This episode is part of our special webinar series on Using Your Platform For Good In Crisis.
If you are the parent of a Young Adult (18-35), or have a parent-like relationship with a Young Adult, you can likely relate to the challenges and opportunities for connecting with them as your role shifts from “authority” to “guide”.
During this disruptive season, many Young Adults are wrestling with the first large-scale crisis of their adult lives. This gives Halftimers a unique opportunity to provide wisdom, perspective, and guidance – but how do we start that conversation?
After leaving a senior banking career, Halftime Alum David W. Miller, PhD set out to teach Young Adults who were pursuing professional careers, and to advise C-Suite leaders how to think about integrating faith and work. First at Yale and now Princeton University, David has spent the last 17 years working with students much like the Young Adults in your life. He’s become an expert at having free-ranging conversations with young men and women about faith and how it should impact their leadership in business and beyond.
In this 30-minute webinar David shared with us:
- How the best educational environments shape Young Adults’ worldviews (for better or worse!)
- What he has learned about engaging Young Adults in deep, meaningful faith conversations
- PLUS a few recommendations for engaging with the Young Adults in your life, particularly during this season of disruption
CLICK HERE to watch or listen to the recording of our conversation.
Many Halftime Alumni have adult kids whose lives have been disrupted. The internships they were counting on this summer have all but disappeared. The jobs they had or were hoping for have changed or will be delayed. Those that are into their careers are working from home.
They are rethinking many things – and they have some extra time on their hands while they are either back living in their old room or on Zoom with family regularly.
This is an unprecedented opportunity for us to help them shape their thinking around God, where He is in this time of crisis and their overall worldview. But it’s tempting to just fill the time with Netflix, golfing together, cooking and long walks – and perhaps miss the deeper more intimate conversations.
David Miller, Director of the Faith & Work Initiate at Princeton University and author of God at Work: The History and Promise of the Faith at Work Movement, has spent thousands of hours creating a safe place for students to open their hearts and explore their questions. David recently joined Lloyd Reeb and Doug Piper to discuss methods for engaging Young Adults around their faith and worldview. Here’s what he identified as four best practices that could help us as parents in this crisis:
1. Ask Questions: We often need to widen the aperture when it comes to the range of questions we are asking the Young Adults in our lives. Get to know their full selves. Learn what scares them as well their hopes, dreams, concerns, etc. Figure out their love language and respond accordingly. Focus on discovering more deeply who your children are instead of focusing on just the aspect of their faith.
2. Share Stories: They are interested in hearing your stories, not your propositions. Don’t worry about not feeling capable. We can all tell stories and share our own experiences. While there will be times to step up and humbly point out an issue that could prevent flourishing, stories, especially of lessons learned the hard way, will open the door for authentic connection.
3. Be Yourself: By now our children know that we are not perfect. That’s okay. They may even see blind spots for areas of growth that we are missing. While they no longer require the same level of guidance, they still long for parental care. You are leading them on a journey. You don’t need to have all the answers. It is okay to have both deep convictions and deep questions. If you show up as your full and honest self, they will be encouraged to reciprocate.
4. Learn Together: Have a co-learning perspective. Walk through the process of discovering truth together. Find out what faith questions are acting as roadblocks for your child, and commit to working through them together over the course of the year. Look for outside resources and other opinions. A great way to engage is by watching a succinct faith video from an effective communicator together and discussing it after. Take the approach of a fellow learner.
“If we don’t talk about the big questions of life, we are doing a disservice.”
As David reminded us, “don’t go swimming in the deep end alone, when in doubt, go to a trusted friend for counsel”.
If you desire more joy and depth in your family relationships, but aren’t quite sure where to start, we’d love to help you explore that with a Halftime Certified™ Coach. Learn how One on One Coaching can connect you with a thought partner and sounding board to help bring transformation for the whole family.
ABOUT OUR FEATURED ALUM, DAVID MILLER:
Dr. David W. Miller is the Director of the Princeton University Faith & Work Initiative, which he founded in 2008. He’s also a Senior Professional Specialist and Lecturer.
David spent 16 years in senior executive positions in international business and finance before entering academia. As part of his Halftime transition he earned an M.Div. and Ph.D. in social ethics at Princeton Theological Seminary and then taught at Yale for five years, as the Director of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture. He also advises C-Suite executives and their organizations on values, culture, and ethics. He’s written a rich and fascinating book titled God at Work: The History and Promise of the Faith at Work Movement.
Click here for a window into his teaching at Princeton.