‘spring break is broken’

I just watched the end of a very disturbing program on the E! channel about the spring break behavior of high school and college students. If you’re not aware of how some older students choose to spend their week off in March or April – get your head out the sand! Strictly as a culture-watcher, flip on MTV for a few minutes sometime in the next couple of weeks. What you’ll see in just a short amount of time looks like one of Paul’s lists of the products of our sinful nature in his letters – drunkenness, sexual immorality, debauchery, orgies, etc. What is unbelievable about the whole thing is not even the fact that all those things are occurring; it’s the fact that these students seem perfectly willing to let themselves be filmed for international television doing these things.

The last segment of the show contrasted that picture with the ‘alternative spring break’ movement. Alternative spring break is where students choose to travel somewhere and do service work instead of going to South Beach or Cancun to party. One female student said the quote of the program, as far as I’m concerned. She said, “What you choose to do for spring break says a lot about who you are.” I totally agree. Another great quote from an alternative spring break-er, “Spring break is broken.” Again, total agreement from me.

So the questions become – 1) If what students do for spring break says a lot about who they are, then doesn’t what we do on a daily basis say a lot about who we are? What do we choose to do instead of serving God’s kingdom?, and 2) What can we do, as parents and youth leaders, to help our students say the right thing about themselves during spring break this year, and every other year? More importantly, how can we take part in changing the popular cultural beliefs about spring break that lead so many students to make poor decisions?

I welcome your comments on this because this is something I will be dealing with for many more years of ministry to come. It’s not that I think a bunch of my students are going to run off to Cancun for binge drinking and random sex. But the dominant spring break mindset for our culture is ‘Party party party!’, and that’s something we need to be aware of.


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