Inquisitive youth have always asked questions, but today’s questions are more complex and challenging to answer. What is truth? How do you know God exists? Is the Bible trustworthy? Why did God create evil?
Questions asked by college students a decade ago started being asked by high school students five years ago. Now, middle schoolers are asking them. If your grandchildren reached out with their questions, are you prepared to give a thoughtful response — knowing that your answer could strengthen their faith, but a fumble may help erode it?
When youth are asked with whom they would like to spend more time, polls show that grandparents are consistently at the top of the list. They are considered trustworthy; it is safe to ask them the difficult questions. This openness provides us with a golden opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the spiritual life of our grandchildren.
Y2Believe, a mission partner of First Church, mentors college students to lead lively discussions inside public schools addressing the questions asked by today’s youth. Y2Believe equips youth with compelling evidence from history, philosophy, and science that support the truth of Christianity while allowing them an opportunity to respond to the Gospel.
It probably will not surprise you to know that truth is under attack today. But what would you say if your grandchild responded to your testimony, “I know your faith is true for you, Grandpa, but it’s not true for me. I have a different truth!” Silence is not a suitable response but doubling down on your faith story would also be a mistake. Your grandchild has thrown down a serious challenge that you must address, so pray for wisdom and ask open-ended questions to get them talking—like “Tell me what you mean by that.” This tactic will provide you with more detailed information about their beliefs and time to formulate a response. (You can use that same response for nearly any statement they make.)
Listen well to what they say, take mental notes, and then ask for some time to think about it. Immediately after your discussion, write down everything you can remember and use your time wisely to research the best answer. As a member of First Church and an apologist, I am happy to help you answer well. You can reach me anytime at 334-569-6026 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Michael Bossman, Founder/CEO Y2Believe