rebelling against low expectations

How can I impact the world for Christ through pop culture?


TIM WRITES: I feel like people are influenced so much by different forms of media. Movies, social media, and online publications are good examples. Realistically, one of the best ways to communicate with the world around us is by using the communication they’re used to.

But how can we impact the world for Christ through pop culture? Do you have any practical ideas or suggestions?

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are submitted by real rebelutionaries who are looking for godly answers to tough questions and lively conversation with other young adults. You can join the conversation by commenting below. If you'd like to submit your own discussion question, email us at [email protected].


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  • I think that the “Do Hard Things” web, is a good example of how you can use social media for good, especially since there aren’t to many good clean christian websites out there. And there are some good movies out there too. Like Bob Jones University make good christian films, every so often. My family, here in South Africa, use christian films from BJU, as an outreach, because people are more apt to come to a film showing, than they would be to come to a preaching. We find it very useful, since the movies present the gospel, as well as draw a lot of people to us. Hope you find some good ideas.

      • I used to feel that way too, but if you listen to the words and think more in terms of poetry it’s actually really good. All my favorite rapper were spoken word poets first so their music is more lyric based anyway. Jackie Hill Perry is another good artist who’s like that

      • Sometimes it just depends on what you like. But theirs almost always something you can apreaciate about everything. Rap and hip hop definitely fit into that idea.

      • Ikr! This isn’t even their best one. If you want, you should check out “lofty” and “aquired in heaven”, those are some of my favorites. Also their motor is “freely given” and all their music is free at

    • You see the thing I like about rap is that it has really big messages that hit deep (at least in the Christian stuff). I have found that out also with metal music (yes, I said Metal [don’t judge]). I mean actually, watch a lyric video of like For Today, you can even do it without the sound on. If you watch the right one (I recommend For the Fallen) you will forever be changed.

    • Wow. Amazing song, I think music is a very powerful medium to convey ideas. I like reformed rap, it takes a lot of creativity and wordplay (big fan of that). I think that a lot of christian music out there is very man-centered, I often find that reformed rap has bigger messages and puts the focus on Christ, often quoting scripture and theologians. Keep it up!

      • Yeah, Beautiful Eulogy and Jackie Hill Perry are my favorites. Her work reflects the Gospel, and specifically Christian hedonism , in a really compelling and poetic way.

  • Well, I think there are tons of ways to impact the world through pop culture. One way is to start discussions on social media. Places like twitter are really good opportunities to meet new people and start discussions. Also, I really love what the Burns Family did with Beyond the Mask (did anyone watch that movie?). It gave them an opportunity to reach people that probably wouldn’t open their ears if it wasn’t for their movie. Just some ideas.

  • Media is a tremendously powerful tool that can be used to reach out to nonbelievers. Unfortunately, this tool is often misused by Christians. Too many Christians spread hate through social media, and there is far too much sub-par Christian music and Christian film that “preaches to the choir” so to speak, rather than reach out to nonbelievers.

    Your question is very broad, so I will address it as best I can.

    However, let me start with this. In my view, it is more important to influence others through your gifts and talents rather than media specifically. In my case, I believe I’m called to the film industry; therefore, film is my medium for reaching others. Some feel called to write music; therefore, music is their medium. Others are writers, radio announcers, TV personalities, game show hosts, the list goes on and on. However, there are those that work in fields that don’t really have a connection to media. Managers, bookkeepers, cashiers, waiters, taxi drivers, leaders, and others all have platforms, even though media may never play a large role in their lives.

    Social media specifically is very influential. However, it can also be incredibly dangerous, because your thoughts are literally a few finger clicks away from being read by an unknown number of people. Social media will force you to be speak and write responsibly.

    YouTube is another very powerful medium. Anyone can make an account and post just about anything. When in the right hands, it can be an incredible force for good, while in the wrong hands, it can remind us just how far humanity has fallen.

    Just some thoughts that I hope bring you some clarity.

  • To begin with, don’t try and do what the world does because the world will always do it better.

    Let me elaborate. When it comes to creating media content, you need to be original. That’s not to say that you can’t be a rap artist or a novelist, it’s just that you shouldn’t try to be whatever rap artist or novelist you most look up to. Take writing for instance, one of the key ways I grew in my writing was in my movement from magpie to nightingale. The magpie steals the things it thinks are beautiful (in writing terms think fan fiction or mimicking your favourite author’s voice/style or trying to rewrite LOTR disguised as your own fantasy world). The nightingale however sings it’s own song and does so unashamedly (a shelved project of mine is based near loch ness near where I studied and includes an agrophobic viking, a lake monster, a sushi bar owner with questionable motives, and a struggling b&b).

    So basically, if you are creating Christian content use your own unique voice. Your faith will shape how and what you create without the need to preach. It is very difficult to disguise your worldview during the creative process and your faith should be at the very centre of your worldview, unmistakeable but not forced.

    So basically be a nightingale not a magpie.

    If your question is in fact about the use of media (fb, Instagram, twitter, YouTube, movies etc) then the same rules apply there as in real life interaction. One way we can redeem social media and glorify God through it is by behaving in a way consistent with the gospel. The internet encourages impulsiveness. You read, you react instantly, you comment/like/unsubscribe/whatever. Think first. Just take a moment.

    Also remember Your social media face is the one the whole world gets to see so make sure it’s honouring God.

    Apologies for the length, I was about to go on then realised that’s enough for now. But thanks for the question, I might consider a blog series about it. Hopefully that wasn’t just a big useless ramble for you. Check out Anchored North for one example of how Christians are using media for the glory of God and to reach unbelievers. I can give you a hundred examples how not too but positivity is lacking somewhat in today’s media so let’s not join that trend.

