Can you imagine a world without social media? No Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. It’s hard right?
The reality is that while Social Media has profoundly shaped us as adults, it is completely reinventing what it means to come of age as a teenager.
As someone who has the privilege of teaching and mentoring students in the areas of Biblical worldview, apologetics, and culture, I get a front row seat to the opportunities and challenges facing our young people.
The irony is we are a culture that longs for connection and intimacy, but we hide behind our devices because they give us the illusion of control. We are afraid of being known.
So as the social media revolution continues, we need to (more…)
I just don’t believe what you believe anymore….These are words that no Christian parent or youth leader ever wants to hear. After this bombshell hits and the shockwaves subside, we wonder if something could have been different. What happened to this student who was so active in church growing up? After all, they never missed youth group. Sadly, this scenario is not the exception. Approximately 50 percent of students will disengage from their faith after they leave home.
While students have to ultimately choose whom they will follow, I think there is a lot we can
do to reverse this trend. First, we need to better understand the students who leave their faith behind after graduation. As I’ve worked with high school and college students over the years and studied the research, there are three basic kinds of students that leave Christianity after high school.
The Christian Relativist
To understand this first type, meet Jennifer. Jennifer grew up in a Christian home and regularly attends church. Over time, she observes a lot of her friends and older Christians in her life saying one thing, but living another. The takeaway? Christianity is (more…)
This is a question I recently discussed on the Christian Parenting website.
Will your teenage son or daughter still be walking with Jesus when they graduate college? Or will they leave their faith behind as they walk off that graduation stage to start a new chapter of life?
As parents, we want what’s best for our kids. As Christians, we know that means following Jesus for a lifetime. That’s certainly what I want as a father of three. But we’ve also seen the stats and they’re not encouraging:
– Depending on the study, approximately fifty percent will disengage from their faith during the college years (there is no indication from the research that they are or will come back).
– Forty-seven percent of American emerging adults agreed that “morals are relative, there are not definite rights and wrongs for everybody.”
– Fifty-four percent of “conservative protestant” teenagers affirmed that there was more than one way to God.
Dear Parents: Welcome to College in Post-Christian America
Did you know that (more…)
Life as a teenager can be a pressure cooker. Am I good enough? Do I measure up? Am I cool enough? Did my post on Instagram get over 100 likes? Am I smart enough? Are mom and dad pleased with me? What am I going to do with my life? Teenagers are often overwhelmed today.
Teenagers on the brink of college life face all the same insecurities we all did. But there is something very different about the challenges they face today.
On more than one occasion I have thought to myself that I am SO glad that social media didn’t exist when I was navigating my high school and college years.
It was hard enough without everyone watching and offering commentary on my life. Can I get an “Amen”?
There is a fascinating article over at the Atlantic by Conor Friedersdorf “Were College Students Better Off Before Social Media?”
There is much in this article worth reflecting on if you have or care about teenagers, but the insight that really caught my attention was this:
“I wonder if the cost of making mistakes now feels too high to risk them as often.”
Why? Because (more…)
Our culture worships freedom. The only problem is that real freedom doesn’t mean what most people think it means. And the next generation of students are paying the price because they are being robbed of the life they are really after.
True happiness–“flourishing”–is only possible if students are able to break free from the lies and embrace genuine freedom.
3 Lies Students Believe About Freedom
(1) My choices only affect me. “You can do whatever you want as long as you don’t hurt someone.” This slogan is everywhere! Our culture perpetuates this lie but you need to know there are several fatal flaws with this way of thinking. First and foremost it (more…)