10 Things Every Millennial Who Grew Up In Church Experienced
Start writing a post
Life Stages

10 things you experienced growing up in church in the early 2000s

Reflections on a holy upbringing

386
10 things you experienced growing up in church in the early 2000s

As I sit in my current church and write this article, I have begun reflecting back on my childhood as an early 2000s church kid. I've had many discussions with people about growing up in church and have found that some aspects of it seem to be universal. That being said, I thought I'd compile a list of things that you probably experienced if you grew up in church back in the day, when Bush was President, flip-phones were common, and Internet Explorer taught us all the true meaning of patience.

1. K-Love on the radio

If you grew up anything like I did, K-Love was on every single time you sat down in the backseat of your mom's car. As a youth, it never bothered me that they seemingly only played the same two or three Stephen Curtis Chapman and/or Natalie Grant bops on a loop. Am I the only one who remembers dramatically staring out the backseat window as Does Anybody Hear Her by Casting Crowns played over the speaker? Did the fact that I had no idea what the song was about at nine years old, stop me from having my moment? No. Yeah, the DJ's were a little too "positive" and "encouraging" at times. However, I must admit that I still break out the tunes of my childhood every once in a while when I'm feeling nostalgic.

2. Youth pastor couture

Every youth pastor between the years 2000 and 2008 seemed to follow a simple formula when it came to getting ready in the morning. I can't remember ever seeing one who wasn't wearing bootcut jeans with flip flops paired with some kind of graphic tee. These were always accessorized with a Jesus fish necklace and an acoustic guitar, finished off with over texturized hair. (See the below photo of a closeted, 2002 Lance Bass for reference)

When they weren't strumming along to an acoustic version of Oh How He Loves, they were probably over-enthusiastically asking you personal questions about your home life. (All with good intentions though)

3. Vacation Bible School

Now, Vacation Bible School or VBS, for me was a big part of my life as my mom was in charge of it for our church every year. My summers were spent painting props and picking costumes as we planned out the week's events. Events included, but were not limited to group choreographed worship songs (which I pretended to be too cool for), games (which some kids took way too seriously), a peanut-free snack, a Bible lesson, and an M&M obsessed rodent with the beady eyes of a killer. (Pictured below)

4. PluggedIn Reviews

Going to movies was fun and all, but if the selected movie had anything worse than a PG rating, it was time to consult the eternal, God-ordained, moral authority, Focus On the Family. I'll never forget the anxiety I would feel as I watched my mom pour over the words of a Focus On The Family, PluggedIn review. If you don't remember these, they were those online reviews that told your mom whether or not the movie you wanted to see had any F-words or boobs. Of course, it was always disappointing to have to explain to my friends that we had to pick a different movie because "around 40 minutes in, a nipple is visible." However, I don't resent my parents for being cautious about what I was watching. They kept a lot of crap from going in my head and I find myself quite grateful for that as an adult.

5. Church Camp

Whenever I hear those two words in the same sentence, I'm transported back to humid summers of my youth. The awkwardness, the heat, the insecurity about showing off my man boobs at the pool always made camp the most memorable part of my summer. Who could forget the cafeteria food and how it solidified like a block of cement in one's stomach? Was it chicken? Was it beef? Was it horse? All I know is that it was a truly a test of my trust in God at every meal. I could never poop for a month afterward. Meals were usually followed by chapel services where I would rededicate my life to Jesus for the eighth time that month. Tears were usually shed. While I believe the Holy Spirit was moving, I think the sleep deprivation and lack of air conditioning contributed as well. Lastly, anyone who went to camp, would never forget the most important rule- no purple. This basically meant don't touch anyone of the opposite sex with anything more than a Christian side hug. Anything more may have resulted in an unplanned pregnancy.

