I'm REALLY excited about the material that Kara Powell and Brad M. Griffin and the Fuller Youth Institute Team have put together around 'Sticky Faith!'
First the context ...
'Sticky Faith' is a phrase that emerged from a study looking at what helped faith to 'stick' for young people as they moved away to college/life. The report revolved around three conclusions:
1. While most U.S. churches focus on building strong youth groups, teenagers also need to build relationships with adults of all ages.
2, Churches and families overestimate youth group graduates' readiness for the struggles ahead with dire consequences for the faith.
3. While teaching young people the "dos" and "don'ts" of Christian living is important, an overemphasis on behaviors can sabotage faith long-term.
This report and I guess work by the likes of Mark Yaconelli and Kenda Creasy Dean (and I guess I'm thinking a lot about marks critique that so much faith work with young people sees "Christianity as words and young people as empty vessels") has led to a lot of thinking about spiritual practice and the contemplative. Fuller have then done some GREAT work on translating and making this work for parents, families, youth groups and students. The Resource is called:
I love the central theme of 'Noticing God more' and this is a really useful way of framing intentional faith exploration, practising the presence of God and engaging with spiritual practice. (Along the lines of 'Mindfulness' which is quite a buzz phrase at the moment or Lamberts use of 'Watchfulness' from Marks Gospel)
It gives a great opportunity for growing and journeying together as a family or a group. Yaconellis research was clear that young people were not growing spiritually if the adults weren't also journeying/growing.
I think this is a really important piece of work. Sign up, download and have a look. Any feedback from putting it into action would also be great.