Tag Archives: emerging adulthood

Your Mentor is not good enough.

15 Nov

 

You may have a good mentor.  You may have a great mentor. You may have the world’s best mentor. However, I have bad news for you.

 

Your mentor is not good enough.

I believe in mentoring relationships.  Well, I actually believe in symbiotic relationships which better expresses the mutual benefits of the relationship.  I also prefer the word discipleship (2 Timothy 2:2), but since neither of those words are trending, I will stick with the word mentor (imagine your favorite sad emoji – here).

Here are four reasons why your mentor is not good enough.

The instability of life.

The geographical instability of Emerging Adults causes instability in many other areas of life including: income, living situations, and relationships.  Distance affects our relationships, and it doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder.  While relationships can continue long distance, you can’t get a hug online.  Make sure you have multiple healthy relationships in case your life (or their life) makes a sudden left turn.

 

 Your mentor is not fully equipped to meet all your needs.

I am high maintenance.  Ask my mentors.  Ask my wife.  Ask my friends.
The good news for them is that I am worth it. And so are you.

One individual cannot possibly meet all your needs. Even the best mentors are limited in their own skills, knowledge, and bandwidth. There are people who perform some elements of what mentors do, while failing altogether in other elements.  (Parks 2000)  We all have various needs which may include:  social, vocational, relational, financial, and academic. Take time to reflect and understand the depths of your needs and identify several individuals who can support you.

Your mentor doesn’t have the time to meet your needs.

We all live under time constraints, and have a limited network of relationships.  While our mentor may want to spend time with you, other issues may rightly take precedence in their life.  No single relationship can satisfy the casting needs for the drama of our becoming. (Parks 2000)  We are all needy – at times in life. We need regular support, and putting that pressure on one individual to meet your needs moves a mentor towards burnout. If you always see Jane on the weekends, but she works during the week, maybe you can locate someone who has a similar schedule as you to connect with during the week.

Your mentor cannot give you a proper concept of community.

Mentoring should not simply be done exclusively in coffee shops, but should extend into everyday, dynamic contexts.  While a mentor can help you process the issues in life, you also need mentors with whom you can experience life together.  According to Parks, places that typically represent the power of mentoring communities in young adult lives are higher education, professional education, workplaces, travel, the natural environment, families, and religion.  (Parks 2000)  In a community setting, mentors can see the individual’s behavior, and observe how others respond.

Your mentor is not enough.  This is the purpose of mentoring community and the beauty of the body of Christ.  A church which seeks to build intergenerational relationships is naturally designed to fulfill this purpose.

 
Dr. G. David Boyd is the Managing Director of EA Resources, and the Founder of the EA Network – a Facebook community focused on those who minister to emerging adults.

Parenting Your Emerging Adult

8 Aug

Equipping yourself for each stage of your child’s development is important.  At each stage, you must pick up a few new tools.  Emerging adulthood is the life phase following adolescents (approximately 18-28 years old).  For a full description, read this!

Here is a podcast by Steven Argue, who is an expert on emerging adulthood and faith.  He is also the parent of three emerging adults.

Click Here for the Podcast!

If you work regularly with Emerging Adults, connect with Steve and many others through joining the EA Network on Facebook.

Steve joined the Fuller Theological Seminary faculty in June 2015 in a hybrid role as assistant professor of youth, family, and culture and as an applied research strategist with the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI). He is a thought leader and researcher with decades of on-the-ground ministry experience.

Questions to Ask before they leave for College

7 Aug

Fall is upon us, and student will soon be packing their bags and leaving for college.  If your child is leaving, Kara Powell from the Fuller Youth Institute released this article about preparing your child for college.  Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary.

When our oldest started high school, multiple older parents told me that high school would fly by. I didn’t believe them, but now that Nathan is diving into eleventh grade, I’ve jumped on the “high school goes so fast” bandwagon.

Here is the full article! 

