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.

What is your E-VAC plan? (For Emerging Adults)

photo (2)I still remember the day that I had a fight with my parents, and told them I was moving out.  I was serious.  I packed my bags, and set them by the door.  They could not tell me what to do.  If I had to move to do my own thing, then I would.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have a car so I couldn’t leave.

I didn’t have a phone, so I couldn’t call a friend.

I didn’t have a job or money, so I couldn’t support myself.

Fortunately, my parents took me back because…

all I had was two grocery bags filled with my favorite toys.

You have been dreaming of the day you move out for the past several years, but have struggled with making that dream a reality.  When day comes for you to leave your home, I hope that you are more prepared than I was.  Do you know what it will take to successfully launch from your parents’ home?

The primary goal for emerging adults is not to simply move out.  It is also not always more healthy or godly for emerging adults to move out.  In Bible times, families often lived under one roof.  It is only among affluent nations in more recent times that the concept of moving out has become so tied with an individual reaching adulthood.

Here are three areas to develop in order to ensure a successful E-VACuation.

1.  Vocation

The childhood question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”   has become central in your mind.  Vocation is the means by which individuals fulfill purpose in their life.  Seek to discover a vocation that gives you purpose and provides a place in the bigger picture of life.  Although you might find great purpose in video games, art, or playing a sport, if it does not provide for your basic needs, you need to continue to seek work that will provide both purpose and provision. 


Prepare yourself for the journey ahead.  Are you seeking to discover a vocation?  As an emerging adult, you need to be researching occupations, seeking opportunities for skill development, gaining work experience, and finding occupational role models.  You don’t have to have your dream job to move out (if there is such a thing), but you should be making steps towards discovering a vocation.

2.  Autonomy

It takes more than money in order to be able to move out of your parents’ home.  The second developmental task of adulthood is to establish autonomy.  Autonomy can be defined as the ability to make one’s own decisions and to deal with the consequences.  You must break your dependency upon other humans (usually parents, but it could be anyone) in the decision-making process.  Many emerging adults are overwhelmed by the multitude of decisions that await them as they enter adulthood.

Some parents hinder their children’s autonomy by hovering over their decisions, and protecting them from the consequences of those decisions.  If your parents are hovering, ask them to allow you the freedom to take more responsibility.  It is important that you develop your autonomy by learning to make wise decisions, and not asking your parents to bail you out when you are in trouble.

3.  Community

HandsThe ability to develop a personal community is essential to becoming an adult.  Western culture tends to support independent living, but biblical principles support inter-dependent living.  God created humans for community with Him, and with one another.  As you move out, you will need to develop a new community to help you in the good and bad times.

You need to be equipped with the skills to seek and develop community.  Do you have the ability to walk across the room, and make new friends?  Do you have the ability to provide and receive help from others?  These social skills are essential for moving out, and require practice in order to develop.  Many emerging adults have spent their entire lives in one setting, and do not have experience in making new friends.  Seek out new settings in order to practice your social skills, and build a strong community network.

Your day to move out will come.  Don’t be caught off guard.  Get your E-VAC plan in place so you are prepared.

If you are interested in hosting a seminar for your church or school, on how to develop your own E-VAC plan, please contact Dr. G. David Boyd at