Adolescence is a time of differentiation

B. Adolescence is a time of differentiation, when teens remain in contact with family but explore and develop individual interests through a separate peer network. In our society differentiation has a lot to do with developing self-awareness that leads to a successful career; adolescence is about discovering what you want to do with your life. A healthy outcome of adolescence is that a teen returns to the family as an adult with a partner from that peer network and a wise understanding of career and calling.

D. The basic goals of adolescence are to (1) develop a second relational network of peers external to the family, leading to a fulfilling group of friends and a lifelong mate, (2) discover one’s identity and purpose in life, leading to an interesting and fulfilling career choice, and (3) accomplish this while remaining in contact with one’s family of origin. While our culture complicates adolescence and artificially extends it through college and even graduate school, this is basically a rite of passage. District Equipping Tracks can help provide this rite of passage for smaller churches through connectionalism.





[1] The quote is a selection from David O. Kueker’s Fuller Seminary Doctor of Ministry project submitted in September, 2007, entitled Diagnosis, Dialogue, and Decision: A Threefold Process of Revitalization For the Illinois Great Rivers Conference.
It is shared here in recognition of its 12th Anniversary along with comments to update and provide perspective on the material. The original project was a Training Manual/Study Guide of three Seminars supported by three chapters of research and an Introduction. The material is available for download at In 2009 it was provided for purchase as a softcover book entitled Designing Discipleship Systems: Christian Disciple Making For Any Size Church, Any Theology through

[2][3] [4][5] [6][7] [8]

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Please review the page How and Why We Use Quotes.

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