacle to our students learning the discipline of engaging in daily times of prayer and Bible reading. (And maybe us too?) A recent study is attempting to back this up with science.
The barriers presented by our culture are not news to you.
You’ve been watching this happen for some time now. Your students are over-committed and over-involved to begin with, maybe more so than any other generation before them. School, church, sports and other extracurricular activities, jobs, and family obligations have them covered up. Then, we add media to the mix. When they aren’t at school, or practice, or work, your students are constantly being stimulated with media, information, or entertainment. A recent study is shedding light on how this constant stimulation may tax the brain, hindering its ability to process information. The study done by the University of California, San Francisco found the following:
When rats have a new experience, like exploring an unfamiliar area, their brains show new patterns of activity. But only when the rats take a break from their exploration do they process those patterns in a way that seems to create a persistent memory of the experience. The researchers suspect that the findings also apply to how humans learn. “Almost certainly, downtime lets the brain go over experiences it’s had, solidify them and turn them into permanent long-term memories,” said Loren Frank, assistant professor in the department of physiology at the university, where he specializes in learning and memory. He said he believed that when the brain was constantly stimulated, “you prevent this learning process.”
So, take this and apply it to what we know about teenagers and their spiritual habits . . .