Even though your feeds have been “Taylor Swift THIS” and “Superbowl Taylor Swift THAT” … Let’s take a minute to dig deep into why this sub-culture has influenced so much of our little spheres—
Ever since the great 🦠that must-not-be-named of 2020, research has shown an increase of loneliness, depression, anxiety, and hopelessness.*
Then we’re told about wars, about increasing egg prices, about school board elections, about opinions on where to shop, and on and on—negativity, change, and trauma.
Just a few days ago, I saw an artist post on IG about low-key anxiety she was feeling for 2024: “There are many parallels of this year to 2020, and it freaks me out.” Later, she mentioned many of her 105,000 followers felt the same way about this year. FRIEND, this artist isn’t the first person I’ve read that is having a 20/24 anxiety cloud follow them—and we’re only 39 days into the new year.
Back to the Swifties:
A group that exchanges friendship bracelets … because they want community.
A group that likes puzzles … because they want purpose.
A group obsessed with “eras” … because they like stability.
A group that follows a woman who shares only 3% of her life … because they want a physical hero.
Now, I’m not saying *every* Swiftie is obsessed and deals with these problems, but can you see how if you don’t have Jesus Christ at the center of your life, it can be easy to find a substitute somewhere else?
Yes, it can be annoying to have a musician on the jumbo screen during a football game.
Yes, it can be frustrating to read people defend a stranger.
Yes, it can be confusing to see money spent on something “frivolous.”
But in a time of political unrest, demanding responsibilities, loneliness, and ever-changing sliced meat prices… it makes sense to me why some have chosen to “escape” to another book series, movie multiverse, concert, or card game.
It’s not wrong to desire friendship, role models, or consistency. But what we find on earth will never satisfy us wholly until we come to know Jesus Christ.
So, Friend, what do we do about all of this? How do we interact with our friends and family are searching for hope?
We cultivate an attitude of compassion to those who are searching.
We can’t forget that we, too, were once dead in our trespasses and sins.
And you were dead in your offenses and sins, 2 in which you previously walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all previously lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our wrongdoings, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the boundless riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. —Ephesians 2:1–9
We had no idea what real joy was until we came to Christ. People without Jesus Christ are lost, searching, and finding purpose in the wrong thing.
The temptation is to think of ourselves as “holier” because we’re *not* part of the sub-culture. Or brag that we spend our money elsewhere instead of popcorn buckets and sweatshirts.
But we’re all sinners. We all need Jesus to save us, and we all need to be forgiven.
We find opportunities to use cultural moments to share the Gospel.
With discernment, wisdom, and compassion from the Holy Spirit, we can become more aware of cultural moments and use them as a bridge to talk about our faith.
For instance, if someone brings up Swift, her music, concert… use that mention to direct the conversation back to your faith:
- “Some of my favorite music are hymns because they’re poetically written, too, and share the richness of salvation and depth of joy.”
- “No, I didn’t see [whatever], but last Sunday, my pastor spoke on [topic] and that’s stuck with me because [reason].”
- “I’ve got a fun community group, too, and we just had a game night! Everyone brought their favorite appetizer, and it was most I’ve laughed in a while.”
Taylor Swift, The Eras Tour, the Superbowl—all of that has been one indication to me that many people are seeking and finding an answer in a specific person and event. Yet throughout 2024 and beyond, we will have other popular “obsessions” put in front of us, and each one can be an alarm to you: this generation is looking for the hope found in Jesus Christ.
We pray for those who need Jesus Christ.
With the Superbowl happening this weekend … why not turn it into a praying game? Every time Taylor Swift is mentioned or shown, pray for the lost and hopeless.
Know a IRL Swiftie who doesn’t know Jesus? Pray for that individual every time you interact with him or her.
Mark the date of her next album drop (April 19, 2024, currently), and pray specifically during that week when the community is most excited and posting online.
And if you want to become more focused with your prayers, I’ve got THE download for you: “The Focused Prayer Planner.”
This prayer planner has 1 year of prompts, so you can start praying for something specific today.
The planner also takes a topic—friendships, for example—and breaks it down into smaller pieces that you can pray over it for one week each month:
- Week 1: Pray for your friends’ physical and mental health.
- Week 2: Pray for your friends’ relationships, including their friendships, family, and romantic relationships.
- Week 3: Pray for your friends to experience true joy that comes from a relationship with God.
- Week 4: Pray for your friends to know and follow God’s plan for their lives.
THEN if you want to get even more specific… you can take that weekly focus and create daily topics to pray over:
The Focused Prayer Planner is 100% free, and you can download it here + you can get the “Prayers for the Lost” add-on—30 prayer prompts to help you pray specifically for those who are searching for the hope, purpose, and fulfillment found only in Jesus Christ.
I know this has been very T.S.-centered, but my hope is that you gain greater compassion and empathy for those who are lost.
People are obsessed with finding hope, purpose, joy, and love. We are all prone to find something that satisfies that desire—whether it be in sports, a career, shopping, food, etc.—but it can only be found in Jesus Christ.
At any point in the year, obsessions will be highlighted in our newsfeeds, and it’s our responsibility to pray for the lost and share the Gospel.
Will you let me know if you’re going to make the Superbowl a “Praying Game”? OR if you were able to redirect a conversation back to the Gospel, tell me the story! I want to celebrate with you 🎉