How to prevent HYPE culture – a YA’s perspective



Dec 4


Jordayna Chea


Imagine trying to navigate one of the most significant stages of your life in a world where everything moves at the speed of a click, where information is delivered at the blink of an eye, and where pretty much anything and everything you can think of is basically instant, think – INSTANT noodles, INSTANT messages, INSTANT photos, INSTANT movies (just to name a few!). Well, this pretty much describes what it feels like to be a young adult in 2023!


In the hustle and bustle of life, it can be soooo easy to find ourselves caught up in the excitement of fleeting experiences, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of this! Our world, it seems, is eager to create a culture characterised by chasing those momentary highs OVER the pursuit of enduring joy and fulfilment


It’s no wonder instant gratification appears to be all the HYPE in this day and age, and why our young adults (and everyone else), can be unintentionally seeking out the convenience of these immediate experiences, not only in our daily lives, but in their relationship with Jesus.


As a young adult pastor, leader or ministry director, I wonder if this is something you have noticed in your church community, specifically, within the young adults?


So, how do we support our young adults to view their faith as a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus, instead of as “just an EXPERIENCE”?


In 2022, Relationships Indicators conducted a national survey into the state of relationships in Australia. The key findings indicated that ONE in FIVE (19.9%) Australian Adults often feel lonely and 19.8% are feeling EMOTIONALLY lonely. Highlighting to us that our young adults have an underlying desire for relationship at their core.


The truth is, our Young Adults crave something more than just the one-time experience. Despite the excitement behind these experiences, our young adults long for more than just a culture of hype.


To help us answer this question – how do we support our Young Adults to see their faith relationship rather than experience, I interviewed a fellow young adult, Esther! Esther is PASSIONATE about discipling and helping others to grow spiritually in their faith with Jesus.


Esther has previously served in various roles in the church specifically leading the Youth and involved with the young adults. I had the privilege of speaking with Esther about her experiences of navigating her relationship with Jesus amidst ‘hype culture’. We discussed the challenges she faced and the consequent strategies she has developed to ensure that her relationship with Jesus is more than just the “momentary highs” and focused on discipling others and seeing ongoing multiplication of disciplers, as commissioned by Jesus (Matthew 28:19-20).


As a result, here are THREE tips Esther shared for preventing hype culture:

1. Focus on discipling others

As someone who grew up attending big church conferences and Youth camps, Esther knows all too well what it feels like to experience the big highs that come from events like these. Whilst church events are a fantastic way to connect with others and glorify Jesus as a whole congregation, Esther quickly realised that this acting as the only driving force in her relationship with Jesus, was not a sustainable way to live out her faith. After experiencing the highs that would come from these events, she was always left craving and yearning  for something more, thinking  “Is this all there really is to Christianity? There has to be more to my faith than just a feeling”. 


Discipling allows us to form meaningful and long lasting connections with others through intentionally investing in individual lives, just as Jesus first modelled to us with his disciples. It provides an opportunity to model and teach others how to be Jesus-like, whilst also journeying together and sharing in life experiences. It is the hope that they too take on these Jesus- like traits and share them with people in their own communities, bringing a renewed sense of revival and multiplication in a completely new and exciting lens!


2. Create Jesus-like community

Esther came to understand that if she surrounded herself with others who embodied the qualities of Jesus, it would serve as a MIRROR, reflecting back to her her own potential as a Jesus-like discipler, even when she wasn’t quite sure about what that potential looked like!  


According to a study conducted by Barna Group in 2020, it was discovered that having both strong relational networks and meaningful relationships build resilient disciples in the church – meaning, committed Christians who engage with their church beyond monthly attendance, firmly trust in the Bible’s authority and actively journey with others in their community to see transformation! Now THAT’s the type of culture I’m sure you and I want to see in our young adult ministries!


Esther decided to join a community of a small group of girls who meet together to together, improve their practise of discipling, a Community of Disciplers (CoD). Esther did this to immerse herself in young adult community. CoD’s are a great way to learn practical tools and frameworks to develop discipler identity, whilst also being surrounded by like-minded community who share in the understanding of our faith being greater than a “one time” experience. If you would like more information about this type of community, check out one of our other blogs, or contact us directly for more info.


Learning the difference of encountering Jesus daily and sharing in this ongoing journey with others is equal parts TRANSFORMATIVE and an incredibly REWARDING experience- one that does not even come close in comparison to those fleeting, ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ highs!

3. Embrace collaboration!


Changing any culture in a ministry context is hard and definitely doesn’t happen overnight. Just like most transformative things –  it takes time, lots of prayer and collective commitment and effort, which often looks like working in or alongside other teams. Esther recognised one of the biggest changes she’s noticed to helping prevent hype culture, is through embracing a culture of humility, and as a result, creating space for collaboration with others. 


With a job as big as this, partnering with other churches and ministry organisations can be incredibly beneficial as it allows us to tap into their specific expertise and knowledge and learn from each other in the process. It can also be a great way to make meaningful and lasting impacts that can strengthen community and open up opportunities for ministry growth! Ultimately, together we can achieve wayyyy more than we could ever do alone – I mean Jesus didn’t do it alone, so why should we be expected to?


Esther’s experience and thoughts, might just give us an insight on how to turn the tide from a hype movement to holiness movement, from a transactional or experiential movement to a movement marked by deep relationship with Jesus and unity amongst the body of Christ.


If this is something that resonates with yourself as you think of your ministry, it is my prayer that these tips would allow you to feel renewed with a fresh sense of purpose in your ministry as you guide your young adults to choose their faith over the hype. May your young adults be excited to; spend time with Jesus daily, to invest into building relationships with others, and to model Jesus-likeness in their day to day – and as a result, experience the long lasting joy and fulfilment that comes with embracing, and choosing faith in all areas of their life.


Be Blessed,

Jordayna Chea


If you would like to learn more about how you can effectively disciple others, we’d love to connect with you! You can connect with us by clicking on the ‘contact us’ page of the website, or by finding us on instagram @genjofficial. 



Barna Group. (2023, August 16). Strong relationships within Church add to resilient faith in young adults. 

Relationship Indicators. (2022). Relationship Indicators 2022 Report. Relationships Australia.