Tag Archives: adolescent spiritual growth

teenage faith formation grenade

girl shoutingi’m coming to this conclusion, which i verbalized recently for the first time during one of my coaching groups. it’s an opinion, not a fact (yet). but it’s based on a gumbo of inputs:

  • the stewardship of neuron winnowing that takes place in the years following puberty, leading to what the world’s leading adolescent brain specialist calls “the hard wiring” of the brain.
  • various readings of and talks by christian smith and kenda dean and kara powell.
  • mandy drury’s talk, based on her PhD research, at The Summit 2012, on the critical role of “testimony” in faith formation.
  • and, frankly, my unscientific and anecdotal work with my middle school guys small group every week.

here’s the soft conclusion, which i toss out like a grenade, fully expecting some will consider this an overstatement:

for teenage faith formation, verbalization of belief is more important than the accuracy of the beliefs.

it’s not that i think “accuracy” is bad. it’s a question of priority in the role of faith formation.

your response?