The last few weeks we have been looking at five shifts to make that will help empower your teenager to become mature, healthy self-led adults. We have looked at Shift #1: Talker to Listener, Shift #2: Center to Side and Shift #3 – Causal Interaction to a Conversation with Purpose.  As a reminder, I am not an expert in parenting. But I have learned a thing or two about coaching and helping people take action towards the direction God has designed for them in life and ministry.  Also, these five shifts are not limited to parenting. They relate to working with teenagers in youth groups or wherever you’re connecting with people in meaningful ways to help them take the next step on their journey to follow Jesus’ mission for their life. Let me give a bit of background so you have some context.

Shift #4: Creator to Co-Creator 

In our last post, I shared that my wife and I attempted to use a coach approach whenever we could while raising our kids. Starting very early, we did our best to listen and ask questions when the situation warranted it, as opposed to telling them what to do all the time. We wanted them to be able to process the world around them for themselves and make their own decisions… while providing guidance when necessary. 

This led to some very interesting conversations during their teenage years. One of the most invigorating conversations we shared independently with both kids was the lingering question – “What are you doing upon graduation?” Of course, it was never so eloquent or overt; but part of the answer was that in the case of both kids, college was clearly their next step. At least we understood the vision. Getting down to the goals and action steps were more nuanced depending on which child we are discussing.

Our oldest was a bit more reluctant to enter the college application process. It took a bit more finesse to engage him in setting his goal and action necessary to apply.  But apply it he did, and the rest is, well, very cool indeed.

Our youngest was very clear on her goal and how to get there. Not a lot of coaching was necessary until it came to the dreaded “loan tolerance” conversation. Needless to say, I did the heavy lifting running the numbers to reflect on the three options in consideration. She chose wisely. Made the choice that made the most strategic, financially responsible and practical sense.

Below is a simple framework of the things we did to help our teenagers co-create their agenda.


  • Release the need to control the agenda
    • Internally, align your agenda with the Holy Spirit’s agenda.
  • Allow the other person to set an agenda
    • Connect and allow the new disciple to reflect.
  • Engage the other person to set the agenda
    • Ask: “What do you want at the end that you don’t have now?”

Real – time Actions:

·       Ask the your teenager to clarify their “win”.

Below are two opportunities that can help you refine your disciple-coach skills!

5 Disciple Coach Habits webinar – Monday, October 11 from 10-3 PST


Cost: $250.00

The full package includes the webinar AND triad sessions:


Cost: $475.00


Join our mailing list to receive notifications of newly posted blogs. This is the best way to stay up-to-date with InFocus' efforts to keep you moving toward your goals.

You have Successfully Subscribed!