As a father of two young men, the topic of how young people and faith coalesce is close to my heart because Jean and I are living it right now. We have diligently tried to raise our sons to be men after God’s heart. Some days we feel like we’ve hit a home run. Other days, we fear we’re striking out.
Maybe you feel the same way. Christian parents are competing with a lot in the culture when it comes to believing in God and living for him. It can be easy for parents to feel discouraged about an emerging generation of young people who don’t seem interested in the Christian faith.
But there’s a lot to be encouraged about. We’re discussing some wonderful insights on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Helping Your Teens Retain Their Faith” with David Kinnaman and Mark Matlock.
David is president of the Barna Group and has surveyed over one-and-a-half million people. Mark also works with the Barna Group and has spoken to over a million teenagers. Together, they’ve written a book called Faith for Exiles: Five Ways for a New Generation to Follow Jesus in Digital Babylon.
They’re with us to give parents tools for having discussions with young people that will help them follow Jesus in this digital age.
They compare this generation of young Christians to exiles in Babylon – digital Babylon. Daniel in the Old Testament lived in exile. He learned the language and the literature of Babylon. He became influential in the culture.
In today’s context, Digital Babylon is the power of technology and social media that makes this generation simultaneously the most connected and the loneliest ever. Young people’s consumption of digital resources is astronomically high. Technology is used for entertainment and edutainment. Screens are ubiquitous in the culture.
How do we parent well in this digital age?
Parents often don’t know the spiritual journey their children are on until their children choose to reveal it. David Kinnaman and Mark Matlock share how to ask better questions, how to probe deeper with your children to find out what’s really going on under the surface, how to create a safe space so your children will talk to you about what they’re really thinking and feeling.