I love that old saying, “You are never too old…” As I get older I appreciate that sentiment more often and find that I am more cognizant of the efforts of those who are around my age trying to “fit in” with those of the new generation. Most of the time I’m embarrassed by their attempts to remain relevant, but on Monday, a fellow old timer took advantage of his moment in the spotlight and it simply worked.
At the MTV Movie & TV Awards, actor Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation, Jurassic World, and the Guardians of the Galaxy) was given the Generation Award. The award is the successor to the Lifetime Achievement Award and according to MTV it "is given to an artist who has shown us a variety of impressive roles, a personal and professional flair and of course, an awesome level of talent." The first golden popcorn version was handed out to Tom Cruise in 2005 and many well-known actors have followed. MTV was a banned channel in our house growing up so I have never given much attention to anything they do, however, you have to accept the cultural influence they continue to possess so I have taken an interest in who they deem worthy of what they consider their highest honor.
I say that Pratt’s efforts worked because he took advantage of the moment by not playing the typical “adult in the room” role and in his acceptance speech spoke the language of the audience he was addressing and covertly dropped in the truth that has shaped his life. His “Nine Rules to Live by” started with this statement, “This being the generation award, I’m going to cut to the chase and I’m going to speak to you, the next generation.” He went on to share nine statements that at times referenced the soul, prayer, God, and the cross. In true Chris Pratt form he used middle school “potty humor” to break the ice but cleverly worked in the Gospel by the time he got to his number one rule. Read the entire speech here: https://www.christianheadlines.com/contributors/michael-foust/god-loves-you-actor-chris-pratt-delivers-faith-filled-speech-at-mtv-movie-awards.html
What can we take away from this? Great job Chris, the crowd loved it, but I’m more intrigued by the reaction to his speech. Those on the left can’t deny the positive reaction from the crowd, but in their reporting they are obviously offended by the blood of Jesus being shed because many outlets edited the last point out. Those on the right are happy that he chose to speak of his faith but they are offended that he talked about poop. Really?? Can this help explain the reason for the disconnect between the generations? Any speaker knows that you have to consider your audience and you evaluate the effectiveness of the speech by simply asking did the speaker achieve his/her goals. The answer to both is YES! Thankfully Chris Pratt couldn’t care less what the “adults in the room” think. He knew he was speaking to an adolescent crowd and he knew he had something important to say and he hit it out of the park.
To reach the next generation we have to speak to them in their language. The truth remains the same, we just have to figure out how to express it in words they are going to understand and think about. I struggle with this but Pratt has given me hope. Those who seek to silence the Gospel have known for a long time that you begin when they are kids. When will we accept that and step up our game? You might not be comfortable with the potty humor but you have to at least meet them where they are. Learn their language, tolerate their music, always look for opportunities to tell them the truth! The method might change, but the message never does!
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12
But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14
Serving the Savior
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