Allowing Your Adolescents to Grow Up – Youth Specialties Blog

We’re excited to have Dr. G David Boyd as one of our NYWC speakers. This blog post is a great start to the conversations he’ll be navigating in his seminar: DISCIPLESHIP BEYOND HIGH SCHOOL: THE SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT OF EMERGING ADULTSCheck out more information HERE


My research among emerging adults reveals that they often feel they aren’t treated as adults within the church community.  While being called “Davy” as a child never bothered me, when I left for college, I hoped to leave that name behind.  Sometimes, the easiest way for emerging adults to be treated like an adult is to leave their old world behind.

emerging adults in the church

William James, an American philosopher and psychologist, developed a theory of social selves which posits that an individual acts differently based upon the social situation and the expectations placed upon them.  In some social contexts, emerging adults are expected to be an adult, while in other contexts, they are treated like a child.  As emerging adults mature, our communication, actions, and words must display our support for their ongoing development.

Here are three ways you can allow your students to grow up:

Read the rest of my post here!

I am thankful for Youth Specialties, and for allowing me to contribute to the blog, and to the National Youth Workers Convention 2016.

David - Prof 2Dr. 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.


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

National Network for those who Minister to Emerging Adults

In the 1960’s, Wayne Rice and Mike Yacconeli came together to convince the church that ministering to youth was essential for the health of the church.  Their vision turned into the organization Youth Specialties.    According to Mike, “We sure didn’t know where youth ministry or our little company was headed.  All we knew was that God was somehow inviting us into this thing.”

group of girls2

Copyright 2014 by Aaron Robert Photography. Used with permission.


Our culture has shifted in the past fifty years, changing the role of church within our country, the role of faith within the life of the individual, and the metanarrative of human development.   These shifts have altered our perception of human development and created a new life phase called “Emerging Adulthood.”

As our world rapidly changes, there is a great need for those ministering to emerging adults to stand and work together.

Together we can accomplish more for the Kingdom.  Together we can…

Gather resources, share ideas, and speak as one that we might attract the attention of others.

But it is more than that… we must awaken the voices of EA’s so they can share.  Give them platforms so they can be heard.  We must show emerging adults that we are listening.  We will convince them that they are not the object of our work, but that side-by-side, we will labor.

group of girls

Copyright 2014 by Aaron Robert Photography. Used with permission.

For in this unity, the church will become all that she was intended to be.

That her body might be whole, and that her beauty might be revealed through diversity as the generations worship our bride – Jesus Christ.

I have glimpses of the vision.  I have two hands, one of which holds a pen.  I have pennies in a bucket.  I know a few people who stand beside me in this work.

It is not much, but it is a start.

Who has hands that are ready to work?    

Who has resources to contribute to this movement?  

Who has the connections to get the ball rolling?  

Who has a passion that cannot be contained? 

Who has a vision of what could be?  

Not for the sake of any organization, but for the sake of the Kingdom.  Not for the sake of another conference, but for our common purpose.  Not for the sake of another voice, but a medium through which we can hear His voice.

To whoever has resources, let them give. To whoever has hands, here is a shovel.  To whoever has a vision, let them speak.

If you resonate with this call, you may have something to contribute.  Please contact me.

May we together step forward in faith, and look forward to seeing what God will do.

profil pictureDr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to help churches and parents understand emerging adulthood.