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"DAVID MIERS is reported to be in the top 10 cage fighters in Gosford. He has some serious dish washing skills and thinks that Elizabeth Bennet is hot. Although he thinks that his wife Rowena is hotter. David works in youth ministry for a great church. Likes to: speak in third person, watch and play soccer, eat food and surf the web. He has never watched Star Wars."

Youth Ministry: Emo Evangelism

Are you sick of life??? Are you EMO??? If you've stumbled here via google and have no idea what 'evangelism' is... go and check out THIS SITE to find out what Jesus has done to fix this sucky world...
Recently, Rowena and I have been thinking a bit about evangelism to teenagers that belong to the EMO subculture. One of my conclusions for any subculture is that Christians who are from that subculture go back into it to reach their friends. Surfers. Skaters. Emos. Goths. (Here's a long list). Whoever. Why? The reasons are obvious enough: they understand the culture and will therefore be able to relate to peers in that culture better than someone external to the culture.

Today in year 9 scripture I had a great time talking to some self-confessed Emo's and had the opportunity to ask them about the characteristics of their subculture. It was a fantastic time. They spoke of the roots in emo punk music but also the culture that goes with that. At one point one of them spoke about how the wearing of tight black jeans might lead to emo guys not being able to have children. Astutely, one of the others said that emo's don't really want to bring children into such a messed up world! We had a great time talking and their questions seemed genuine.

This arvo I did a bit of web-surfing to read more about EMO. I found this great site where (presumably) teenagers write the definitions for different words. It's called Urban Dictionary. The entry on EMO (mild language warning) is hilarious! (There's also 400+ photos such as the Emo-Nemo one). Each entry has a definition and a made up emo-quote. Here's a few:

>>>Like a Goth, only much less dark and much more Harry Potter. "My life sucks, I want to cry."
>>>Emu spelled incorrectly. "That emo sure is fast!"
>>>If scenes were soda, Emo could be Diet Goth. "Emo: I'm so sad. I'm going to cut myself... Goth: I'm nothing. I'm going to cut everyone."

(These are some of the shorter ones - go to the site to read the longer ones.)

The EMO subculture is traced back (by one of the emo's in class today, wikipedia and here) to the EMOtional Punk-rock of the 1980s. Today in a blog post, Chris Mayes described Albert Camus as: "the patron saint of depressed youths". So we can probably trace the EMO culture back to him and other big-question-asking thinkers throughout the 20th Century (and earlier).

I believe in the gospel: that it's God's power for the salvation of everyone who believes. I believe that God has his people in our city and will save them as they hear the gospel. I believe that peer to peer evangelism is an effective way to reach different subcultures.


I wonder if the emo tree is ripe for the picking?

On the Central Coast (and on Coasts around the world) there is an organisation called Christian Surfers. Their aim is to build a bridge between surfers and the church. I wonder if it is time for CHRISTIAN EMOS??? Maybe we could aim evangelistic endeavours at them, their subculture and the questions they're asking.

EMO's know they suck
EMO's know the world sucks and is messed up
EMO's don't mind being different
EMO's persevere through bullying
EMO's are not afraid to show emotions (dir!)
EMO's question the world
EMO's seem open to exploring spiritual questions

I haven't yet ventured onto MySpace to find out more about them - but if you're interested I'm sure you could find lots of emotional MySpace pages!

Has anyone else thought about this stuff much???
If not for emos - for other subcultural groups???
Is EMO EVANGELISM worth a shot???
What do you think???
I would love to hear your thoughts...

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  • Anonymous Dan says so:
    Friday, November 17, 2006 8:19:00 am  

    In a talk recently I said that when Jesus said 'Blessed are the Poor in Spirit' he was talking to all the ancient EMOs.
    I reckon that Bridging into a subculture is a crucial mode of evangelism. Particularly as youth subcultures are typically very inward looking. top

  • Anonymous Sam says so:
    Friday, November 17, 2006 8:35:00 am  

    I'd love to be EMO... far too old though! We have a bunch of Christian pseudo EMO's (they don't claim to be fully fledged EMO's) out our Youth Group and they're fantastic at inviting their friends to hear about Jesus. top

  • Anonymous Anonymous says so:
    Friday, November 17, 2006 9:43:00 am  

    Thanks for this David, I always wondered what a EMO really was. I am, a little sad by what they did to Nemo though, one of my favourite movies, I prefer Dory myself but still...

