Friday, January 27, 2012

    Youth Ministry Book Give-Away: Belieber!


    Could the Christian faith of Justin Beiber have a lasting impact on teens of many different faiths?

    At the risk of becoming the resident expert on Justin Bieber at Patheos.com, I was recently asked to do an interview with the author of the new book Belieber!: Fame, Faith, and the Heart of Justin Bieber. Writer Cathleen Falsini, award-winning journalist and nationally syndicated religion columnist, explores the phenomenon of Bieber's celebrity and the ways in which his faith intertwines with all that he does. I asked Falsini to reflect on Beiber's influence with Christian and non-Christian teens alike:

    Falsini: I've heard from hundreds of fans around the globe via Twitter and email since I started working on the book. I've heard from Jewish kids in Israel, Muslim teens (both girls and boys) from the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Indonesia. I've heard from Buddhist and Shinto fans in Japan, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Catholic kids in South America, the U.S., all over Europe and into the former Soviet Union. They're all intrigued by his faith—even if they don't share it or come from a different faith tradition—and want to know more about it and his story. It's extraordinary the reach Justin has and the barriers that he so naturally and with great love crosses all the time. And then, the most moving to me are the kids I've heard from (including a few I know personally) who say that the way Justin expresses and lives his faith has made them reconsider faith—and God—for themselves.

    You can read the entire interview here.

    Like a free copy of Falsini's book? I'd be happy to gift the copy sent to me by the publisher to one you intrepid youth ministers who want to read more on Beiber's faith or perhaps you have a teen in your ministry who is a big Bieber fan. Either way, to enter the give-away, simply leave a response on this post (or respond by email to briankskirk@yahoo.com) and answer the question: Which pop star/musical group was most influential on you as a teen? Contest ends at midnight Tuesday Jan. 31 and the winner will be announced here on Feb. 1. 

    Update:  The randomly selected winner of this book give-away is Cheryl who shared that her teen musical influences were Stevie Nicks and Pat Benetar. Cheryl, please contact us with your address so we can ship your book and thanks to all who commented on this post! 

    13 comments:

    Eddie W. said...

    When I was a teen, by far, the most influential singer/band for me was Relient K.

    Rachel said...

    I was really influenced by the Spice Girls and in love with their shoes.

    Cheek.HM said...

    When I was younger I was most influenced by a guy named Michael Blakemore who started out at my church. He is not a big name, but has a couple albums on itunes now. I loved attending worship services he lead because I could tell he was singing simply because he was so in love with God.

    Faithflower said...

    Steven Curtis Chapman was the first Christian concert I ever experienced and proved to be a great source of faith inspiring lyrics as the years went on. His current ministry is still one I support and try to pass on interest to my own son who is a rising youth band keyboard player and also interested in writing music.

    Cheryl said...

    I was most influenced by Stevie Nicks as well as Pat Benetar... I know...such differing genres!
    But both had their own styles and were not "swayed" by popular fashion or how society determined they 'should' be.

    Robbie Earle said...

    If I am being completely honest here, I am going to have to say DMB (That's Dave Matthews Band for those of you not in-the-know). Had every album and aspired to one day be like Dave, that is until I realized I couldn't sing very well...or really even at all...

    Thanks for giving away this book! I have a LOT of Bieber crazed girls in my group that would love this!

    Evija Balode said...

    I still remember how much I loved musicians called The Cure when I was a teenager. It felt that they are depressed to :D

    Carrie said...

    The widely divergent themes of the Violent Femmes really made me stop and think.

    Brian said...

    My walk with Jesus Christ did not happen until way into my late 20's. My musical influence was Led Zepplin, Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Bread, Alice in Chains, Metallica and many others.

    Jake Brooks said...

    Five Iron Frenzy was a HUGE influence on me. I am super excited for their return "from the grave."

    JoshDwyer said...

    In the early part of my teens I was drawn to Eminem - not for his drugs or swear, but his underlying determinism. Then I grew up, and found New Found Glory to be most influential.

    Samuel Sutter said...

    I'm honestly a bit skeptical. He seems so commercial that I'm really hesitant to hold him up.... as anything - i feel like fame tends to ruin even the best of young people. It takes an exceptional kid not to give in.

    Brian Kirk said...

    You raise a good point, Samuel. Not sure how any kid could deal in a healthy way with that sort of fame at a such a young age. I was surprised to learn in the book at how emphasis Bieber puts on giving money to his charities and encouraging his teen fans to get involved in outreach. It does say something that at the same age some young stars are blowing their millions on cocaine, Justin is trying to help out those in need.