Here are some of the best resources we know of for students who are graduating from high school this spring.
One thing we know for sure: Christian teenagers heading out into the world will need to be able to say why they believe that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ secured salvation for all who believe. Defending their faith will be an important part of their growth as Christians, whether they attend a secular college, a Christian college, or join the work force. Here are some resources that will help your kids anticipate disagreements and articulate what they have learned at home and church:
Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World’s Largest Religion and The Secular Creed: Engaging Five Contemporary Claims, by Rebecca McLaughlin. Both books are excellent; you will likely want to read them yourself. Read more about them here.
Surviving Religion 101: Letters to a Christian Student on Keeping the Faith in College by Michael Kruger. See our review here.
And, a video series thrown in: In Surviving Doubt: Six Videos Providing Answers to Difficult Questions About the Christian Faith, Dr. Michael Kruger of Reformed Theological Seminary speaks directly to college students taking Religion 101 early in their college careers. Find out more here.
For the student who consumes a lot of media (and is there even one out there who doesn’t?), consider Brett McCracken’s The Wisdom Pyramid: Feeding Your Soul in a Post- Truth World. McCracken invites Christians to think about how they consume information, bot in terms of where they get information and how much time they devote to consuming it. Read more here, and for how parents might engage kids with the book this summer, read here.
A daily devotional can be a tremendous support to help a student maintain a daily quiet time. Here are some good ones:
From Rooted founder Cameron Cole: As the youth staff at the Church of the Advent, we enjoy sending graduating seniors off to college and the real world with a book. Over the last two years, we have selected the The Mockingbird Devotional: Good News for Today (and Every Day) as the senior gift. This is one of the best devotionals I’ve ever read. It draws scriptures from nearly every book of the Bible, and every message explicitly relates to the principles of the gospel. The writing is very engaging, and the entries are short but substantial. This devotional is geared toward adults (young adults in particular) and works well for those leaving high school. The 365 entries mean this devotional can be read over and over.
You will also want to check out Daily Grace: The Mockingbird Devotional, vol.2, which uses the same format and many of the same contributors as their first devotional. This one might even be a better read for college students.
A recent addition: Contemplations of a Collegiate Christian: Thoughts On Forgoing the World and Clinging to Christ in Young Adulthood by M. M. Schumpert. Schumpert is a recent college grad who displays wisdom well beyond her years in these pages. Students will appreciate that here’s someone who knows what it feels like to be in college. She writes: “I’m simply wrestling through what the Gospel means and how it has changed my college life, just like you are. All I aim to do in here pages is take any worries, cares, and fears and focus them around these realities: God is our loving Father, Jesus is better than anything, and the Holy Spirit is within us.”
And a classic: New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp. Tripp’s devotion is solidly gospel-centered, clear-eyed, and encouraging. Teenagers will read the gospel every single day in this devotional and be directed to corresponding passages in scripture both familiar and unfamiliar. There is no better guide for learning how the gospel truly permeates every facet of our lives and what it means for anyone who chooses to believe.
Finally, we would be remiss if we did not mention one of our Rooted favorites: New Growth Press is offering a special bulk rate for The Jesus I Wish I Knew In High School. We think it makes a fantastic graduation gift for high school seniors! The Coupon code is ROOTED, and you will save 35% off retail price on 10 or more copies. PLEASE NOTE: coupon expires May 31, 2022. Purchase from New Growth here.
Please see also our Resources for Teens for more suggestions.