    I am going to look at some of those links now :) Will let you know what I think. top

  • Blogger Christopher says so:
    Friday, November 17, 2006 11:30:00 am  

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator. top

  • Blogger Christopher says so:
    Friday, November 17, 2006 11:31:00 am  

    Christopher said...
    EMO's know they suck

    This one is hilarious.
    I think you make some interesting observations. The EMO youth is a very odd species indeed. I could have been one except my legs wouldn't look good in those skin-tight black jeans.

    I think emo-evangelism would be fruitful. Not sure if you're the man for the job though Dave, you are uber-positive and that could frighten the little fellows. (this is a joke so don't be discouraged)

    p.s. that link to the post on Camus was amazing! :) top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Friday, November 17, 2006 1:16:00 pm  

    dan - love the sermon on the mount link!! top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Friday, November 17, 2006 1:19:00 pm  

    sam - assuming it's the newcastle one - if you became an emo you'd be in the running for the tallest one... you'd have to get some of those tight black jeans custom made...

    good to hear there's some E(MO)vangelism (is that a good term or what!) happening. top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Friday, November 17, 2006 1:20:00 pm  

    nixter - i hope you're dealing okay with the pain of seeing the harm done to nemo! top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Friday, November 17, 2006 1:21:00 pm  

    chris - i may not be very emo - but i could give the cross-cultural thing a go (i think in the end all youth ministry is cross cultural once you are a few years out of school)

    i've listened to a bit of your band on myspace... i like it...
    are you guys a bit emo????? top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Friday, November 17, 2006 1:22:00 pm  

    i don't know why i didn't do all those as one post... it would have been quicker... but at least it looks like there are stax of people commenting... comments attract comments! top

  • Blogger Christopher says so:
    Friday, November 17, 2006 2:00:00 pm  

    It does look like stacks of people have commented. Good work.

    i've listened to a bit of your band on myspace... i like it...
    are you guys a bit emo?????

    Alt/Country or Indie/Country is what I prefer to go by. There was a time when I was younger that I got a little emo with my song writing, but I have difficulty expressing emotions so the songs often became sardonic of such things. top

  • Blogger Nixter says so:
    Friday, November 17, 2006 4:16:00 pm  

    yeah - I am getting through, I hope I don't have nghtmares top

  • Anonymous anna says so:
    Saturday, November 18, 2006 11:15:00 am  

    there's a song called emo kid, if you google it you'll find it, but its a bit inappropriate bu also sums up emos quite well.
    its a new legacy of mine. haha
    i reckon christian emos is a great idea. totally encourage you to explore it.
    -anna (rodeoclown's little sis) top

  • Blogger Andy M says so:
    Monday, November 20, 2006 10:49:00 am  

    What on earth is an "emo"?!?!?!? top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Wednesday, November 22, 2006 7:04:00 am  

    anna - a friend played it for me the other day (hey jon!) - it was pretty funny!

    andy m said: What on earth is an "emo"?!?!?!?

    did you not read the post andy?
    if you did - maybe click some of the links

    grace and peace top

  • Blogger Syd says so:
    Wednesday, January 24, 2007 5:35:00 pm  

    This comment has been removed by the author. top

  • Blogger Syd says so:
    Wednesday, January 24, 2007 5:53:00 pm  

    I agree reaching out to emo's is an area that should be explored more. But at the same time we need to be cautious to not get hooked up in there culture.

