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What Your Favorite Band in Youth Group Says About You Today

Partly inspired by our senior editor’s Twitter thread and McSweeney’s take on Sad Dad Bands, here are some thoughts about what your favorite band in youth group means for your adult life.

Relient K

You’re sort of embarrassed about your youth group band phase but you’ll still defend Relient K as a “really good pop punk band.” You went through a phase where you felt like “hanging out with friends” could just be church, but you’ve started going back. You’re online too much and use internet words in real conversations, but it never quite sounds natural and you can tell. You’re a little over capitalism. You’re very into Phoebe Bridgers now.

Jars of Clay

You read a lot of Richard Rohr and went through a season of being very into the Enneagram, but you’ve cooled down a little. The Liturgists and IPAs were both a big part of your deconstruction process, but now you’re getting sort of into High Church stuff. Wes Anderson still does it for you every time. You used to not like country music very much but you’ve got to admit, the older stuff is pretty good.

Amy Grant

You’re starting to realize that you don’t recognize a lot of the celebrities on the fronts of magazines and movie posters anymore and that doesn’t bother you too much. You always knew big things were in store for Kelly Clarkson. You’ve got two or three Ina Garten recipes memorized. Amy Grant music is how you know it’s officially Christmas in your house.

Kirk Franklin

No regrets whatsoever. Kirk Franklin ruled then and he rules now.

Hillsong United

You simultaneously love Lin-Manuel Miranda and want to see him locked up for “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.” You don’t consider yourself very online but you are obsessed with a couple Tiktok accounts. You’re very into Brené Brown.

mewithoutYou

You stopped reading Relevant years ago when you were deconstructing but, of course, nobody called it “deconstructing” then. Terrence Malick movies mean a lot to you. You still have that Psalters patch sewn onto a messenger bag somewhere. You used to cuss a little for the rebellious thrill of it and now it’s just kind of part of your vocabulary.

Skillet

You’re either very excited or sort of bewildered by some of John Cooper’s political statements. If the former, you’re into Jordan Peterson and mostly OK with Joe Rogan, although you don’t agree with everything they say. If the latter, you’ve been sort of surprised to find yourself a big Beth Moore fan recently.

Newsboys

You’re not sure when everything got so political, but you miss the days when it wasn’t. The new pastor at church isn’t quite as good as the old one, but he’s a nice guy. While you’re all for accountability, cancel culture is getting a little out of control. You were ready to give up on Star Wars for good but The Mandalorian brought you back.

Caedmon’s Call

You’re Episcopalian now. Timothée Chalamet’s character in Don’t Look Up really spoke to you.

David Crowder Band

You aren’t, like, a superfan, but the Marvel movies are pretty fun. Spider-Man: No Way Home was way more emotional than you thought it was going to be. You feel like there are two Sufjan Stevens: the folk artist and the experimental electronica guy, and you kind of wish the latter would chill out a little.

Lecrae

You never really considered yourself a youth group kid, per se, but somehow you’ve gotten very involved in church as an adult. It just took a while to find a church that really clicked and now that you have, you actually — can it be? — really look forward to going? HBO Max is by far the best streamer, even if the interface doesn’t work very well. NFTs are a bubble. If you haven’t already invested, don’t bother starting now.

See Also

Underoath

You got pretty into that Rise and Fall of Mars Hill podcast last year. You always knew something was kind off about Mark Driscoll. You’re not listening to as much screamo these days, but Julien Baker is amazing. You made fun of Twilight when it came out but you’re pretty excited about Robert Pattinson’s upcoming Batman movie.

Jennifer Knapp

You’ve been mostly agnostic on Taylor Swift for most of her career but got radicalized into a true Swiftie when folklore came out and now you’re surprised and a little frightened of how much you love her. Jennifer Egan’s latest didn’t quite do it for you but you’ll always have a soft spot for A Visit From the Goon Squad. Wordle has become a pillar of your personality.

dcTalk

Depends on who you were favorite was. If it was Toby, you’re still mourning the loss of civility in politics. You’ve never really gotten into any other hip-hop. If it was Michael, you’re tired of the media always spinning everything so negatively. If it was Kevin, you’re ready to eat the rich. In every case, your mind was blown when you found out dcTalk didn’t write “Jesus Is Just Alright.”

Switchfoot

You had a little bit of a Christian rebellion phase (a couple PBRs) but these days you’re getting into a way more natural lifestyle, which is its own kind of rebellion, if you think about it. Plant-based diet, lots of hydration, staying active — it’s a lifestyle. You’re trying to cut down on your screen time, but you can’t wait for the next season of Succession.

Five Iron Frenzy

You went through an improv comedy phase and still kind of tinker around with a sitcom idea you’ve got, but you don’t really know anybody in Hollywood. Maybe you could just write the idea as a novel and someone will adapt it into a TV show for you? That happens, right? You think it’s kind of cool that horror movies don’t have to be really scary anymore. They can just be kind of moody and foreboding. Do people still use the word “exvangelical?”

Audio Adrenaline

You still like U2 even you know it’s not “cool” anymore. You think it’s great that Phil Vischer has his own podcast now but you’ll always think of him as the Veggie Tales guy. If Hollywood ever really adapted the Bible into a movie, it’d get a hard R rating.

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