Parenting Emerging Adults – Podcast by Steve Argue

Equipping parents for each stage of their child’s development is important.  EA Resources is designed to gather resources for parents and churches who want to minister to the needs of emerging adults.

Here is a podcast by Steven Argue, who is an expert on emerging adulthood and faith.  He is also the parent of three emerging adults.

Click Here for the Podcast!

If you work regularly with Emerging Adults, connect with Steve and many others through joining the EA Network on Facebook.

Steve joined the Fuller Theological Seminary faculty in June 2015 in a hybrid role as assistant professor of youth, family, and culture and as an applied research strategist with the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI). He is a thought leader and researcher with decades of on-the-ground ministry experience.

Vocation Group for Emerging Adults

If churches want to engage young adults, it is crucial that they understand the needs of emerging adults.  One challenge facing emerging adults is to establish a vocation.  Here is an article that discusses how a community has developed a program to minister to emerging adults.

Samuel Group is a discernment group for young adults, ages 18-39, who meet together once a month from September through March in order to study, pray, and discover their individual vocations or lifetime call from God. The purpose of the program is to equip young adults with the tools they need to approach vocational discernment with peace, joy and confidence.         

The program has a three-fold goal for each candidate:

— to know oneself

— to know Jesus

— to know one’s role in the church and in the world

 

Here is the rest of the article.

The First Two Weeks

 

© 2014 Kevin Dooley, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

During the first two weeks of college, your child is facing much bigger issues than getting lost on campus, and running out of clean underwear.   Kara Powell and Chap Clark in their book Sticky Faith say, “Over and over, students have told us that the first two weeks at college are when they make key decisions about drinking and other high-risk behaviors, right along with choosing whether to go to church or to a campus ministry.”  (Powell and Clark)

In a college setting, social groups are quickly formed often based on where you live, and involvement (sport teams, music groups, or other interest groups).  The warm friendly smiles that you receive on campus while visiting, quickly fade as people are no longer looking for more friends.  Petrified of being left alone, students often make decisions based on their need for social connection.

Students quickly learn that their decisions about alcohol and other behavior will quickly ostracize them from others.  It doesn’t take too many evenings left alone in the dorm before feelings of loneliness can overwhelm even the deepest resolve.

How do you prepare a student for those first two weeks?

1.  Teach them to walk across the room and extend a hand.  Teaching your child basic skills in how to make new friends is crucial for this new phase of life.  Many adolescents face little change in their circle of friends during high school, and have forgotten how to make new friends.  Encouraging your adolescent to always be looking for new friends will help them keep their social skills, and prepare them for the future.  As a child moves away from home, emerging adults meet their first test, whether than can develop their own community.

2.  Teach them how to find a Spiritual Community.  Most adolescents have never picked out a church before.  They don’t know what questions to ask, or what to look for?  Your child might be overwhelmed by the available options, and not try.  According to Sticky Faith Research,  “40% of students feel prepared to find a new church.”  Parents need to prepare their child for find a new Christian community.

Use on-line tools to help your student check out churches around their campus.  LiveAbove.com is an outreach of the Youth Transition Network: a coalition of youth, college and military ministries working together to transition students from high school to college/career  (For more information about YTN go to www.youthtransitionnetwork.org).

3.  Remember last minute cramming, isn’t very helpful.  One emerging adult said, “I really appreciated that they didn’t give me a bunch of last minute “advice” about how to live life on my own. I feel like the drop off is not the time or place! If they want to give me life lessons, giving nagging reminders as they drop me off isn’t the best!”

It is not the absence of information that causes students to make poor decisions, it is often the lack of will.  The prophet Isaiah makes this point when he says,  “Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”   Even though you are not with them, your child will hear your voice as they are making their own decisions.

First2Weeks_v1 (1)4.  Pray, and ask others to join you during this time.  Pray for godly influences including:  friends, ministries, and other adults.  Encourage your church community to do a prayer campaign for college students during the fall as students are leaving for school.  Join our prayer campaign.

Ultimately, you have no control over the first two weeks or any week of your child’s experiences at college.  You can only surrender yourself, and your child to the Lord in prayer.  This is what makes the first two weeks so very difficult.

Resources

Powell, Kara and Chap Clark.  Sticky Faith:  Everyday ideas to build lasting faith in your kids.

