You're Not Following Me on Instagram
"Why should we follow you? You won't follow us back."
This was the response I got when I told my campers that we could all stay in touch via social media. While it was a very simple and completely honest response, it was truly profound as well.
What they're referring to is the fact that I don't follow anyone on Instagram.
My campers did not know why I don't follow anyone and I simply did not have time to explain myself. However, what they said still shakes me. They wanted someone who would follow them.
That very word is eerie. It creeps me out that we all use the word follow so loosely. When Jesus used it, he meant it:
"Jesus said to them,'Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.'" -Matthew 19:28 (Emphasis mine)
Today, however, we follow people left and right. Can they inspire me to be more fit? Follow. Do they post a lot of inspiring quotes? Follow. Do they post cute pictures of dogs? Follow. Do they post every day? Follow. Do they post recipes of healthy food? Follow. Are they pretty? Follow. Do I want them to follow me? Follow.
Truthfully, it's way easier to follow all of those people than Jesus, but that's a different blog for a different day.
The real issue at hand is that these girls wanted to be followed. They wanted followers. They wanted to know that someone wanted to see what they posted. They wanted someone to like their pictures and comment on them. They were craving relationships in a society that counts them as follows.
For me, this means that how I disciple young women must change. We live in a society that tells us what to do, what to like, what to wear, and yet we crave someone who will just come with us. We want to be accompanied by someone who will just be there. Not necessarily someone who wants to tell us what to do, but more someone who will just hang out and be there. Someone who will laugh when something is funny, cry when the moment is sad, and smile when something extraordinary happens.
Let's redefine the way we disciple high school girls. Let's let them be heard, liked, and followed.