6. Veggie Tales

Growing up, nothing was weird to me about this children's program. As an adult, if you told me there was a show about CGI vegetables singing songs about Jesus, I would assume that it was something that came out of Woodstock. Silly Songs With Larry gave us iconic anthems such as God Is Bigger Than The Boogie Man and Where Is My Hairbrush? The concept of a cucumber ransacking his bathroom for a hairbrush only to realize he's bald seems kind of far fetched, but somehow we can all identify with Larry and his search for identity.

7.Sunday School Felt Boards

These were cute to look at and are a great way to tell Bible stories to a group of pre-schoolers. They were colorful and entertaining. However, I must say that the stories told on felt did not quite prepare me for the actual stories found in the Bible. For instance, the story of Noah's Ark found in Genesis seems to involve much more death and destruction than was found on the felt board. I suppose you gotta keep things age appropriate though.

8. Hand Bells

God bless every Sunday school teacher who had the patience to teach a group of rambunctious six year olds how to play these. Not only did we never play when we were actually supposed to, but for some reason we thought it necessary to ring the bell as hard as humanly possible. Apparently God wouldn't hear them unless we almost cracked them with each aggressive shake. The bells were fun for more than just music though. I liked to put them under my shirt and pretend to have boobs. Ah, to be young again.

9. Youth Group "Mission" Trips

Nothing was more fun than piling a couple dozen teenagers into a few church van to go paint a wall two states away. No, don't get me wrong. These trips were a great opportunity to grow closer to friends and youth leaders. But, usually the work on these trips included something unnecessary like painting the same room the previous youth group painted the week before. Did most of us on these trips actually sign up because we wanted to do ministry? Probably not. Did being away from our parents for a week have something to do with it? Yes. I didn't mind the work though. Painting is fun with friends.

10. That one skit

At some service, retreat, conference, or camp you either watched or participated in that one skit. You know the one. It always started out with a young naive, happy girl walking around and slowly she would start putting different sins around her neck. By the end, everyone representing the sins would grease up and give her the beat down. It didn't end there though. Then, the one kid in youth group who could grow facial hair would come in dressed like Jesus and carry her away. Oh, and all of this took place to Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart and I still don't know why. Either way it's a classic.



While it may sound like I'm knocking these things, I'm actually quite appreciative of my roots. Yes, parts of it were odd, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. They grounded me into faith in the same Jesus who was with me as I listened to K-Love at eight years old and who is still with me in my weekly existential crises at 22. For that, I will forever be grateful.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

23 Pandemic-Approved Date Ideas That'll Send Sparks Flying From Six Feet Apart

There's a safe way to date right now and yes, it includes masks.

138527

While some people would rather opt out of dating altogether during the pandemic so they don't have to wear a mask on a first date, others are choosing to listen to both guidelines and their heart in order to find love during the time of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Should you be one of the individuals welcoming romance right now, there are pandemic-approved dates you can go on that still adhere to guidelines (and yes, you'll have to wear a mask).

Keep Reading... Show less

I didn't believe the notification when it came through to my phone: Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died from complications due to cancer.

Keep Reading... Show less

In our patriarchal society, men hide from their feelings, but toxic masculinity is literally killing men. They swallow the pain and move on so that they can look, feel, and act "tough."

But, strength is derived from asking for help and voicing your struggle and, trust me, working on your mental health is one hell of a struggle. The real way to "man up" is to acknowledge the downfalls in unjust societal norms. Mental health problems do not mean that a man is weak, they are neurologically-based disorders that require professional treatment.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

11 Things Your Boyfriend Should Do Before He Drops $499 On A PS5

Let's start with spending less time gaming and more time with you.

7520

Scrolling through Twitter this week had me rolling on the floor laughing as I read some of the hilarious tweets from ladies who, whether in a relationship or not, shared reactions to the news that PlayStation 5 is on its way

As this "buy your boyfriend a PS5" joke takes off across the internet, let's just say, there are a few things your BF should be doing before dropping $499 on the new gaming system — or, if the tweets are real for some, before you buy it for him as a gift.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Sorry, But 'I Don’t Care About Politics' Is Not A Valid Excuse For NOT Voting

The younger generation of voters is so crucial to the upcoming election because our vote is going to shape the world that we are about to enter as adults.