The Difference Between Church-Based College Ministry and Campus-Based

I read this article over the weekend, and thought it had some good thoughts for those working with emerging adults.  The author, Arliss served as Baptist Campus Minister at Arkansas State University for 32 years. He now serves as Leadership Development Consultant for the Collegiate Ministry office at Lifeway Christian Resources.

This image is available for download. Check out our Free Resources page for more information.

I spent 41 years doing campus based college ministry.  I recently started my second stint as an Interim Church Based College Minister.  One of the things I have believed in both positions is that a church based ministry should not look just like a campus based one.  There is and should be a difference in the two.  I would even go as far as to say that some churches are not doing a church based college ministry, but rather are doing their version of a campus based ministry.  The church I serve started the campus based BCM ministry on the local campus many years ago and continues to be one of it’s leading financial supporters.  So, we want it to succeed and we do not want to do anything that might harm what it is doing.

Read the rest of the article on Arliss’ website.

If you work with either church or campus-based ministry, join the EA Network. 

We need to come together for the sake of God’s Kingdom!

 

More Young White Evangelicals are Showing Support for Marriage Equality

Here nullis an article that came out in June – that should be of interest to those who work with Emerging Adults.   According to the Pew Research, 47% of white evangelical adults born after 1964 favor same-sex marriage, up from 29% in March 2016.

Support for marriage equality is rising among all Americans, according to two new national surveys. And despite efforts to hinder it, this sea change is also touching an important demographic within the evangelical Christian community: young people.

Young white evangelicals are increasingly showing support for same-sex marriage, according to recent surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center and PRRI. The data signals a significant departure from the overarching views of the evangelical community among younger generations.

 

Making assumptions about what emerging adults believe on any topic can be dangerous for your relationship with them.  Instead of making assumptions, get to know them, and listen to their stories, and attempt to understand the road that they have traveled.

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Managing Director for EA Resources, a nonprofit that seeks to equip parents and churches to minister to emerging adults.  If Dr. Boyd can help your community, you can contact him at gdavid@earesources.org.

 

 

Creating a Mentoring Community for Emerging Adults

The three developmental tasks of adulthood are to discover vocation, establish autonomy, and develop community.  These tasks cannot be accomplished overnight, and emerging adults require support to accomplish these tasks.

In her book, Big Questions, Worthy Dreams, Sharon Parks states that one place where emerging adults can find this support is a mentoring community. Parks describes a mentoring community as “an environment or milieu that provides the right mix of support, challenge, opportunity, and inspiration.” (Article)  Mentoring communities can be formed in many social settings including: a classroom, laboratory, athletic team, residence hall, neighborhood or church. Regardless of the form, here is an overview of Park’s list of essential aspects for a mentoring community.

Park’s list of essential aspects for a mentoring community.

1.  Support

When developing a mentoring community, you must create an atmosphere where emerging adults feel supported through words and actions.  Although spiritual direction and encouragement are central to your ministry, your support must go beyond quips and Bible verses.  Your support must be abundantly clear, resulting in tangible acts.  Emerging adults must have their basic human needs met to focus on the developmental tasks of adulthood. (Read more about Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs as it pertains to adulthood.)

2.  Challenge

While providing support, you must also challenge emerging adults.  We must promote questions in order to cause growth and to stir them towards autonomy of beliefs and actions (Raising Expectations on Emerging Adults).  Good questions from mentors include: How is this working for you?, What do you think?, How would you respond?, and How does that apply or affect your life?

3.  Opportunity

Mentoring communities must provide opportunity.  Mentors seek to give meaningful work, training, and service opportunities to emerging adults.  These opportunities provide experiences and sharpen job skills which prepare emerging adults for future vocations.  Within your community, create opportunities where emerging adults can both serve and lead.

4.  Inspiration

Inspiration is essential to a mentoring environment.  Emerging adults must be “invited to imagine a future that can hold significance and purpose – both for self and for the larger world.”  (Article)  Inspiration produces hope, inspires dreams, and sparks motivation.  The living Word of God contains endless passages which can inspire emerging adults.

Each week as your community meets, evaluate whether or not you adding enough of these ingredients to help emerging adults grow and flourish.

