American idol kicked off in 2002 and quickly became one of the most watched shows. It felt like everyone I knew was in shock at how blunt the “judges” were! After many seasons, the show seems to have lost some energy and excitement surrounding it. I have a hypothesis:
The show aired in a culture that thought it was entertaining to tell someone what he needed to hear no matter how unkind or rude. Well, culture has changed and other shows (that I like to watch more) reflect a shift.
The Voice has “coaches” who are superstars who have sold millions. The coaches help newbies try to make it in the singing world. The Next Food Network Star also has “coaches.” The top 3 acclaimed chefs pick a team of people with no clue how to have a tv show, and in a few weeks teach and train them. Fashion star has “celebrity mentors” give guidance and moral support to up and coming designers. Fashion Star, The Voice, Food Network Star and more are all choosing "coaches and mentors" to train, teach and guide instead of having judges who simply critique.
Mentoring is so trendy. This generation doesn't simply want older people who have been there done that to critique, judge and give them rules. They want the truth but they want to be heard and cared for in the process. They want someone who will coach or mentor them. Yes, tell the rules, but envelop it in a transparent, life story and give a purpose or reason for the rule to make it personal. They want someone who will walk with them. They want someone who will guide and serve them to make them better.
I think some women, sadly, still “judge” like Simon. They sit back and watch girls perfom, and then they critique based on an exterior performance. Yes, Simon was spot on. But, that is not our role. And more importantly, that is not the culture we are living in now and are called to serve.
THE SIMON JUDGING METHOD
Picture me delivering this without smiling.
“We will wear one pieces on this beach trip. If you choose not to, you are making the boys stumble. How dare you. My husband will be there too.”
I’ve talked to countless girls in middle school, high school, college, even peers my age who felt condemned and felt the weight of it being their fault if boys or men looked at pornography.
Now picture my countenance relaxed.
“Ok, we all know the drill…one piece swimsuits. The guys on this trip are our brothers in Christ. We care for them and we love them. The girls on this trip are our sisters. We care for them and we love them. Honestly, I’m old and I’m proud of my body. It has given me 2 beautiful kids and hubby isn’t complaining (we all giggle and I quiet them because we don’t want the boys to hear). I’m going to whisper this part so come in a little closer. Your femininity, your curves, your personality they can all make you more beautiful and point to the beauty of Christ in you or they can distract- confusing people you hang around with, people who follow you on social media and confusing the girls in children’s ministry who would love to see a godly woman like you take her role seriously to bless and lead in all areas. We could wear bikinis, heck in NYC you can legally be topless, but we don’t have to because there is so much more we have to offer, and we don’t want to be underestimated or dismissed because we are sending a mixed signal."
SEE THE DIFFERENCE?
Yes, Simon got his point across. And, he is good at finding future stars (One Direction hello!). But, we have to shed being a “judge.” Christ is our judge.
We have been given precious sheep to shepherd. The next time you feel hate, condemnation or judgment welling up in your heart, ask God to help you view the girl(s) as He does. I know some of you are thinking, "if we don’t tell them in a strong way they won’t take it seriously! You don’t know what our girls do! What do you mean I can only tell them truth as I serve… isn’t that feeding their narcissism?"
Yes, maybe. But, not really.
I am so moved that when Jesus saw the crowds He was moved with compassion*.
May I be a shepherd and not a judge today. May we all be shepherds and not judges today. - Amy