Pass it along to someone you know is dropping off a student this fall.

If you work with emerging adults, please join Kara and other members of the Fuller Youth Institute as members of the EA Network – a networking site on Facebook.

Other resources:

Adulting: Runner-up “International Word of the Year”

19 Jan
All the words from Flickr via Wylio

2013 Grahamm Campbell, Flickr| CC-BY-SA| via Wylio

Each year, the Oxford English Dictionary names an international word of the year.  This title is awarded based upon the word’s use during the past year, and how it reflects “the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year.”

This year’s title went to post-truth (read what this means).

One of the shortlisted words (considered, but not chosen) was…

adulting nouninformal

The practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks.

The Urban dictionary defines it as the process of doing grown up things and hold responsibilities such as, a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups. (Source)

Various hashtags on the subject are also used including:

This word is often associated with the struggle of millennials to grow up.  Books and blogs have exploded on helping them overcome their apparent delayed development.  Here at More Than A Beard, we believe it is important for young adults to know that manhood goes beyond facial hair.

EA Resources teaches three developmental tasks which equip individuals to successfully transition to adulthood – which we call the E-VACuation Plan.

Here are three links that overview these three main developmental tasks.

David - Prof 2If I can help equip your parents and adolescents as children transition into adulthood, please contact me at gdavid@earesources.org.

Church Refugees – by Packard, Josh and Ashleigh Hope

19 May

Emerging Adults are not the only ones who are leaving the church.  According to the authors of Church Refugees, “The phenomenon of people walking away from congregation-based church has much more to do with how our culture has evolved over the years for everyone, not simply for emerging adults.” (76) While the decline in church participation is greatest among Millennials, churches are seeing decline in every generation.

While I do not hold a negative attitude toward the Millennial Exodus, those who love the church should examine cultural trends, and how God is calling us into a new season of ministry in a rapidly changing world.  Unfortunately, the authors’ research was not based upon a broad or diverse sample.  The researchers state that the sample was diverse geographically, socioeconomically, generationally, and gender; however, the responders were 92% white.  (10)

During their research, the authors coined the expression, “the Dones” to represent the individuals who were once active in church participation, but no longer attend.  Some of these individuals may also be classified as a None (who declare no religious faith) while others still hold tightly to faith (and yet are “Done” with the organized church).  The dechurched, as they sometimes are referred to are “disproportionately people who were heavily involved in their churches.” (50)

old churchThe book offers solutions about how to begin bringing these church refugees back into churches.  The authors share how, “In order to reengage the dechurched, then, our respondents are clear that the church needs to adopt policies and practices that disseminate power, reduce the role of the pastor as the holder and conveyor of all knowledge, and utilize organizational resources to empower people rather than to control them.” (94)  These are important topics that need to be discussed within our churches.

This book contains the “story of what happens when an organization invests in training and discipling scores of people, and yet does very little to retain them or reengage them when they leave.”  (11)  I discovered within this book a call to action.

The Nones won’t go to church, and they are afraid of church leadership. The church needs to provide healing and help for those who have left wounded (those suffering from PTCD – Post-Traumatic Church Disorder).

A rehabilitation process and program is needed for Christians wounded led by Jesus’ followers who can work outside the organized church and possess gifts of mercy and compassion.  If we fail to meet this call, “the church continues to run off faithful followers who are, by their nature or religious conviction, conciliatory, compromising, and nonjudgmental, then we will continue to see a church that’s increasingly insular, alienating, and irrelevant.”  (19)

David - Prof 2As the church, we should be passionate about reaching the Nones.  Instead of cycling through decades of “evangelism tactics” like concerts, outreach events, seeker-sensitive bible studies, or tracts, maybe it is time to look around us and backward in time towards those we have hurt and have left behind.  I completely agree with their statement that “the Dones and the almost Dones are the strongest bridge to the Nones.”  (137)

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to help parents and parents understand emerging adulthood.

 

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