Today’s generation is remarkably different than yesterday’s. Why? It is all a part of God’s immutable plan and Sovereign Will. The generation today is trendy and cultural, speaking a different language, a new fashion of clothing that transcends expression of thought; creative, imaginative and innovative. In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people, your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. (Acts 2:17). You may ask, “What does this mean?” It simply means that everyone can receive the Spirit of the Lord, including those whom you feel are diverse. The synonym for different, is “special.”
Advantages of approaching the youth as a “Cross-cultural Ministry,” are (1) understanding cultural differences and how culture influences behavior. (2) Learning how culture influences education, family and social experiences. (3) Understanding that human beings are different, yet we all have three things in common, the need to be praised, loved and wanted. Lahey concedes that in order for us as a Western Country in the United States to grow, prosper and succeed we must learn to understand one another better, and to extend opportunities to groups held at the bottom of the economic ladder by the kind of prejudice and discrimination that comes from lack of understanding (Comas-Diaz, 2000). (15).
Disadvantages of approaching the youth as a “Cross-cultural ministry,” are not understanding the cultural differences, and expressing a judgmental attitude toward others for being different. Refusing to understand that human beings are made to be different in general; however, culture determines the behavior of the individual.
The socio-cultural perspective not only encourages us to consider cultural and social factors when attempting to understand a neighbor or coworker but also requires that we not misuse that information (Lahey, 14).
Culture refers to many characteristics of a group of people, including attitudes, behaviors, customs and values that are transmitted from one generation to the next (Matsumoto, 2000).
Culture Relativity: Perspective that promotes thinking of different cultures in relative terms rather than judgmental terms (Lahey, 14).
Socio-cultural-perspective: Theory of psychology that states it is necessary to understand a person’s culture and other social influences to fully understand him/her (Lahey, 14).
Statistics: In 1989 20% of all youth (up to ages 17 years of age) were members of minority ethnic groups. By the year 2000, that proportion had grown to more than 33%, and it is still on the rise (Lahey, 15).