Faith Radio Interview – with Neil Stavem

I was recently interview by Neil Stavem on Faith Radio about emerging adulthood, and the delayed development of adolescents.  It was a great time of discussion, and I am thankful for the opportunity to work with their team.  Here is a write-up that they completed of my interview.

Or download the interview – Here.

Dr. G. David Boyd says that while God doesn’t provide a clear definition of adulthood, there is a big difference between what Scripture reveals to us and what our society teaches us on the subject of adulthood.

“For example, if you ask adolescents what it means to be an adult, some will answer that it is about being independent, both financially and emotionally, and of course moving away from their parents’ home.”

“However, God’s design for us as adults has never been independence, but interdependence.God has designed us a social being who should learn to rely on each other as we go through life’s journey.”

Dr. Boyd discovered that if we don’t have a proper understanding of what it means to be an adult, we won’t be able to teach our children what it means. As a result, he created an evacuation plan for parents and emerging adults to use during their transition into adulthood. He reviews the three main developmental tasks from the acronym VAC:

“Vocation: are they able to work in whatever God calls them to?”

“Autonomy: are they able to establish autonomy? The ability to make decisions and deal with consequences?”

“Community: can they develop community, the ability to develop and maintain interdependent healthy relationships?”

“If we teach our adolescents and emerging adults, and give them the ability to discover vocation, to establish their autonomy, and to develop community, then they will be a healthy functioning adult.”

Dr. Boyd points out that these developmental factors also resonate with the core of what it means to be human.

“Our basic needs of a human are to be useful, to be free and to be loved.”

He expands our human nature and the importance of having an eVAC plan in place for emerging adults.

“As we discover our vocation as a human it helps us feel useful, as we establish our autonomy to give the ability to be free, and as we develop a community around us to fulfil is our basic human need to be loved.”

David - Prof 2

Dr. G. David Boyd is the managing director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to equip parents and churches to engage emerging adults. He is also the founder of the EA Network, a community of people who serve and love emerging adults.

Anatomy of Generations – by Wrong Hands

I came across this cartoon, and needed to share it with my readers.  There is plenty more laughter at the Wrong Hands website –  Click here.

anatomy of generations

I believe that laughter can be used to build bridges between the generations as long as it is equally given to each age group.  In this comic, as a Gen Xer, I am just happy that the author acknowledges our existence (sniff-sniff).

All joking aside –

There is a need for inter-generational relationships within the church.  Here are some links if you are interested in learning more about how to help your community connect.

David - Prof 2If you are looking for someone to speak to your community or staff about working together, contact Dr. G. David Boyd at

The Forgotten Half: Reaching those who don’t attend college.


Here is an article that I wrote that was recently featured on the Youth Specialties Blog.  If you have a passion to change the future of the church, join me in conversations about emerging adults at the National Youth Workers Conference.

In the United States, the societal expectation to attend college can be intense.  Any graduating senior can attest to the pressure.  In the fall of 2015, approximately 20.2 million students attended American colleges and universities.  (SOURCE)


The Forgotten Half of emerging adults refers to emerging adults who do not go to college.  Jeffrey Arnett used this expression during an address at the 2015 Conference of the SOCIETY FOR THE STUDY OF EMERGING ADULTHOOD).  Although college remains a popular choice, many emerging adults do not attend, and are often forgotten in research conducted on college campuses.

Read the rest of the article – HERE!

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit that seeks to equip parents and churches to meet the needs of emerging adults.  If he can help your community, contact him at

3 Tips for Finding Community

Finding community can be just as arduous a journey as finding Nemo. Especially if you forget people’s names like Dory or cling to your comfort zone like Marlin. Movie metaphors aside, finding community when you’re in a new place requires genuine commitment to the journey.

Especially as an introvert, when I first visit a new church, organization, or other community, I want nothing more than to hide in the back. But lately—much to my surprise—God’s drawn me deeply into community nonetheless. When I reflect on how in the world this has happened, I realize my foray into fellowship came about in roughly three stages.

1. Show up.

Erin S. Lane, author of Lessons in Belonging from a Church-Going Commitment Phobe, writes that “finding a place to belong seems to depend more on my ability to show up—often and fully—than it does on what happens when I get there. That stuff is important, but that stuff I can’t control.”

Showing up sounds simple—and it is. But it’s also powerful. Choose a community that you could see possibly being part of, and then commit to showing up three-to-four weeks in a row. Through faithful attendance, people will begin to recognize you and you’ll begin to recognize them. People will start to consider you part of the community simply because you’re always there. And maybe you’ll start to consider yourself part of the community too.

2. Speak up.

Check the community’s website or Facebook page if they have one, and then email a pastor, small group leader, or other community leader. Chances are they don’t bite. On the contrary, they’d likely love to grab a bite to eat or cup of coffee with you and discuss how you might get plugged into the community.

In addition, if there’s a question asked in Sunday school, speak up and answer it. If there’s a need for volunteers at the community’s upcoming bake sale, speak up and do it. If there’s a group of people you even somewhat know discussing going to lunch after the meeting, speak up and ask if you could join them. This doesn’t have to involve being in the spotlight at all; it could look like tapping someone on the shoulder and speaking up in a one-on-one or small group context.

3. Keep it up.

After a few months of showing up and speaking up in a recent community, I drove home from a Wednesday night social for the umpteenth time thinking in frustration: “They still don’t know me. Not really.” It’s tempting to compare a current, in-progress community to the remembered intimacy of a past community. But these things take time.

At that few-months mark, a dear friend from college reminded me: “Remember how we were after a few months of friendship? I wouldn’t even let you share my French fries!” (“You’re also a huge germophobe,” I reminded her.)

