#304 || Help Young People Love The Church: Kara Powell Interview

October 31, 2017

Churches are losing both members and vitality as increasing numbers of young people disengage.  In this episode, we interview Kara Powell, who is the executive director of the Fuller Youth Institute and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary.  Kara co-authored Growing Young, which is about 6 essential strategies to help young people discover and love your church.  Growing Young is based on groundbreaking research with over 250 of the nation's leading congregations and it provides a strategy any church can use to involve and retain teenagers and young adults.  The book shows pastors and ministry leaders how to position their churches to engage younger generations in a way that breathes vitality, life, and energy into the whole church.


#303 || Students Vacating Church & Losing Faith

October 24, 2017

Are students leaving the church? Fifty percent of students drift from their faith after graduating high school.  Of those who drift, 80% did not plan to drift from their faith when they went to college or went into the workforce.  Are we losing the battle with students or is there a reason to have hope in this generation's loyalty to the local church?  In this episode, hosts Jeff Eckart and Jayson Brewer dive into the numbers from their research about students' loyalty to the church, their youth group, and what it looks like for students' faith when they actually attend church post-graduation.  What can we do as youth leaders to prepare students for faith outside high school, to ensure it sticks?


#302 || A Dream Fulfilled

October 17, 2017

Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream over 54 years ago, but was that dream merely poetry or was it prophecy?  This is a story about two grown men, Will Ford & Matt Lockett, pursuing their connection to the past which caused them to face injustice and racial reconciliation that went beyond their imagination.  Their personal dreams brought these two men together which turned into a fulfillment of a historic dream.  Now their dream together is to actively work toward the ending of the next great injustice in this country, the injustice against the unborn.  Their desire is to see the legal ending of abortion. 

To learn more, go to http://bound4life.com/

To learn more about their story, go to http://www.thegodofprovidence.com/blog/




#301 || Anthem Protests & Hope for Healing: Students & Race

October 10, 2017

The recent protests against the National Anthem are more than just about taking a knee, but they are another symptom of the growing division we are experiencing in America in regards to race.  It seems like we have gone backward instead of forward in the progress of race relations.  The protests have even extended to high school football games.  Hosts Jeff Eckart & Jayson Brewer speak with a high school football coach, Steve Anderson, who has witnessed racism first hand against his players.  Is it possible that we are in the early stages of healing from all this?  Is God taking us through all this pain right now to bring us through into a time of healing?  Are we able to recognize what God is doing through all the noise of division?



Prayer Equals Change Series || Give Me Scotland or I Die!

September 26, 2017

John Knox, a Scottish minister and theologian who led the Protestant Reformation in his country, once said, "Lord, give me Scotland or I die!"  In this episode, Jeff expresses his desire for this generation to have the same spirit toward their school campus, as well as the world.  Do you have the drive that shows that you are hungry for it, you want it, you have to have it, that you have to see your campus be changed by the power of God's love?  Give me "my campus" or I die!  Part 4 of 4.  Recorded on March 5, 2017.


Prayer Equals Change Series || Great Followers & Great Followings

September 21, 2017

Are you a leader or a follower?  What makes a good leader?  What makes a good follower?  If you really want to see God change the world through your prayers, then it's connected to your commitment to follow him.  In this episode, Jeff discusses three foundational questions that will help students examine their level of devotion.  Jesus is not looking for leaders as much as he is looking for followers.  If you follow him and go where he is going, people will follow you.  Part 3 of 4.  Recorded on March 4, 2017


Prayer Equals Change Series || Kingdom Eyes, Hearts, & Guts

September 19, 2017

In this episode, Jeff speaks about having the heart, eyes, and guts of the kingdom. What moved Jesus to the depth of his being?  What moves us to the depth of our being?  Does that come out in what we are praying to God about? Jesus saw people differently than anyone else.  A challenge to students is to look at the people at their school differently than how others see them, to see them how Jesus sees them.  We live in an emotional world, but is our relationship with God more driven by how we feel or what we're convicted about?  Are we willing to live a life full of conviction to change the world?  In this episode, Jeff also gives the three reasons why the school campus is the most influential environment in America.  Part 2 of 4. Recorded on March 4, 2017


Prayer Equals Change Series || 360 Degree Concept

September 13, 2017

What is prayer? How would you define what prayer is? Talking to God? A conversation with God?  What is NOT prayer? A vending machine? An obligation or wish list? Talking to ourselves with our eyes closed?  When we pray, we can have access to the heart and knowledge of God. It is about knowing God and getting in the stream where God can do crazy things. It's up to us to listen and then speak.  The better we can hear God, the better we can articulate when we pray.  In this 4-part series on prayer, Jeff Eckart is speaking to a select group of 30 high school students from around the country that are a part of the Claim Your Campus National Student Council Forum.  In this episode, Jeff gives us a better understanding of how prayer works.  Part 1 of 4.  Recorded on March 3, 2017.


#211 || Summer Days, Celebrity Lookalike, & More

May 18, 2017

Season Two has officially come to a close, so in this episode, we recap a few of this past year's topics, talk about our plans for NTS Camp this summer, and share an exclusive announcement of what is yet to come that will benefit both adult leaders and students in their faith journey.  The Thought Factory will be taking the summer off, but Season Three will launch in October 2017, so stay tuned.


#210 || Faith & Reason Part 2: Six Foundational Questions We Must Ask Students

May 2, 2017

Is there evidence for a Creator?  Where does my truth come from?  What do I believe about Jesus?  Can I doubt the resurrection and still be a Christian?  If God is so good then why is my world so bad?  Am I committed to Godly sexuality?  In this two-part episode, Michelle Rewa, with a background in apologetics and a degree in science, explores the 6 foundational questions where faith and reason intersect.  This episode gets us thinking about the last three questions and why it is important to engage with these topics ourselves.