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Editor's journey

The American Idol

SPRINGFIELD, MO. — More than 10 million viewers tuned in to Fox TV’s talent search, American Idol. And millions of teenagers went to their telephones to vote for a favorite soloist.

So what does this television craze tell us about America’s youth?

According to one commentator, it reveals that many young people are bored and dissatisfied with life. And, given the opportunity, many would do almost anything to experience stardom themselves. Like their parents, they worship America’s idols — money, fame and power.

Thankfully, young people in our churches realize there’s more to life than large bank accounts and lofty titles. Their passion is to grow closer to God, excel in the marketplace, and minister to others. They understand that fame and riches pale in significance to following Christ — for American idols come and go, but a child of God lives forever.

Many have opted to attend an Assemblies of God college because they believe it provides the training and spiritual foundation they need — regardless of where the Spirit may lead them.

After talking with a group of these students recently, I couldn’t help but be impressed by their sense of direction. They talked more about servanthood than personal ambition … and I sensed they were more interested in the favor of God than they were the praises of people.

I asked them what they wanted to do when they graduated. One replied, "I plan to go to law school and use my degree in social work." A second student said, "I want to go into business and make enough money to support ministries." A third student said, "I’m going to become a youth pastor and eventually a missionary." And another said, "I plan to be a schoolteacher."

These students may not fit America’s definition of an idol, but they possess convictions deserving of our applause.

Future idols? No. Future servants? Absolutely.

—Hal Donaldson

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