It’s Good to Ask Questions

One of the overarching principles in fostering a continuing faith in the lives of teenagers and young adults is to ask good questions…and then listen. One of the biggest fears in this principle is the concern about how to answer some of the questions that young people ask us back!

Good news: You don’t have to have all the answers, but you should be committed to finding those answers together!

Last week’s podcast was a highlight of several podcasts we like to listen to. Just last week, I listened to an episode of the Bible Project Podcast with my son that was a Q&A about a series they did on the Family of God. It was fascinating, informative, and sparked a great discussion full of more questions!

The Bible Project podcast and subsequent material is a great resource for helping young people and adults dig deeper into the truths of the Bible. Check it out. Listen to some episodes with the young people in your life. Ask good questions. Have great conversations. Be Abnormal!

The Nuclear Catalyst

Last week’s podcast episode had us discussing the changing family structures in modern culture. Particularly we pointed out how the loss of the nuclear family model is not necessarily all bad. In case you missed it, check out Episode 61 – What To Do When Your Family is at DEFCON 2!

We were greatly inspired by an article written by David Brooks for The Atlantic called “The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake”. If you want to dig deeper into the concepts from our podcast, take the time to read Brooks’ compelling piece.

Until next time, Be Abnormal!

Finding Relevance

When I was in my twenties and seeking to own my faith, I found an incredibly helpful resource. Relevant Magazine was a Christian publication claiming to navigate the tension between faith and culture, but to do that they talked about things I hadn’t seen anyone else try to tackle. They acknowledged the difficulty of reconciling faith and science. They dialogued with people who were struggling in their faith. They brought together people on different sides of doctrinal issues to find common ground. It was so refreshing because it echoed my inner questions as a young person finding my path towards living out my faith in Christ. These are still the issues young adults are facing and Relevant Magazine is still addressing them.

In that pursuit, it is no surprise that Relevant has a whole section dedicated to “Justice”. As we shared in Episode 60 – With Just Cause, young people are looking for their place and purpose in life. Finding an injustice in the world and looking for a solution is a common practice for them as they too try to figure out how to be the people God calls us to be. Relevant does a great job of talking deeply and honestly about not only the injustices but the tensions present in our engagement with those causes. I’d encourage you to check out some of their articles. Here’s a few recent ones that deal directly with evaluating causes:

And after you’ve read them, share them with the young people in your life. Discuss them. Wrestle with them. Apply them. Let them stretch your faith. And as we do that, I think it will help us…Be Abnormal!

Parenting Trend #4: Gender Issues will continue to rise

This excerpt from Episode 59 – Top Eight Trends Parents Need to Know for 2021 talks about one of the most prominent and challenging topics facing parents of teens and young adults – those of gender and sexuality.

Here are a couple of short articles with great ideas from the Gospel Coalition on having those difficult conversations:

How to Talk to Your Kids About Gender

John wants to be Jane: 3 Ways to Counsel a Gender-Confused Child

Until next week – have those hard conversations and Be Abnormal!

Finding Help

As we have developed this podcast and supplemental content, we have found several really helpful resources. These are individuals and organizations that are on the frontlines of reaching young people for Christ in this modern culture. Over the next weeks and months, we hope to highlight some of them so you can connect to these resources as well.

One that we keep coming back to is the Fuller Youth Institute.

For parents and concerned adults, they have a lot of great content to help equip you to engage with the young people in your life. We have previously highlighted their book Growing With. We have also tapped in to their research for numerous episodes. We would encourage you to take a look at their website and check out some of their posts for parents.

As we encouraged you in last week’s episode to engage in the difficult discussions and be super-sleuths at asking questions – this post on What Teenagers Need from Us More Than (Almost) Anything Else is a great place to start!

Until next week…Be Abnormal!

Have We Got a Resource For You!

This week we are taking a break from our podcast but we will be back next week with a great interview episode. We have some other great episodes coming up in the future as well about communicating with your child and what they need to communicate to you!

Over the course of the last forty weeks, we have covered a lot of content. We encourage you to look back over our archive and check out some of the episodes you have missed. One of our greatest goals is to give practical resources for parents to lead their children and their families closer to Christ. To do that we have reviewed several books. Here’s some of those books and their corresponding episodes:

So this week, check out a book, listen to a podcast you missed, lead your family… and until next week, Be Abnormal!

IS THAT NORMAL? Podcast – Episode 26 NOTES

Do you struggle with knowing how to answer your kids’ questions about faith? Or maybe you just struggle getting them to talk about it at all. And yet it is one of the most vital, close-to-the-heart issues we have as parents – will our kids choose to believe the truth. Or maybe more specifically, will they know and trust Jesus with their life?

In this EPISODE, we talk about some of the responses and approaches to help walk your adolescents and young adults through the process of knowing what they believe.

Here’s some things to remember when responding to their questions:

  1. It’s about a person and a relationship. More than a set of ideas, philosophies or tenets, we are talking about getting to know Jesus. It has to start with Him. He’ll walk them through the rest. How are you introducing your children to Jesus?
  2. It’s about trust and faith. We aren’t necessarily looking for all the answers, but learning to trust the one who has all the answers. If we really believe God is who He says He is, we’ll trust Him for the unknowns.
  3. It’s about personal evaluation and commitment. We’ve got to move from ideas to actions. We have to remind our children that they ultimately are responsible for owning what they believe.

At the end we talked about a whole bunch of resources to guide them:

  1. A Study Bible. This is foundational. A few that we really recommend are The CSB Everyday Study Bible, The ESV Study Bible, and net.bible.org.
  2. Entry Level Reading. A couple of really accessible reads on belief are Doctrine by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears and Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.
  3. For some deeper, longer reading on these topics, we recommend The Westminster Shorter Catechism, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith by R.C. Sproul, and Knowing God by J.I. Packer.

If you haven’t already, make a plan today to guide your children’s faith development. Be Abnormal!

IS THAT NORMAL? Podcast – Episode 25 NOTES

Thanks for joining us for our 25th EPISODE!! As we enter our seventh month of this podcast, we thought we’d have some fun and offer a bunch of great family game ideas.

We love playing games with our families. Here are some of our very favorites:

  1. PANDEMIC – a board game about stopping global viral infections. Currently, a very relevant game.
  2. PUERTO RICO – a resource management board game where you have to settle the island of Puerto Rico and export goods.
  3. BALDERDASH – A creative game of bluffing that always ends up with some great laughs.
  4. THE INDEX CARD GAME (Also known at TELESTRATIONS) – this drawing and writing game always ends with surprises.
  5. APPLES TO APPLES – The classic category game.
  6. CATCHPHRASE APP – This mobile version of the popular game can be found on Google Play or Apple App Store.

We also talked about games that anyone can play. Here’s some we like:

  1. UNO/UNO ATTACK – Getting rid of those cards together!
  2. EXPLODING KITTENS – A hilarious unique card game.
  3. THE RESISTANCE – Find the spies among you in this dystopian future game.
  4. BANANAGRAMS – Like Scrabble but better…and faster.

And lastly we talked about more active games, like…

  1. KAN JAM – Throwing frisbees into cans. It’s the best.
  2. SARDINES – A more uncomfortable version of hide and seek.
  3. WASHERS – What else would you do with washers, but throw them into boxes.

And lastly, we mentioned one of Mark’s family’s favorites – CRANIUM HULLABALOO – which we found out is a popular, out-of-print game. We’re not sure it’s worth the online price tag, but it is fun!

So pick a game and plan a party with your family. And, as always, Be Abnormal!!