    You know what your gifts are. Start there and work out where to go next and Viva la Rebelution 😛

  • Also, I thing blogs can be powerful tools to rally and reach the Christian community, as well as the unsaved. Are there any blogs y’all have that I should know of?

    • I know a lot of us have blogs!

      Mine is
      Trent Blake also recently set up a new one:
      I just had his open in another tab so I thought I’d share it. lol But yeah, lots of people here have blogs. I’ll let them answer for themselves though cuz it would take me quite a while to pull them all up. haha! I follow many of them on my own blog though so you can find the links there on the sidebar. =)

    • Hey, I do agree with you, blogs can be powerful tools to rally and reach us. So I just want to encourage you and Megan to perseverate . Even if sometimes you have the impression that this it’s useless or if you have negative thoughts. That’s normal because the Devil is trying to discourage you all. Don’t believe his lies! 😉
      I have a Christian page on Facebook. I called it “Faithbook”…That is kind of my blog haha! (Sorry for my English, my mother tongue is the French).

  • I think that if you’re talented in this topic, you can try to write a story on Wattpad. It’s a website/app where lots of teenagers put their short stories and the others read it. You can fancy a story which will interest the world at first and then write something to tell them more about Jesus. Good luck!

  • Just to note, I’m not on a ton of social media. I don’t have Twitter, or Instagram, or Snapchat, or any of the other “socials” there are out there. I do have Facebook(sort of…), but I don’t ever post anything.

    That being said, I’m probably not the best person to ask on how to impact the world via social media. However, here are some real-life examples that we all deal with on a much more personal, day to day level:

    Texting: keep the “if you wouldn’t say it out loud, face to face to that person, don’t say it via text” rule. Avoid drama, it will show. I know some people at church and at school who are constantly in social media/texting drama, and it shows to the pop-centered drama culture around you when you are not.

    Music: People will notice what music you listen to or play. I was recently asked to sing in something with highly questionable lyrics and was in a very sticky situation since for that particular gig, the rule was if you asked someone to be in your stuff, you had to agree to be in theirs. My teacher got me out of it relatively gracefully(I ended up drumming for them instead), but the people I was playing with are now pretty aware based upon both my song choices for that gig and my being uncomfortable with their lyrics where I stand and what some of my convictions are, whether they agree with me or not. My general rule is to avoid profanity/sexual references, with a few exceptions, but not many. That’s pretty unusual, and it shows.

    These are just two examples that are a little more personal than just social media stuff. They both relate to pop culture, but they are more about you and your actions. In the end, you will always influence people who know you more than you will on social media. What you say and do has to match up, or no one will take you(or me) seriously. So whatever you say or post on social media better match up with what you say and do in real life, or how will they know what you believe?

    Just some thoughts.

  • Creating Christian blogs, Wattpad stories, social media and movies/tv shows are all great points. Also, I think some of the secular movies etc (the appropriate ones of course) that are already in existence can be good conversation starters.

  • There are so many forms of media that we use and I think that we could use the media for positive things and spread the gospel instead of all the negativity we spread. I think we could do this by posting more about Christ and encouraging your friends and the people around you to pray more, read the Bible more and just simply to go to God more. I also think we should stand up really as a community for Christ and what His Word says.

  • We need to be involved in the cultural debate. We need sold out Christians with the aim of going to Hollywood like they would a mission field. I would venture to say there are circle of influential media makers that don’t ever KNOW any real Christians. More that just creating our own Christian brand of media (which I wholeheartedly support) we should also inject ourselves into the mainstream of media to have a more direct impact on secular culture. This will take some seriously grounded Christians as well as a super strong support system to encourage them through the attacks they will certainly face. Mainstream media seems to be the devil’s territory. It’s about time to start taking some of it back.

    We need to leverage culture as a means of influence for Christ.

    Here are a couple of girls trying to do that through EDM

    • Awesome song! I’m an EDM fan myself and its great to see other christians leveraging culture as a means of influence for Christ.
      Keep it up!

  • I feel like it’s definitely a tough question. Sure, there are plenty of Christian movie makers and musicians and what not, but I think what we’re afraid of is being “cheesy”. As Christian creators, we’re pressured to water our message down so it’s not “uncomfortable”. But the thing is, the Gospel IS uncomfortable. Telling someone that they aren’t good enough to do something MAKES PEOPLE UNCOMFORTABLE. Ideas or suggestions? Create. God will use ANYTHING that he has given you – whether it be art, music, filmmaking, etc. – for His glory. There’s my rant. Do with that what you will.

  • “Anything short of sin”, as our church would say.
    I’m personally interested in creating engaging stories, likely comic books or video games – a video game could be quite an undertaking.
    I think twenty one pilots has an interesting approach to sharing the light. On a certain level many of their songs have spiritual meaning.
    IMO, if you don’t want to be “cheesy”, well-used allegory is a great way to spread the message.

    • I’m not trying to be rude but 21 Pilots is NOT a Christian or even spiritual group. Let me get a quote from one of their songs:

      I-I-I I’ve got a migraine
      And my pain will range from up, down, and sideways
      Thank God it’s Friday cause Fridays will always be better than Sundays
      ‘Cause Sundays are my suicide days


  • This is definitely a great question, and also something that could impact a large group of people.
    You could try starting a devotions account on Facebook or Instagram; you could talk about topics that you are interested in learning more about from the bible and then see what other people think about it. A blog would also be great! Maybe even get a group of people together for a bible study at your house. My family used to do this and it was pretty cool.
    I hope this helps 🙂

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →