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Identity formation is a chaotic time for adolescents. Every realm of life—biology, social, spiritual—is a changing target for every person as they navigate these waters. Society has many ways of handling adolescents. One way is to ignore and hurry these young people into adulthood. Another is to worship and adore adolescents, to meet their every need and desire. The Church also has historically offered discipleship to young people to either quickly transition them into adulthood or in essence worshipped them as the “church of the future.”

The preached word of God is a place to form each person’s discipleship. Preaching can be a formative and holy moment where the Lord God is made known to his people. It can also go astray and be a place of vague spirituality or about personal performance and not lasting relationship with Jesus Christ. With life adjusting all around them, adolescents are desperate for truth. Preaching should be a place where the Word of God comes alive and reaches their hearts. It should point them to the deep absolute truth of a God who loved them and the deepest reality is they are his. The purpose of this project is to understand the uniqueness of identity formation and marry that with making Christ known to his Church.

To aid First Presbyterian and other youth leaders this project seeks to create a preaching framework that could be used in various settings. The application will walk through a sermon series with materials for small group discussion to demonstrate the ability to tailor communication styles to aid in adolescent identity development. The goal is to create a grid for faithful communicators to reveal Christ and the hearers to see their deepest identity in Him.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Lee, Cindy

Document Type





Youth ministry, Church work with youth, Young adults, Communication, Identity, First Presbyterian Church


Practical Theology


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