Lessons from Young Atheists

Hope This Helps (HTH) is a series, where fellow youth workers share resources they’ve found helpful in ministry.  Of course, some things work in some churches and not others.  But, as always, hope this helps.

A few months ago I stumbled upon an article in The Atlantic by Larry Taunton entitled, “Listening to Young Atheists: Lessons for a Stronger Christianity.” Since then, I’ve forwarded the article to every youth ministry friend I have. In the article Taunton recalls his interviews with young atheists to see what they all had in common. The biggest help this article offers, I think, is written proof of what we already know to be true. That is, Taunton posits that the type of youth minister these young atheists (read: former Christians) deeply respected were the ones that took Scripture for their lives seriously.

He recalls one man named Phil that said the following about his former youth pastor, “He didn’t always have satisfying answers or answers at all, but he didn’t run away from the questions either. The way he taught the Bible made me feel smart.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Christopher Talbot is the Program Coordinator for Youth and Family Ministry at Welch College where he also serves as Campus Pastor. He is currently the Youth and Family Pastor at Sylvan Park Church. He holds degrees from both Welch College (B.S.) and Grace College (M.A.) and is currently working on a PhD on Apologetics and Culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He's the author of Remodeling Youth Ministry: A Biblical Blueprint for Ministering to Students. He and his wife live with their three sons in Gallatin, TN.

More From This Author