3 Big Questions That Change Every Teenager

Making the Most of Your Conversations and Connections

Cover Art

Where to Purchase

More Options

About

Today's teenagers are the most anxious, creative, and diverse generation in history--which can make it hard for us to relate. And while every teenager is a walking bundle of questions, three rise above the rest:

· Who am I?
· Where do I fit?
· What difference can I make?

Young people struggle to find satisfying and life-giving answers to these questions on their own. They need caring adults willing to lean in with empathy, practice listening, and gently point them in the direction of better answers: they are enough because of Jesus, they belong with God's people, and they are invited into God's greater story.

In this book, which is based on new landmark research from the Fuller Youth Institute and in-depth interviews with data from 2,200 diverse teenagers, Kara Powell and Brad M. Griffin offer you practical and proven conversations and connections to help the teenagers in your home, your ministry, your classroom, or your neighborhood answer their three biggest questions and reach their full potential.


Help teenagers unlock their potential and discover essential faith

"Kara Powell and Brad Griffin cut through so much of the guesswork and misguided conversations that have made it so much harder to connect with today's teens. This powerful combination of research, practicality, and intellectual integrity is exactly what church leaders need right now."--Carey Nieuwhof, author, speaker, and podcaster

"Kara and Brad help us understand the unique challenges teenagers are confronting today, identify their greatest longings, and give us practical ways to proactively initiate conversations and connections that will ultimately lead them closer to Jesus. If you love and care about teenagers, read this book."--Christine Caine, founder of A21 and Propel Women

"This work by Kara Powell and Brad Griffin offers a valuable resource that engages the full story of the gospel message to speak to the specific context of the teenager. I am grateful for this resource that will effectively serve the church."--Soong-Chan Rah, Robert Munger Professor of Evangelism at Fuller Theological Seminary and author of The Next Evangelicalism and Prophetic Lament

"Kara Powell and Brad Griffin deftly unpack the unique dilemmas young people are facing in a time and culture of rapid change and upheaval. They also help us avoid the common, well-intentioned mistakes we often make when trying to guide them. Given Kara's and Brad's track record, none of that surprised me. Here's what did: any adult who reads this book will have their faith strengthened as well. While incredibly relevant for teenagers in this moment, there is eternal truth here that transcends all ages."--Skye Jethani, award-winning author of WithGodDaily.com and cohost of the Holy Post podcast

"3 Big Questions will help you reengage a generation with a bolder, brighter, and braver version of faith."--Reggie Joiner, founder and CEO of Orange


Endorsements

"In 3 Big Questions, Kara Powell and Brad Griffin cut through so much of the guesswork and misguided conversations that have made it so much harder to connect with today's teens. This powerful combination of research, practicality, and intellectual integrity is exactly what church leaders need right now."

Carey Nieuwhof, author, speaker, and podcaster

"Kara and Brad help us understand the unique challenges teenagers are confronting today, identify their greatest longings, and give us practical ways to proactively initiate conversations and connections that will ultimately lead them closer to Jesus. If you love and care about teenagers, read this book."

Christine Caine, founder of A21 and Propel Women

"As a parent of two teenagers, I am always looking for resources that will help me better understand my children. As a professor of evangelism, I am also looking for resources that develop our ability to witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ. This work by Kara Powell and Brad Griffin offers a valuable resource that engages the full story of the gospel message to speak to the specific context of the teenager. I am grateful for this resource that will effectively serve the church."

Soong-Chan Rah, Robert Munger Professor of Evangelism at Fuller Theological Seminary and author of The Next Evangelicalism and Prophetic Lament

"For years I've relied on the research and wisdom of Kara Powell and Brad Griffin. No team has done more to understand the spiritual lives of teens. They deftly unpack the unique dilemmas young people are facing in a time and culture of rapid change and upheaval. They also help us avoid the common, well-intentioned mistakes we often make when trying to guide them. Given Kara's and Brad's track record, none of that surprised me. Here's what did: any adult who reads this book will have their faith strengthened as well. While incredibly relevant for teenagers in this moment, there is eternal truth here that transcends all ages."

Skye Jethani, award-winning author of WithGodDaily.com and cohost of the Holy Post podcast

"3 Big Questions will help you reengage a generation with a bolder, brighter, and braver version of faith. Kara Powell and Brad Griffin will launch your team into discussions that will forever change the conversations you have with this generation."

Reggie Joiner, founder and CEO of Orange

"As a pastor, I regularly reflect on ways to establish deeper connections with the teenagers who are part of our congregation. As a father of two children, this is always on my heart. This book offers a powerful pathway to make these connections a reality. Kara Powell and Brad Griffin have given us a wonderful gift. Our churches and homes will be profoundly impacted if we begin to intentionally wrestle with the three big questions they present."

Rich Villodas, lead pastor of New Life Fellowship Church, New York City

"3 Big Questions combines the wisdom of years of working with teenagers with fresh insights from listening carefully and critically to them--and a willingness to be challenged both by what young people have to say and by what God is saying to and through them. This is not just another youth ministry book. The questions of teenagers in this book will at times bring you to tears while simultaneously inspiring you to press on and to have better conversations with the beloved young people in your life."

