#512 || Sign o’ the Times: Protecting Students from Sexual Predators

December 11, 2018

Sexual predators are lurking online and coming into contact with students each day. How can adults be proactive in protecting them before they fall prey to their tactics?  Today, hosts Jeff Eckart and Jayson Brewer speak to Brian Freeouf, a investigator who specializes in internet crimes against children.  He shares with us the two types of victims that sexual predators look for and how we can have a ministry or home that protects against them.


#511 || Sign o’ the Times: The Decline of the Bible in Youth Ministry

December 4, 2018

The majority of Christian students claim that the Bible is important.  But, students are either not reading it at all, or may be reading it once or twice a week.  We can easily make the statement to students that the Bible is important, that it is worth reading, and we can easily encourage them to do so. But, are we hindering their growth because we are not guiding and training them on how to engage God's Word?  What would a youth ministry look like if it was focused on Bible engagement?  How would your ministry, your community, and the world be impacted if it was?  Hosts Jeff and Jayson interview the Director of Bible Engagement at Never The Same, Lindsey Gorveatte.


#510 || Sign o’ the Times: Prepping for Student Skepticism

November 27, 2018

Guest interview with J. Warner Wallace, a Dateline featured cold-case homicide detective, popular national speaker and best-selling author of the book, Cold-Case Christianity.  J. Warner grew up an atheist and then became a Christ-follower at the age of thirty-five, after investigating the claims of the New Testament gospels using his skill set as a detective. 

Hosts Jeff Eckart and Jayson Brewer have been taking a hard look at the reason why students are leaving the church and faith.  We can easily assume this process begins after they graduate high school, but in reality, it is beginning much earlier than that.  In the information age, are we preparing students for the skepticisms they will face before they graduate?


#509 || Sign o’ the Times: Two Student Leaders Discuss Their Journey to Atheism

November 20, 2018

In this episode, hosts Jeff Eckart and Jayson Brewer interview two former students of theirs from their respective youth ministries when they were youth pastors at different local churches.  Aiman Jarrar and Corey Bordo were students who were highly involved in their church's student ministry, declared a strong faith in God, and were known as student leaders.  Then, they graduated high school and become atheists. 


#508 || Sign o’ the Times: Students Leaving The Church and Faith

November 13, 2018

We can hear all the stats about students leaving the Church and faith after high school and still do nothing different in our youth ministry context to try to stem the tide.  This is something we cannot continue to ignore and do nothing about.  Why are students leaving the Church?  Should we be concerned they don't want anything to do with the faith you tried to spark and stoke?  Are there things that bring solutions to this trend?  What changes do youth leaders need to make to lead in a way that allows students to stick with their faith? Hosts Jeff Eckart and Jayson Brewer speak with Fuller Youth Institute's Church Engagement Specialist, Matthew Deprez, about this trend and how we can be a part of the solution.


#507 || Since 2009: 9 Seismic Movements in the Last 9 Years

November 6, 2018

Never The Same, the organization that produces the Thought Factory Podcast, was established on November 1, 2009.  This episode was recorded on the 9th anniversary of that day.  Never The Same's founder and host, Jeff Eckart, has compiled a list of nine seismic changes in youth ministry that he has observed in the last 9 years.  If you were to take the time to make some observations about youth ministry in the last decade, what changes have you noticed?


#506 || The Good, Bad, & Ugly When it Comes to Small Group Leaders

October 30, 2018

Who do students speak to the most about their faith?  Friends?  Parents?  Who do students attribute their spiritual growth to the most?  Our research has found the answer.  In this episode, we will be discussing the importance of our adult leadership volunteer staff when working with students.  But, when we are looking for adults to participate in the ministry, what are some traits we are to look for, traits to avoid?  What may be some reasons to dismiss someone?   Jeff and Jayson share what to look for, as well as, their personal experiences on handling adult small group leaders in student ministries.


#505 || Politicizing Schools: Adults’ View

October 23, 2018

We live in a day when the eyes of the nation are on the school campus.  There has been enough tragedy on the school campus where the voice of students have been magnified.  There’s no question that there is an overwhelming majority that believe we need to do more to make schools safe, but how we do that is a bit more complicated.  In this episode, we follow up with a teacher from Parkland, Florida to get his thoughts on what adults' responses should and could be to the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.


#504 || Politicizing Schools: Students’ View

October 16, 2018

How is today’s climate of school tragedies affecting students? Do they want tighter gun laws and policies for their school? Do they think adults are doing all they can to protect them? Do students feel safe walking onto their school campus? Today, Jeff and Jayson are going to explore inside the minds of "Generation Lockdown" and hear straight from their mouths their thoughts about the climate of schools.  In many of their minds, it is not a matter of if something will happen, but when.  Something needs to happen to protect students, but the consensus is that we just don't know what that solution is.


#503 || #1 Question Students Have About Prayer

October 9, 2018

Prayer can be confusing and it can evoke many questions from people, especially students.  Am I just talking to myself?  Am I saying the right things when I talk to God?  Why doesn't it seem like my prayers get answered?  Does God care to even listen to me?  But, amongst all the questions we may have, there is one question that stands out as the top question students are asking about prayer.