Teaching Teenagers in a Post-Christian World: Cultivating Exploration and Ownership


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Youth workers are in a tough spot these days. On the one hand, we’re finding that teenagers who have little to no church background and Bible literacy tend to be hyper tolerant of all religious views except for Christianity. On the other hand, students who grew up in the church and have heard all of the “right answers” are still struggling to articulate their beliefs and live them out day to day.

When these two realities combine in youth ministry, they can make teaching teenagers about spiritual things an infuriating experience. It can feel like you’re banging your head against a brick wall.

It’s been said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So maybe it’s time we try something different when it comes to teaching theology to our students. That’s the hopeful change that Teaching Teenagers in a Post-Christian World addresses.

As a follow-up to Brock Morgan’s exceptional Youth Ministry in a Post-Christian World, this book will help you shift from being a content dispenser to a conversation cultivator. It’s time we stop treating teenagers like consumers—even when we really believe in what we’re selling. Instead, let’s create learning environments that lead to faith exploration and ownership.



In Teaching Teenagers in a Post-Christian World, Jake Kircher calls us to reset how we communicate the truth of Scripture to teenagers. We need to clear our memories and adapt our approach to their real world. It’s not the world many of us grew up in. Jake’s style is transparent and humble. He advocates an organic style of ministry that acknowledges and draws on the worldviews and learning styles of students. What he says should be carefully considered by youth leaders—especially those of us whose faith was nurtured in the “God said it…I believe it…that settles it” era. It’s a helpful and provocative read.

Doug Clark
Director of Field Ministries
National Network of Youth Ministries


As you read this book, you will hit bottom with Kircher and then begin to see youth ministry from a new perspective. It’s a tough perspective. You can’t just pour the essence of this book into your cup of ministry, add water, and stir. This is a call to leaders to give up all the superficialities, competitions, and idols of our present ministries and accept a radical relationship with Christ, with the intention of showing young people the difficult cost and high value of discipleship—a radical relationship with Jesus. Only this way can young people escape the limitations and bondage of a post-modern, post-Christian age. It is a self-critical approach to ministry—one in which we need to learn and determine our goals through self-reflection and out of deep relationships with youth, discovering with them what life is all about and how true, loving relationships grow. This book might be too searing and personal, a little too radical and honest for you—though I hope not; because it’s also disarmingly practical.

Dean Borgman
Charles E. Culpeper Professor of Youth Ministries, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Founder and Director, Center for Youth Studies


How refreshing to get advice from someone who’s right in the thick of the challenge of sharing faith with young people. Jake writes from the perspective of an experienced youth pastor who knows that the old methods of teaching teenagers are increasingly ineffective. The goal remains the same: for teenagers to develop a deep commitment to God that will last a lifetime. But standing up front at a youth meeting and telling teens what to believe isn’t working. Instead, Jake gives us inspiration and practical guidance to teach teenagers who are immersed in modern culture and, of course, the digital world. This is a place where having the space to explore and ask questions is a critical element of the journey to truth, and Jake’s advice will ring true to anyone wondering how to help young people find faith in a postmodern world.

Chris Curtis
CEO, Youthscape


About Jake Kircher

Jake Kircher has been working in youth ministry for 13 years as a pastor, writer, and speaker. He is the coauthor of 99 Thoughts on Marriage and Ministry and currently serves as the youth pastor at Grace Community Church in New Canaan, Connecticut. He is married to Melissa, and they have two kids: Sean, 2, and Nora, 1.

Additional information

Weight .5 lbs
Dimensions 7 × 5 × 3 in

Year Published

Page Count

2 reviews for Teaching Teenagers in a Post-Christian World: Cultivating Exploration and Ownership

  1. Jeremy Bixler

    As a youth worker in New England (the author’s context as well), I can tell you first-hand just how important this book is to our current climate. There is very little in this gem of a book that is ‘new’ persay, but Jake’s is by far the best book I have seen yet that synthesizes what we know about teenagers in a post-Christian society and gives actual concrete ideas for implementing a teaching style based on exploration. I will be purchasing copies of this book for my whole team and make it a required reading for them, as we seek to make a similar transition in our teaching methods as Jake has undergone. Highest recommendation!

  2. Pastor Woogy (verified owner)

    This book is a great read and great challenge for all who have a teaching/discipleship role in the life of a student today. Allowing students to explore their own faith, and even cultivating an environment where that is encouraged, is so important in today’s world. Whether you are involved in Student Ministry in the New England area (the context of the author, as well as my present area of ministry) or in another part of the country (I’ve also worked in Student Ministry in the South and Midwest), this book gives us a blueprint of how to create an environment for students to ask questions and find answers on their own that we all need to follow. This is a definite must read! I know I will be having all of my Adult Leaders reading through this book.

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