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Kara Powell and Brad Griffin: How to Answer the Faith Questions Teens Are Actually Asking

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Dr. Kara Powell is the chief of leadership formation and executive director of the Fuller Youth Institute at Fuller Theological Seminary. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women to Watch,” Kara serves as a youth and family strategist for Orange and speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. 

Brad Griffin is the senior director of content for the Fuller Youth Institute, where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, writer, and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is the coauthor of over a dozen books. 

Brad and Kara’s new book is “3 Big Questions That Change Every Teenager: Making the Most of Your Conversations and Connections.”

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Key Questions for Brad Griffin and Dr. Kara Powell 

-What are the three big questions that all teenagers ask? Are these new, or have teens always been asking them? 

-How can parents go about having ongoing conversations about these big questions with their teenagers not just once, but over the years?

-Is there anything that’s concerning or encouraging about the current state of youth ministry?

-What percentage of kids drop out of church and what percent return?

-With so many people publicly deconstructing, what you would say to our listeners about how to help teens face current and future challenges to their faith?

Key Quotes From Brad Griffin

“Part of what surprised us was just how much young people enjoy the opportunity to be listened to. And I mean, we had students say to us at the end, ‘Gosh, I’m going to miss these times to just talk.’ And we had students say to us, ‘You know, nobody’s really asked me questions like this before.’”

“One of the things we encourage adults to do, whether a parent or a leader…is to listen to what’s on the surface and then listen for maybe the question that’s behind the question.”

“I find wondering out loud helps to not communicate judgment, you know, because often young people feel judgment in our first responses to them.”