30309

When I ask my friends if they are voting this term most of them respond with "no" followed by an explanation of "I don't care enough," "It doesn't affect me," or "I don't keep up with politics," etc. I get it, as a college student I know that there are many other things to be concerned about like school, relationships, work, and friends. I also understand that keeping up with politics can seem like trying to keep up with an over-exaggerated reality show that has way too many seasons. Not to mention most news stations and websites are biased so it's hard to decipher if what you hear is true or fake.

However, despite all of this annoyance, as the next generation of Americans, we have to remember that we owe it to ourselves, our families, and to our futures to care.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tasia Sli

Tasia Sli and Anna Yang met in quintessential New York fashion at a chic rooftop event, inquisitive Yale grad Anna gravitating towards model/entrepreneur Tasia.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Anna Hernández-Buces

"Do you have big parties on Cinco de Mayo?"

Keep Reading... Show less

Two of my favorite things in life are reading and books. Obviously, they go hand-in-hand. In my life, I've realized that there is nothing better than learning about the current world or getting fully immersed in another world. Reading can inspire, teach, and entertain you.

For me, the feeling of opening a book and smelling that fresh book smell can't compete with anything else.

Keep Reading... Show less

Expecting mother and wife to singer/songwriter John Legend may have accidentally slipped up and revealed the gender of her and Legend's third baby today on her Instagram story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

20 Books About Latin And Hispanic Heritage Absolutely Everyone Should Have On Their Bookshelf

Any ally of the community needs to be reading these incredible reads.

9716

I go through phases when it comes to what I like to read. I am typically reading two books at any given time: one serious nonfiction and one escapist fiction novel to have on hand and open up depending on my mood.

What remains consistent, however, amongst most of my fellow bibliophiles is a desire to try new and different authors and genres. I, as an Indian woman, have been partial to reading books written by fellow Indian and Desi writers since I first got a library card.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Asked 46 Women What They Thought About The Term 'Plus-Size', And Here's What They Had To Say

It's 2020, where change is inevitable and norms are not only questioned, but challenged.

5103

We live in a world where it's become customary to push boundaries, break rules, and question standards upheld by society. Though try as we might, some of these standards are harder to conquer than others — body image is one of the top contenders.

For years, the body positivity movement has pushed for the acceptance of all marginalized body types not represented or celebrated in the media. Recently, we've gotten better at appreciating and accepting all body types, but one thing that's still lingering is the stigma of body image in the fashion industry — more specifically, the term "plus-size."

Keep Reading... Show less
Netflix

Many popular TV shows are holding off premiers until spring, so most people are relying on their television subscriptions to get them through a socially distant fall semester.

Thankfully, Netflix was busy filming this past year because there is a ton of new original content coming in the near future. From mysteries to romances, here are some of the best new shows you have to check out this year:

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Taylor Swift Sang 'betty' At The ACMs And It Was The Perfect First Live 'folklore' Performance

I guarantee that Inez is spreading rumors about how fire this performance was.

4215
CBS

The Academy of Country Music Awards were last night and the performances were wonderful, but Taylor Swift's live version of "betty" from her newest album "folklore" really took the cake for me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

9 Reasons I Unfollowed All The Fitness Influencers On My Instagram Feed

I don't need to feel bad about myself because of who I follow on social media.

2819

Throughout quarantine, something that a lot of us picked up on was working out. With all the free time, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to work on that "dream bod" you've been wanting for years, or to just feel good about yourself.

A common way to stay motivated and keep yourself on-task is to follow fitness influencers on various platforms. For some people, yes, this can be a healthy and helpful way to keep your drive. In other cases, however, this can do more harm than good.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments