IPOINT, our camp in Minnesota, has for a number of years put on a great weekend for youth workers called “IPOINT Equips” and this year’s featured speaker was Duffy Robbins.

I first heard Duffy as a 14 year old attending summer camp at Tuscarora and as I say that, I realize how much wisdom he has.

I’m going to submit the following notes from the 8 hours of seminars led by him in several subsections.

Understanding the Teenage Mind
How would you compare your teenage years to the lives of teenagers today? (family, technology, money, business, sexuality)
Why is the statement “when I was your age” an invalid statement? (we are living in a different context now then when we were teens)
Why is it important to understand today’s culture?

Factors Impacting Teen Development Today
Rapid adulthood is happening
Adolescence according to Chap Clark begins in biology and ends in culture
Puberty seems to be advancing 2-3 months per decade during the last century
The average age of first marriages is rising
Adults/adolescents are remaining financially dependent today
Culture is creating adolescent schizophrenia (puberty is happening earlier but adulthood is happening later)

Interesting Notes from this section
The brain doesn’t develop until mid-20’s
Culture credits adulthood at a variety of mile-markers which tells us that there is an incredibly wide range for adolescences.
Based off of everything we understand now, was Jesus an adolescent?

Rampant Changes in Today’s Children/Teens
Physical changes
Social changes follow the physical changes
Cognitive changes

Random Choices for Teens Today
Morality is up for grabs
Relativism and tolerance have become normal
Culture has given this generation no center


Duffy on Superheroes, superegos, and the marks of adolescent folly

Regarding Bad Decisions

As I heard the introduction to this session I’m reminded of a counselor who once said something like “you are one bad decision away from disaster.”
Quite often students believe they are wise but they often lack wisdom
Research suggests that students who make bad decisions often do so because of their circle of friends and/or their parents.
The reality is that we think we have a good perception of details but we are easily fooled. One of the keys to “perception” is the comprehension skills of the one who is trying to perceive.
And paramount to this issue is that we are sinful people

Four Marks of Adolescent Folly
Super-heroism—The thought that nothing bad will happen to me. (Check out the mistake of correlation)
Super-Egoism—The self belief that it’s all about me
Super-I-Knowism—The belief that adults are ignorant. Maslov describes this as unconscious incompetence.
Super-soloism—The notion that we live life as an island and that my choices only affect me

GK Chesterton says that Christianity truly is an adventure because our decisions matter.

It is the illusion that often leads us into bad decisions.

Marks of a Wise Decision

The process making the decision is well thought out even if the decision is not one I would make
The potential consequences have been considered
The decision maker is willing to own the outcome of the decision

Steps to Making Good Decisions

Note: Duffy offers these thoughts for anyone regardless if they believe or don’t believe

Stop and think backwards. Where is this decision going to take me? Think about where you want to end up

Duffy offered the “Option Play” as a strategy for explain the potential consequences and he used the following diagram to do so


Stop and Look. Look for the lie. Often as we are considering options there lies underneath the things we are considering a huge giant LIE. Culture is feeding us propaganda. Quite often the deceit is that they leave off the consequence of the story

Listen—Listen to the word of God


In our final session Duffy did a fabulous job of challenging our hearts with the gospel as we care for students.. Thanks for reading and I hope that these notes strengthen you and help you as you minister to students today.

Pictures and notes used with permission from Duffy Robbins




By Rev. Mark Johannesen

Bait and Switch
Youth Ministry Workshop