If Dr. G. David Boyd can help your church design a community for emerging adults, you can contact him at gdavid@earesources.org.  If you work with emerging adults (18-25), check out the EA Network.

Resources:

Big Questions, Worthy Dreams by Sharon Parks

New Jersey Raises Smoking Age to 21 Years Old

I saw this article over the weekend, and wanted to share it with my readers.  While I am usually a strong supporter of autonomy and the right of adolescents and teens to make decisions.  When it comes to addictive substances, like tobacco, I believe this law will help emerging adults by making it illegal to smoke during later adolescence when peer pressure is so strong.

New Jersey just raised the minimum age to buy tobacco to 21, joining California and Hawaii.

The new law was signed by Gov. Chris Christie and is set to take affect on Nov. 1. The law includes the sale of all tobacco and electronic tobacco and smoking products.

New Jersey’s smoking age was already higher than most states after it previously made the minimum age to buy tobacco products 19 in 2005.

Read the entire article here.

What are your thoughts?  Do you think that your state should follow the trend?

Student Loans – Change is on the Horizon

© 2017 Hamza Butt, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

The amount of educational debt among emerging adults continues to increase.  In 2016, the average among college graduates was over $37k.  About 44 million Americans hold about 1.34 trillion dollars in student loan debt.  This amount of debt as a young adult can be overwhelming, and change is needed to our educational system, and how college is financed.

Millions of student loans could be headed for big shakeup

As Courtney Minor began a master’s program in vocal performance, she made sure to heed some well-known advice: Stick to federal government student loans. 

In completing the two-year program at Longy School of Music of Bard College in Boston in 2009, Minor racked up $60,000 in debt using six different loans, which required her to pay a total of $800 a month for 10 years following her graduation.

Read the full article here.

Here are some of the changes discussed:

  • Adjusted Loan Forgiveness
  • Employer Incentives to Assist in Debt Payments
  • Additional Refinance options
  • Eliminate PLUS loans

While no one really knows what the future holds (since many of these changes are based on our political system), the church should speak regularly about the danger of debt which is mentioned regularly in scripture.

Related Articles:

 

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to equip parents and communities to minister to the needs of emerging adults.

Emerging Adult Ministry – Reading List

Here are some resources that I recommend for those who want to minister to emerging adults.  Our recommendations does not mean that we agree with everything stated in the book, or with all beliefs of the author.

© 2014 Brittany Stevens, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

If you want to know the first book that you should read – my top pick…

Continue reading

Why did emerging adults not vote in the 2016? What does this mean for the Church?

In the 2016 election, 46% percent of emerging adults (18-29) voted.  This percentage was up slightly from the 2012 election.  Historically, younger Americans do not vote as much as older generations.  For example, over 70% of those over the age of 65 voted in the election.  We could say that the reason that emerging adults don’t vote is because they are all lazy and narcissistic, but that would not be true.

www.census.gov

 

I believe that young voters often do not believe that their vote will make a difference.

Democracy is built upon a belief that each individual has a voice, and that each vote matters.

I recently read an article that was discussing the recent election in the United Kingdom.  In the last election (which included the decision about the UK leaving the European Union), 43% of voters between the ages of 18-24 did not vote.  The author stated that behind each young adult, there is a story as to why they feel as if their vote did not matter.

The author states that she believes the same thing is true about the church.  She states, “If they [emerging adults] haven’t been included in decision making and leadership, if they’ve been patronized or belittled, why would they bother turning up?”  I believe that there is a correlation between the involvement of emerging adults in the institutions of government and the church.

Emerging adults are rarely allowed into places of leadership.  Emerging adults are rarely given the opportunity for their voice to be heard.

The decline of religion in the UK has been occurring for many decades, and as the decline of religion is becoming clear in the US (Millennial Exodus), we should listen and learn from them.

Unfortunately, sometimes current church leadership does not want them to vote – because they are afraid.  They are afraid of what the new generation believes.  So instead of everyone coming together to work out our differences, we simple don’t leave room for them at the table.

Instead of fear, I believe that we should respond in faith.

Without the voice and vote of emerging adults, the church suffers.

Relevant Links

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Managing Director of EA Resources.  He is the founder of the EA Network.  If he can help you and your community ministry to the emerging adults in your community, please contact him at gdavid@earesources.org.