Posted by: Brian Musser | July 11, 2016

The Five Big Questions Students Are Asking The Five Big Questions Students Are Asking

(presented to Drexel Christian Faculty Group 4/26/2016)

  • Matt 19:16 -22 Jesus and the Rich Young Ruler – Jesus ministry intentionally created a space for Young Adults to ask significant questions.
    1. Rich young ruler was a young adult like the 12 disciples.
    2. Jesus created an atmosphere where the rich young ruler approached him with his most important question.
    3. Rich young ruler was a religiously active Jew yet chose to approach Jesus and not the other religious leaders.
    4. Rich young ruler was conceited in his religious works yet still knew there was more to life.
    5. Jesus engages the 12 disciples (who were young adults) afterwards with a question centered discussion.
  • Young adults (students) are dealing with questions in 5 specific areas (developed from Tim Elmore’s Leveraging Your Influence – growingleaders.com)
    1. Relationships: Who should I love?  Who loves me?
    2. Beliefs: What is true?  Who do I trust?
    3. Lifestyle: How should I live?  What is the “good life?”
    4. Location (Home): Where do I belong? What do I need to be comfortable there?
    5. Purpose (we are going to come back to this idea): What is worth my time, energy and other resources? When have I done enough?
  • We are conditioned (I believe by our age specific education system) to be most comfortable relating to others who are similar to us in age. We are not given opportunities to develop the skill(s) of relating to people across generations.  This creates an obstacle when young adults are looking for answers in these 5 areas.
  • Although young adults need space to ask questions from each of the areas mentioned above; I believe that an incredible opportunity is available for faculty members to engage students in conversations specifically around the area of purpose.

Discussion Questions (we will not get through all of these):

  • Have you ever considered the idea that Jesus’ 12 disciples would fit into the category of young adults? How does that inform your work as an educator of young adults?
  • Have you ever noticed in the Gospels how often Jesus asks a question or is asked a question? Do you create an environment where people are comfortable asking you questions?
  • Do you find it difficult to engage students in meaningful conversations? Why or why not?  How can you better develop your cross-generational communication skills?
  • Do you want to share a story of an encounter with a student that the conversation centered around one of the 5 areas mentioned above?
  • Did you have a professional mentor that played a significant part in the development of your sense of purpose?
  • What is one thing that you can do to better engage students around meaningful questions?

Going Further (to think about on your own time):

  • How does the shift from generationally static familial employment that was common before the Industrial Revolution to the contractual occupational mobility that is project based inform the theological idea of vocation and call?
  • Using the 5 question areas stated above read the Gospels investigating how many of the questions Jesus asked and was asked centered around one of them.
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