Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


Adolescence has become a lifestyle instead of just a life stage.  You can read about this in study after study in America.

  • I wrote about it here back in August where I referenced a book and a New York Times article I had recently read. 
  • Last week the Wall Street Journal hosted another article called, “Where have the good men gone” in which college age women complain about dating “men” who are merely boys in adult bodies.  One author writes:

… “guys” are males who are not boys or men but something in between. “Guys talk about ‘Star Wars’ like it’s not a movie made for people half their age; a guy’s idea of a perfect night is a hang around the PlayStation with his bandmates, or a trip to Vegas with his college friends…. They are more like the kids we babysat than the dads who drove us home.” 

Truth is, this is not just a “young man” problem.  While I’m most annoyed by it in the young men I work with, it is clearly seen in both genders, across socio-economic barriers, and across races.  At first adolescence was largely considered to be a simple, couple of year window from childhood to adulthood.  Then it went to a 5-8 year life stage with an entire subculture of music, movies, and fashion attached to it that business fought for the market share within.  But more recently, adolescence has moved beyond a life stage and a subculture and into a permanent mindset that can be embodied and lived out indefinitely.  

In light of my previous two posts, it’s clear to me that an absence of access to adults and a lack of encouragement toward maturity are not necessarily the source, but have definitely contributed to an entire generation that has begun to embrace childlike behavior and ditch adult responsibility at epidemic levels.

It has caused me to ask a slew of questions as a pastor and a parent.  Here’s some you can kick around with me on this blog or just in your own head if you want.

  • Is my leadership empowering students to truly lead themselves?
  • What have I done to foster an environment where teens are challenged to truly step into adulthood?
  • Is adulthood my clear parenting goal? Am I daily working myself out of a job? 
  • What are the essential character traits of an adult and how do I help teens understand, own, and live out those traits/values? 
  • Am I perpetuating spaces and expectations that permit men and women to behave like boys and girls? 
  • What theological reality must be understood and embodied by this generation if they are to avoid being perpetually trapped in the mind of a 13yr old teen? 


    1. I’m stealing this brilliant quote: “Adolescence has become a lifestyle instead of just a life stage.” So good. This entire series on student ministry truths has been deeply insightful and inspiring.

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