It’s Not Too Late: The Essential Part You Play in Shaping Your Teen’s Faith Dan Dupee (Baker Books) $15.99
BookNotes sale price 10% off = $14.39
Right! It is not too late for parents of older teens.
Or, as Dan Dupee says in his funny and lovely opening foreword, “There’s hope for your great, scary, expectations.”
(To order this right away you can click on the link below which will take you to our secure website, where you may safely enter credit card info, or you can take us up on our offer to just send you the order with an invoice enclosed so you can pay the bill by check, later. Or, you can call the shop, old-school style. We’re eager to share the very good news of this very good book and are grateful for your support. We usually ship through US mail, which is cheaper and just as quick as UPS, but we can ship it any way you select, or send it to someone else as a gift, if you’d like. We even gift wrap for free — just ask.)
It’s Not Too Late: The Essential Part You Play in Shaping Your Teen’s Faith is a useful parenting book giving wise and winsome guidance to parents of teens. The stresses and challenges of parenting teenagers and young adults are legendary, and there are many good books that we often recommend. We carry a lot of parenting books and many are excellent. Dan Dupee’s new book is unique among them and for a number of reasons we are particularly glad to make it available. Dan is a good friend, and we’ve chatted with him about his dream of writing this book — we even sold him some books as he’s did his research for it! We like and trust him and his wife and respect his work a lot.
Yes, it is a handy and helpful parenting book, fresh and thoughtful and sensible. It will answer some of your questions and assist you in this season of parenting. (Or it will prepare you well for it if your kids are younger.) It will encourage parents of teens and reassure parents of college age young adults. But it is more than a standard parenting book; it is unique, and significant, even for church leaders who aren’t parents, but care about young adult ministry within their congregations.
There are some things about It’s Not Too Late that make it truly exceptional. There is nothing quite like it in print.
First, this is a book that is bucking the trends and assumptions we have, expressed in the media, in popular culture, and even in some Christian books, that parents of college-age students don’t really have much influence anymore. Too often we hear people say that once kids reach that stage in their lives, the parenting work is mostly done, and the adults who care, parents and aunts and uncles and church friends, well, we just have to hope for the best. We pick up this idea — the kids pick it up, too — that in matters of faith, young adults will just naturally tend to drift from their spiritual roots. It is nearly assumed: after high school kids will leave the church, and, at best, will come back to visit their faith communities when they come home from college at Christmas and Easter. We hope that once they sow their oats, find a job, settle down, they might come back to active faith in their 30s, perhaps when they have kids of their own.
Dan Dupee (and the staff of CCO, the campus ministry organization he has led for a decade and a half) proves this narrative wrong.
Dan knows this from his keen observation of the fruitfulness of those doing campus ministry with church partnerships like the CCO, but he has done good research, too, drawing on the best work like David Kinnamen who wrote You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church… and Rethinking Faith which documents some of the reasons young adults leave church.
Dupee shows that it doesn’t have to be this way.
Dupee knows better, and can tell you why the data suggests something very different: his research shows that parents and the local churches of college age students do still have a huge role to play, and that wise parenting of teenagers, even older teens, can pay off in vibrant faith and healthy transitioning after high school into Christian discipleship in the young adult years. (And, yes, helping students heading off to college or vocational schools find healthy Christian fellowship groups or campus ministry organizations and a congenial nearby church, is vital.) It’s Not Too Late explains all this in fun and sparkling prose, drawing specific principles and practices that he has learned along the way. Dupee is a down to earth guy, a dad himself (of two sets of twins, I might add) and knows well the struggles of parenting adolescents who are growing into young adulthood. He tells lots of great stories, making this a top-notch and fascinating parenting book.
As I’ve said, Dan Dupee is a good friend and a person I admire greatly. I’ll happily admit that I’m biased: Beth and I know Dan and his wife, Carol, and some of his kids, too, themselves now college students or graduates. Dan is the past President of our beloved campus ministry organization, the CCO (Coalition for Christian Outreach) for which we used to work and still serve as Associate Staff and bookseller for the organization.
In his prep for the book, Dan convened numerous focus groups. As a leader of the CCO, he knows churches that have effective outreach to students, and knows many, many collegiates. He had ready access to lots of folks in diverse settings who were willing to participant in his gatherings to share stories. This gave him access to a wealth of input.
Some of what parents and young adults said in these many face-to-face conversation groups is reported in It’s Not Too Late and you will be excited to learn what works (and what doesn’t) in effective parenting of teens and young adults transitioning out of the house and into college or adult life. From small town mid-West community colleges to urban and sophisticated East Coast universities, Dan convened groups and listened well. The book is theologically informed and Biblically-wise, but these stories make it sing, and help readers realize they are not alone in this parenting journey.
There are clear and practical principles that he deduced from these conversations. Many are refreshingly helpful, and a few matters that surfaced are surprising; this make It’s Not Too Late an exceptional book that offers insights that aren’t always named in otherwise fine parenting books.
For instance, discussions arose in these focus groups about young adults discerning their vocation and how parents, churches and youth group leaders can help students develop a robust sense of call, visions of vocation. What might happen if we as God’s people helped surround young people with caring and wise folks intent on helping them discern their gifts and passions and God’s call upon their lives? What if they learned to view their choosing a major as part of their walk with God and were taught that their classroom studies were to be part of their discipleship?
It’s Not Too Late: The Essential Part You Play… is the only book about parenting teens of which I know that gives considerable attention to this critical matter. And the stories – oh, the stories about this key issue are tender and inspiring and urgent.
It has big picture stuff and covers the routine issues like how college students, after living on their own for a season or two, move home for Spring break or the summer, and don’t expect to be treated like a high-schooler, with curfews and rules they didn’t have in their resident hall at Big Time U. So there’s that kind of matieral, and it’s good. It’s a treasure of a book, and we couldn’t be more happy to commend it to you.
We think that It’s Not Too Late is obviously a must-read for parents of teens or college-age young adults. But it is also vital for church leaders, youth pastors, summer camp staff, high school or college teachers, campus workers, student affairs professionals and anyone who cares about young adults.
And there is a short appendix written specifically for dads and men. Some things came up about that as he reflected on all he heard from students and parents, and it’s a nice contribution to the larger book.
Why not order a few copies now? We have higher discounts for larger orders of multiple copies, by the way, if you want to organize a book club or class. Let us know how we can help.
It’s Not Too Late: The Essential Part You Play in Shaping Your Teen’s Faith
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