    The bible tell us that Jesus reached out to tax gathers and collectors who were despised and rejected by the community then. But never did he embrace
    there way of living. top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Thursday, January 25, 2007 3:10:00 pm  

    hey syd.

    agree... mostly.

    i've got no problems with a Christian being in 'their' culture - as long as they are not living contrary to how God would have his people live.

    what do you mean by their culture? what would it look like for a Christian to go too far?

    dave top

  • Blogger Syd says so:
    Monday, January 29, 2007 8:01:00 pm  

    This comment has been removed by the author. top

  • Blogger Syd says so:
    Monday, January 29, 2007 8:05:00 pm  

    Hey again Dave,

    Just in reply, As Christians we're a set apart from the world. God's people are to be different. When we're witnessing to people they need to see that difference in us.
    Sure i think it vitally important to have similar interests as the people we associate with. But at the same time i think we need to have that difference. e.g music.
    In this case i think some emo music is fine to listen to. But other songs/band aren't. Of course this, to some extent, is up to the individual to decide. But in all things we need to be accountable to God.
    So yea I think we mostly do agree.

    btw, Great to read a blog that is well thought out and deals with serous issues. Keep it up.

    God Bless,

    Ben top

  • Blogger Faziz says so:
    Friday, March 23, 2007 3:03:00 pm  

    I like a lot of what you have said about emo and teens. I work with teens alot of them having emo qualities, whether it's their attitude, fashion, music, whatever, i see them. I really like the point you make about emo teens being fairly prime opportunity for sharing who Jesus is. It's a great idea.
    One thing that we need to keep in mind though is that these teens do think alot about how 'they suck' and they focus alot on their problems and themselves, most of the time I believe without knowing it. They're a group ripe for the picking and that's exciting. But we need to look at what some of the possible road blocks are going to be.
    Great blog, keep it up. top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Friday, March 23, 2007 5:59:00 pm  

    hey faziz...

    thanks for the feedback.

    what do you think some of the roadblocks might be??

    peaceout top

  • Anonymous Anonymous says so:
    Friday, March 21, 2008 2:49:00 pm  

    I think that what your doing is great. I live in milwake so I have sen bad things befor.I have the hair style of a emo.but focus more on god.also be careful in what you say. I have talked to many emos about being a chistian. Most of them were open minded some were not. top

  • Anonymous Anonymous says so:
    Friday, April 25, 2008 1:00:00 pm  

    "emo" is a horrible way of life.
    It is a chosen life style.
    if anyone knows of a way to get through to this lost group let me know. top

  • Anonymous sean says so:
    Tuesday, May 13, 2008 10:15:00 pm  

    glad to see other people considering this idea...this is going to be my challenge this summer as i have just taken over as the youth pastor in a small church and i have been given a thursday night service. A large portion of kids around here are emo. Luckily i have a friend who is the lead singer/screamer in a very well liked hardcore band. He has helped give some insight into this culture.

    Go for it. Jesus always went to the people no one else wanted a part of. It will be a challenge. top

  • Blogger jon says so:
    Wednesday, September 03, 2008 1:51:00 pm  

    Youth Evangelism in whatever way possible as long as it does not subvert the word of God is a blessing. I speak to Youth Evangelism and Culture myself at
    http://evangelizetheyouth.com/ top

  • Anonymous Dave Miers says so:
    Thursday, September 04, 2008 12:59:00 am  

    hey guys.

    i've now moved this blog over to davemiers.com

    thanks for reading and commenting. top

  • Anonymous Anonymous says so:
    Tuesday, October 21, 2008 10:40:00 am  

    are you high??

    that will never work, you stupid douche.

    christian emos?????? your off your chops. top

  • Anonymous Anonymous says so:
    Wednesday, June 03, 2009 1:57:00 pm  

    I think that would be awesome. I'm not emo but I have the scene style and people call me emo all the time. I'm christian too. I accually know a few people that got that kind of style that are christians. I think it could deffinately work. top

  • Blogger Squid says so:
    Friday, August 07, 2009 3:16:00 pm  

    Thank you so much for posting this...one of my callings for life is to minister to emos, I love them with a passion, although I wouldn't pass for emo on the street I am pretty much considered emo (don't know why!)...they love me for some reason (God thing!). I was googling emo ministry and found this post...thank you so much, even though I am a few years late in finding it :) ♥ God bless top