question markI’ve worked with 18-25 years olds for over a dozen years now and one of the realities I’ve had to work through is the fact of having to walk alongside parents, too.  This can often be a time of deep relational tension and much of that comes from the hopes, dreams and expectations of parents not being met.  Their child might not be moving in the direction they think is best or had hoped for.  Or maybe their child isn’t moving in any direction at all.

In my book, Worlds Apart: Understanding the Mindset and Values of 18-25 year olds, I list out the 4 following questions that I have asked parents to consider asking themselves.  Maybe you would consider them too:

  1. What do I value about my child?
  2. Do I allow my child’s life and results to reflect on me so much that they dictate my relationship with and my counsel to my child?
  3. Do I really value my child for who he or she is today, regardless of what he or she does or becomes?
  4. Do I place a higher value on what I personally want for my child than I do what he or she wants?

If you are trying to deepen your relationship with your college age child, answer these questions honestly.  If you do, you just might find you and your child’s worlds coming together in ways you have always hoped for.

From time to time I post a question that comes into the blog for YOU to answer. What advice would you give this youth pastor who is asking about traditions in their youth ministry. Weigh in!

I’m working on the curriculum for our Confirmation class and was just wondering how you handle tradition out here (like the Apostle’s Creed, Wesleyan Quadrilateral, liturgy colors….etc.). We have both a traditional and contemporary service but the majority of our students attend the contemporary service. We very rarely say the Lord’s Prayer and have never said the Apostle’s Creed (in fact I can’t remember when the last time we said it in traditional services either). Just wanted to know how you fit this into your world, at what age, or if not at all. I love the Methodist tradition and teachings of John Wesley, but I can also understand why students get bored by it, especially when they never see it actively displayed in our church.

Thoughts? Your turn!


From time to time I post a question that comes into the blog for YOU to answer. What advice would you give this youth pastor who is asking about starting over again in a much smaller context than his previous experience. I’ll post some of my thoughts next week on how I answered him over email, but was hoping you could weigh in with your thoughts, too. Weigh in!

I’m newly on staff with our church and just wanted to pick your brain a little! I’m working on some outreach ideas for our students and trying to put together some “guy specific” events and ideas and just wanted to see if you wouldn’t mind sharing some knowledge. If you get a chance, if there’s any way you could just let me know a couple things that have worked for y’all, or maybe like your top 2-3 ideas, or even a resource you could point me to, that would be fantastic!

I replied to his email … but would love for you to Weigh In, too! Leave a comment!