How to Have Great Discussions Over the Holidays

Kara Powell | Dec 12, 2011

Part of what I love about my role at the Fuller Youth Institute is the amazing people I get to learn from. Just about every day, I have a meeting, phone call, e-mail or twitter exchange with someone who inspires me or gives me a new way to think about building faith in teenagers.

Last week I met with some faithful supporters of FYI who are grandparents with teenage and young adult grandchildren. These grandparents will be with their grandkids, who they deeply love, for an extended Christmas vacation. Some of their grandchildren have drifted from the church, and this wise grandmother has told all of her grandkids ahead of time that during their vacation, she’d like to get a bit of time with each of them individually. Whether they grab a meal or some ice cream together, she’s told them that she wants to have a good conversation with each of them, so she’s asked them to come with three questions that they want to ask her, and she will do the same.

Brilliant!

I love how this grandmother has been intentional and proactive with her grandchildren. I love how she’s setting the stage for honest dialogue. I love how she’s decided that at least one of her questions will involve asking her grandkids about their faith journeys and where their faith stands currently.

Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, youth leader, or simply know a teenager in your church or community, how can you use the time off during the holidays to build a deeper relationship with them? Or what ideas have you tried that have helped build good conversations in the past?

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.


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