“Keep it up,” she said. “Keep it up.”

And the Bible says something similar: “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).

For more thoughts on finding community, check out these books on the subject:

 This post originally appeared on

View More: Powers is Blog Developer at EA Resources. A writer and seminary student at Duke Divinity School, Julia enjoys contributing an emerging adult voice to EA Resources and blogging at her own site

Made for Maturity – Basic Human Needs and Human Development

When discussing basic human needs, most people are familiar with the work of Maslow and his pyramid of basic humans needs.  Maslow’s five basic human needs were:  physical, safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization.  His pyramid was built upon the premise that when one need is fulfilled a person seeks to fulfill the next one.  Maslow believed that people are motivated to achieve certain basic needs. For example, after sitting on a couch for several hours, our physiological need to eat, drink, or go to the bathroom will pull us away from any video game not matter how exciting (or mind-numbing).

Maslow Hierarchy - Up-dated

Maslow’s Hierarchy up-dated for today’s wired world.

My three developmental tasks of adulthood – discovering vocation, developing community, and establishing autonomy– are internally motivated because humans were created with desires to love, to be free, and to be needed.  These basic human needs are based upon God’s creative design.  Since each developmental tasks is rooted in a basic human need, individuals do not need to be convinced of their importance, but will naturally work towards their fulfillment.

 Vocation – Humans desire to be needed.

Humans desire to have a role in their world that makes an impact upon our self and the lives of others.  Vocation provides us the ability to be useful and make a difference in this world.  While paid vocation often fulfills other human desires (like income for physiological needs and security), it also fulfills our God-given desire to work, create, and design.  God is a worker, and is glorified as we follow His ways.  Work was not a result of the fall, but the ability to work is a gift (Genesis 3:17-18).

 Autonomy – Humans desire to be free.

Regardless of your theological beliefs concerning determinism or free-will, thoughts of being controlled or unable to affect the outcome of your life can lead to depression, anxiety, or apathy.  Autonomy is the ability to make decisions and deal with the consequences.  A sense of autonomy allows the individual to see they can make decisions that will change the outcome of their life.  Autonomy provides hope and motivation to the individual to affect our current circumstances.

Community – Humans desire to be loved.

We seek community because we desire to love and to be loved.  Our God is capable of love, and of relationships with His creation.  Veith states, “From the beginning, God put us in families, tribes, societies.  God ordained that we be in relationships.  He ordained that we need each other.”  (God at Work, 2002, 41).

When our basic needs (vocation, autonomy, and community) are unmet, we are motivated to action.  Our desires increase in intensity the longer they remain unmet.  A lack of desire to meet these needs can be rooted in a disability, an addiction (drugs, alcohol, or entertainment) or depression.

The church must seek to meet the needs of emerging adults, through offering assistance in their journey to meet the basic human needs of vocation, autonomy, and community.  I believe that church who create mentoring environments focused on these needs will draw and retain emerging adults.

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit that exists to help parents and churches understand the challenges of emerging adulthood.



Hillary Clinton Insults Emerging Adults with Tweet – What Your Church can Learn.

Hillary Clinton has relented to months of demands that she relinquish the personal email server she used while secretary of state, directing the device be given to the U.S. Department of Justice.

As soon as I heard the tweet, I knew it would not go over well with Millennials.

This past week, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted this message in order to draw support from younger voters:

Clinton - college debt

The first line is incredible. 

Millennials are concerned about educational  debt.  As student debt loads continue to climb, politicians and church leaders should be aware of the struggles of today’s emerging adults.

The second line is a disaster…

The problem is that the tweet makes an assumption that emerging adults are limited in their ability to communicate with emojis (a word that many people are still learning to say or spell). Emojis originated in Japan, and they are small pictures that are used to display thoughts, or emotions.

Here are a few of the responses to the Tweet:

clinton emojis1

clinton emojis2

Here is the article.

Please do not perceive this article to be a political statement.  I share this article to show churches and parents that we must truly understand Millennials, and not simply make assumptions about their generation.

Three quick take-a-ways:

1.  Millennials do not rely on emojis for their main means of communication.

2.  Millennials want to be treated like adults.

3.  Millennials care about college debt.

Treat Millennials like adults.  They have something to say.  

david in hat - blackDr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources.  If  he can help you and your community understand the needs and beliefs of emerging adults, please contact him at

Millennials 101

Millennials 101

Are you still struggling to understand who are the Millennials, and what they want?  If so, here is a short clip (7 min) that explains who they are and what they value.

Paul Taylor describes some of the key characteristics of the Millennial Generation which includes:

  • Large Generation – 80 Million
  • Diverse – This is due to the children of immigrants from Latin America and Asia.
  • Disassociated from Institutions including churches, political parties, marriage.
  • Not Narcisstic, but creates social groups around themselves due to changes in technology.

Taylor is the executive vice president of the Pew Research Center, where he oversees demographic, social, and generational research.

EA Resources exists to help church and parents understand Emerging Adulthood.  If our staff can help your community appreciate and minister to emerging adults, contact us at


Why Courtship is Fundamentally Flawed

Lonely Woman on a Bench - Why Courtship is Fundamentally FlawedI find it amusing whenever a person starts talking about the “Right” or “Biblical” way to find a mate.  If you look through the pages of the Bible, several methods of getting a mate might get you in trouble these days.   Continue reading

Sex in the Church

Sex, Millennials and the Church: Five ImplicationsEarlier this week, I shared an article from Thom Rainer about the changes in the sexual standards and beliefs of Millennials.  While the article shows how things have changed, it doesn’t explore how to respond.

Few Christians doubt that society’s views of sex have changed.  The bigger question is, “How does a church respond?” Continue reading