top of page
  • Writer's pictureBRYAN LEFELHOC

The Secret Connection Between Truth and Relationship

Why we must understand our young people first, in order to lead well


There is little doubt, and growing evidence to support the idea that we are witnessing substantial cultural change.  Not the incremental, generational change of the past, but lightning-fast change that is hard to stay in front of. 

Generation Z is facing pressures unlike anything we’ve ever seen, including mental, social, emotional, and even spiritual pressures. 


In the latest episode of the Clearly Christian podcast, I talk with one of the nation’s leading Christian Apologists Dr. Sean McDowell about this issue.  Sean is a podcaster, author, and professor at Biola University, and says that our young people are simply overwhelmed with information and pressure.

See the full episode here:

So that you can “Know More” we have Chalkboard Points to help build a foundation for the discussion.  As always, we lay out the Chalkboard Points for those of you taking notes. This episode revolves around the following points:


Chalkboard Point #1: If we are going to reach the young generation for Christ, we must work to understand them

Unless you're in Generation Z, you and I are going to have a really difficult time understanding the world that they face and the future that's in front of them.  It's nothing like what's gone before.


Chalkboard Point #2: Christian Education is built on the connection between truth and relationship. Our teaching model is anchored and rooted in a uniquely different Christian approach that unites truth to relationship, law to grace, and justice to mercy.


Dr. Sean McDowell and I discuss the idea that we can’t just expect young people to listen to us and believe everything we say, just because we say it is true.  There’s more information available than ever before, and more is being created every day.  “So there's just information overload and that affects and creates anxiety”, says Dr. McDowell. “That can affect relationships. That can create a kind of skepticism. If there are so many smart people with so many different perspectives and so much information, who do I trust?”


The conversation continues to discuss who can impact a young person’s life and worldview.  It certainly can’t be left to society.  “We really want to have teachers and parents and church members pointing them in the same direction”, says Dr. Smith.   It still will be hard because of all those cultural pressures.  It takes about every adult that's influencing that child to really form that relationship and as you said speak truth into that life.”


It is at this point in the program when Sean digs in about Truth and Relationship, and how important both are if we are to lead our young people well. We need to earn their trust, because “they want to know, well, why is the Bible true? Why is that good? Why should I trust that when there are a million other people saying something differently?


Dr. Smith points out that the government-led public schools aren’t helping, as they continue to “plow through the content standards” when it comes to curriculum.  He says that the goal is not for teachers to jump through the hoops set up by a curriculum company.  “I want you teaching what God wants them to learn, not what a curriculum company says is in their best interest”.


Now you know more so that you can say “No More” if and when you must.  The connection between truth and relationship needs to be cultivated between leaders and our young people.  They are searching for the truth, and they’re looking for something to believe.  Let’s meet them where they are, and let’s help them make a choice where God’s truth is at least a viable and considerable option. 


Subscribe or follow our podcast, so you don't miss an episode of the Clearly Christian with Dr. Cy Smith podcast, available at and wherever you stream your favorite shows.  

For more information about Dr. Cy Smith and the Clearly Christian Education movement, click on

If you’d like to join the movement with partnership, funding resources, or ways to impact your own region's Christian Education opportunities, contact Dr. Smith today at 419-756-5651, ext. 218     

3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page