• Reason #4 to Engage: You Can Model How to Judge (Without Being Judgmental)

    13 Reasons Why Can Help You be a Better Role Model
    by: Dr. Bill Clark
    “Artists always get there first!” - Dr. Steve Garber, author of The Fabric of Faithfulness
    The past few weeks we’ve walked through a series called “Reasons to Engage,” focused on the popular Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why. If you’re just joining us, I’d encourage you to read the complete series here.
    The reviews for the Netflix’ show, 13 Reasons Why, range from glowing, to dismissive, to highly critical. Obviously, adults are cautioning kids about the graphic nature of the show and the seriousness of the topics—especially teen suicide—while some parents are prohibiting watching altogether. 
    Understandably, everyone fears a rash of suicide threats or attempts, or an increase in victimizing behaviors after being exposed to the show.  While these warnings about the show seem valid, the prohibitions seem overly cautious and short sighted.

    The series, and the story…

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  • Reason to Engage #2: It Exposes Powerful Questions About Life


    13 Reasons Why Exposes Powerful Questions About Life 
    by Dr. Bill Clark
    The past few weeks we have been walking through a series entitled, Reasons to Engage, focused on the popular Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why. (Read the series). 
    The show captured something (the risk, the drama, the danger, the power) of the current adolescent culture. It’s estimated that millions of kids, ages 10 and up, have watched and resonated in some way. That many kids becomes a number that screams at us— “There is something here!”
    Many kids were compelled to spend 13 hours doing something behind their parents back— lying about it if need be. Kids are identifying with it—young kids, “normal” kids, church kids, innocent kids, aware kids, depressed kids, hurt kids. That fact alone should capture us and make us ask ourselves, “What is it about this story/show that is so compelling?”

    Kids are identifying with the show. That fact alone should capture us.


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  • Reasons to Engage “13 Reasons Why”


    Reasons to Engage "13 Reasons Why" 
    by Dr. Bill Clark
    Over the next 6 weeks, we’re posting a series of blogs discussing the Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why, based on the 2007 book.

    If you haven't heard about it yet, the show 13 Reasons Why depicts the trials of a teen named Hannah, who decides to end her life after episodes of bullying, voyeurism, rejection, betrayal and sexual assault (as both a witness and victim). The viewer cannot help but see and feel the cumulative diet of shame and injury wear her down and deplete her resolve.  In a bizarre (and unlikely until now[1]) act of care, vengeance, explanation, and/or confession, she leaves tapes targeting the 13 relationships/events that led to her decision.
    My Concern
    I first took notice because school systems sent statements home to parents warning them about the show, a rare occurrence. Then two of the McLean Presbyterian Church fellows watched and shared…

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Last year was full of transitions for me. Some left me questioning myself, my feelings and my thoughts. Fortunately, I was able to attend the three levels of Lay Counselor Training, beginning with The Glorious Mess Seminar. Though I had lots of previous training in leadership, discipleship and shepherding others, I found the content of the Glorious Mess was different. Ironically, though I attended so that I could improve my ability to help others, I was helped as I learned how I was made in God’s divine image, but also struggled with depravity; how my early experiences contributed to my current perceptions; and how expectations, goals and desires created conflict. More importantly, I learned how to re-train my thoughts and beliefs according to the grace AND truth of Jesus Christ, as I got comfortable in my ongoing story.

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