Have you ever looked at one of your students and thought, “What were you thinking?” Well, thanks to new discoveries in adolescent brain development, we’re starting to find out. The truth is, a teenager’s brain changes dramatically throughout their middle school and high school years. This week, join ministry leaders for a conversation with Mark Oestreicher about the teenage brain and how we can leverage the development of the brain to set our students up for a vibrant faith.


  • When we look at the teenage brain without understanding it, we tend to make assumptions that are wrong. (4:00)
  • Do you see teenagers as a problem to be solved or as a wonder to behold? (4:30)
  • You can extend grace totally different when you understand. (09:00)
  • They are not problems to be solved, but people to be loved, through a God-ordained process. (10:00)
  • During puberty, teenagers have the capacity to think more abstractly, which includes the introduction of third-person perspective and speculation. (20:00)
  • Don’t assume that they are hearing you the way you think you are communicating. (22:00)
  • Doubts and questions are not only normal, but they are essential. (23:00)
  • The role of the prefrontal cortex. (27:00)
  • How you use your brain in your young teenage years, predicts how you will use it for the rest of your life. (35:00)
  • Marko explains the correlation between the anterior cingulate and faith development in adolescents. (45:00)


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