Almeda M. Wright, Yale Divinity School, author of The Spiritual Lives of Young African Americans

"This book uncomplicates the most complicated part of my relationship with my teens: helping them figure out WHO THEY ARE. Kara and Brad give us a guide to help teenagers unlock their superpowers. I'm forever grateful."

Carlos Whittaker, author of Enter Wild, Kill the Spider, and Moment Maker

"Every youth worker and parent wonders if they really know what's happening with the teenagers they care about most. 3 Big Questions empowers you to understand young people and, more importantly, equips you with countless practical ideas for what to say and do so they experience Jesus more fully. This is exactly what's needed to help parents and leaders win with teenagers!"

Doug Fields, cofounder of DownloadYouthMinistry.com

"One of the keys to reaching the most unreached generation today, Gen Z, is knowing the right questions to ask. Fortunately, my friends Kara and Brad--and the entire Fuller Youth Institute team--have created a resource based upon research that explores the three questions most important to today's teenagers. I invite you to join them on this quest of not only understanding these questions but also exploring how the church can be equipped to answer them in Christ-centered ways. My prayer is that this resource will be an essential tool for both connecting with and reaching Gen Z."

Ed Stetzer, Wheaton College

"Kara and Brad take those of us who care for young people on an insightful journey into the influences that are shaping their world today. Along the way, we learn what Jesus has to say about these life-changing topics, and also how to walk alongside our young friends by listening to the questions they are asking while pointing them to the God who lovingly invites them into his bigger story."

Newt Crenshaw, president of Young Life

"Having worked with teenagers for many years as a youth pastor and then taught others to do the same while parenting my own, I hear these three such succinct questions (and answers from Jesus) as balm to my soul. Kara Powell and Brad Griffin offer proven insights into how teenagers can not only take on identity, belonging, and purpose but do so in the safety of the name, embrace, and true calling as people in Christ."

Daniel Harrell, editor in chief, Christianity Today

"Kara Powell and Brad Griffin offer wisdom and insight that parents, educators, and ministers will benefit from for years to come, as well as offer practical ideas--that can actually be implemented right away--for helping the teens we love navigate the challenging years of adolescence at one of the most difficult points of human history. This book is a gem, a real gift, and essential reading for those in the trenches of helping teens meet Jesus."

Katie Prejean McGrady, speaker, author of Follow: Your Lifelong Adventure with Jesus, and host of Ave Explores

"3 Big Questions captures the tension of our time. Kara and Brad have revealed the core struggles of young people and their relationship with the church and Christ and have given practical ways to help them live out the gospel. Not only is this a guide to reach young people but, if you are open to it, it will also shape your own journey with Christ. This is a must-read for anyone serious about the kingdom work of discipling the next generation."

Tommy Nixon, CEO of Urban Youth Workers Institute

"Kara has long been a thought leader in the next gen space, and FYI has always designed solution-based research to help ministry move forward. Here she and Brad go again, inspiring us through transformational questions that matter."

Sam Collier, lead pastor of Hillsong Atlanta and founder of A Greater Story

"3 Big Questions is a very exciting book, because with depth and sensitivity it wades into the most central and mysterious of our human questions. And more importantly, it beckons churches to observe and learn from how young people answer them. But the book does more. It also invites parents, youth workers, pastors, and anyone who cares about young people to see these questions as an invitation into a pilgrimage with them."

Andrew Root, Luther Seminary, author of The End of Youth Ministry? and The Congregation in a Secular Age

"If you are a parent, youth worker, or church leader who has desired to reach youth, this is a must-read. Our question is usually, How can we reach teenagers? The better question is, How can teenagers reach us? Kara and Brad tell us it starts with listening. This book will inspire you to talk to every young person you come in contact with and give you tools to make you feel like a youth conversationalist."

Gabriel Zamora, pastor, speaker, and CEO of Kingdom Global Ministries

"Kara and Brad's thoughtful, wise, and research-backed book will help those who seek to serve and walk alongside young people not necessarily provide easy answers but help them process their big questions. Packed with practical guidance and opportunities to reflect and apply, it will make you a better listener, provide you with rich insight into the inner lives of real young people, and invite you to draw more impactful connections between the stories of the teenagers in your care and the transformational story of the greatest answer of all."

Martin Saunders, head of innovation at Youthscape, UK, and director of Satellites

"Kara Powell and Brad Griffin are once again paving the road toward better youth discipleship. 3 Big Questions provides a comprehensive handbook for any context. The stories gathered by the research team create a mosaic that reflects a diverse community. Countless recipes full of tools for adults are grounded in Scripture, are easy to understand, and will give depth to any conversation with teenagers. Destined to be another classic from the Fuller Youth Institute, this is a welcome addition for youth leaders everywhere."

Virginia Ward, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary


The Authors

  1. Kara Powell

    Kara Powell

    Kara Powell, PhD, is the Chief of Leadership Formation and Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) at Fuller Theological Seminary (see fulleryouthinstitute.org). Named by Christianity Today as one of "50 Women to Watch," Kara...

    Continue reading about Kara Powell

  2. Brad M. Griffin

    Brad M. Griffin

    Brad M. Griffin is the Senior Director of Content for the Fuller Youth Institute, where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, writer, and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is the coauthor of over a dozen books, including...

    Continue reading about Brad M. Griffin


Resources