The Fuller Youth Institute has put together a great article featuring the Lockbox Theory. If you have a love for teenagers and seeing them grow, you really need to read this article. It’s a tad lengthy, but worth every minute of reading. Tim Clydesdale, associate professor of sociology at The College of New Jersey researched college students and found that they put things like religion and relational identity inside of a sort of loxbox. Here’s a snippet from Tony Jones that I found extremely useful:
Back to the research, it doesn’t bear out that students get totally deconstructed, at least not the first few years. The other thing is, speaking theologically, to be so afraid of what’s going to happen to your students, and even to withhold an adolescent from swimming in the culture, shows a great lack of faith in the Holy Spirit and the Spirit’s ability to guard the faith of the young.
For those of us who believe in the Holy Spirit-which I believe few Christians actually do-I don’t think it’s my responsibility to bring a kid to faith or to keep a kid in faith. It’s the Holy Spirit’s responsibility. A lot of parents think it’s the responsibility of the youth worker they’re paying to make their kids stay Christian. But no, it’s the responsibility of the Holy Spirit.