Thought Factory Podcast
#1007 || Re | The 5 Most Dangerous Places to be Online

#1007 || Re | The 5 Most Dangerous Places to be Online

March 2, 2021

Students are one click away from being surrounded by danger that could possibly ruin their lives, and in this digital age, when smartphones are more prevalent in the hands of students, are we aware of the dangers?  Today, hosts Jeff Eckart and Jayson Brewer discuss life online and these dangers with the founder of Protect Young Eyes, Chris McKenna.  We will talk about the five most dangerous places for students to be when they go online and some ways to protect them in these environments.

Original Air Date: February 5, 2019

#1006 || Re | A Middle School Perspective on Race

#1006 || Re | A Middle School Perspective on Race

February 23, 2021

Nick is a 7th grader who was born in South Africa.  He moved to the United States when he was 7 years old.  He provides a unique and, at times, a profound perspective on the topic of race in America, coming from a different culture.  Just like any adolescent, he is trying to figure out where he fits in, both racially and ethnically.   Racism is not an adult issue but can be experienced regardless of age.  Are we willing to take the time to listen to students to hear their perspectives on tough topics like this?

Original Air Date: March 19, 2019

#1005 || Re | Physiology Behind Student Depression and Anxiety

#1005 || Re | Physiology Behind Student Depression and Anxiety

February 16, 2021

Depression and anxiety are gripping adolescents and there is no easy pill to swallow to eradicate this from their lives.  Someone cannot just simply “cheer up” or “snap out of it” to solve the problem. Twenty percent of youth between 13-18 live with a mental health condition and that number seems to continue to grow each year.  Jackie Sheppard, who has over 50 years of study and research in this area of science and medicine, discusses the connection between the gut and the brain.  Issues start in the gut, which affects the brain, and the body affects the mind, will, and emotion of a person.  Could the solution to overcoming mental illness be more than just taking medication? Could it be found in replacing the things we've deprived of our bodies? 

Original Air Date: April 30, 2019

#1004 || Expert Advice on Helping Student Suicide and Depression Since Covid

#1004 || Expert Advice on Helping Student Suicide and Depression Since Covid

February 9, 2021

A change in circumstances and stress can trigger episodes of anxiety or depression in students, and with the changes in school and church dynamics due to the pandemic, how have students been emotionally and mentally affected?  In this episode, Jayson interviews Elizza LeJeune, a clinical social worker at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services.  We discuss a variety of aspects of mental health in students, signs we should look out for, and when is the right time to step in if a student is struggling with suicidal thoughts. 

#1003 || Ten-Year Forecast of Youth Ministry | Part Two | Bold Predictions

#1003 || Ten-Year Forecast of Youth Ministry | Part Two | Bold Predictions

February 2, 2021

For those who have been around youth ministry for a couple of decades, we have seen plenty of change.  Changes that occurred in that time period appears to have accelerated in the year 2020.  What do you think youth ministry will be like in 10 years?  In this episode, Jeff makes ten bold predictions on where he thinks youth ministry is going to be by the year 2030.  He also gives five pieces of advice to youth ministry leaders, to help lead us into the future of youth ministry.  Jayson takes no responsibility in these predictions. This is part two of a two-part series.

#1002 || Ten-Year Forecast of Youth Ministry | Part One

#1002 || Ten-Year Forecast of Youth Ministry | Part One

January 26, 2021

The landscape of youth ministry changes as each decade passes.  The student life is different now than it was 20 years ago.  The church youth group was executing different methods to spread the gospel as it was 10 years ago.  Who could have even predicted what culture and the church would have been like in the year 2020?  Well, someone got pretty close and we will discuss those predictions.  In this episode, Jeff and Jayson look at culture and youth ministry in 10 year blocks, and will look ahead to what it may look like 10 to 30 years from now.  This is part one of a two-part series.

#1001 || Don’t Let Politics Ruin Your Witness to Students

#1001 || Don’t Let Politics Ruin Your Witness to Students

January 19, 2021

January 6th, 2021, the United States of America changed.  In response to the Capitol Riot, hosts Jeff Eckart and Jayson Brewer ask eight questions about politics mixing with our faith.  These questions are directed at those who lead students, but all stem from the main question, is politics ruining our witness?  One thing that has been witnessed over centuries of time, the zeal for God begins to diminish as our passion for politics grows.

#911 || #1 Thing You Should Fight For Above All Else

#911 || #1 Thing You Should Fight For Above All Else

December 15, 2020

If you were to evaluate the youth ministry you are a part of and how the Bible is used, would you view it as student-centric or Christo-centric?  Do we start with where the students are at and teach from there or start with God?  Hosts Jeff Eckart and Jayson Brewer discuss the transformational power in integrating this one habit into youth ministry.  We must stop teaching and reading the Bible as a self-help book and start helping our students understand it as a autobiography of God.

#910 || #1 Principle to Stay Healthy in Youth Ministry

#910 || #1 Principle to Stay Healthy in Youth Ministry

December 8, 2020

We may know someone who became negative, jaded, cynical, and critical in ministry and eventually dropped out.  You may even be on the verge of becoming that person.  How do we avoid burnout in ministry and last the long-haul, through all the challenges?  The main question comes down to answering this question, "Who are you serving?"  How you answer that question will determine the strength and length of your time in ministry.

#909 || #1 Cultural Trait That Will Grow Your Ministry Spiritually

#909 || #1 Cultural Trait That Will Grow Your Ministry Spiritually

December 1, 2020

Great coaches can motivate their players to higher heights.  They possess a cultural trait that gets the most out of them doing this one thing.  In this episode, Jeff and Jayson discuss what it takes to get students to grow spiritually in your youth ministry.

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