RYM 067: Navigating The Tension Between Science And Faith In Youth Ministry

Science and faith. For many students, these two categories seem incompatible. But are science and faith really as disconnected as our students might be led to believe? Let’s face it—these days, students are asking some pretty complex questions about the way science fits into our faith and vice versa. This week, join us for a transparent conversation all about the best ways to talk about science and faith in youth ministry—even when you don’t have all the answers.

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  • Why there is a growing tension between students and the church these days (1:40)
  • The tension for youth leaders is we don’t have all the answers for our students when it comes to faith and science (5:00)
  • The existence of God is a question (11:48)
  • What questions students are asking now versus the ones they were asking 20 years ago (13:22)
  • How to answer students’ questions about science and faith (16:17)
  • We boost our credibility with students when we acknowledge other views (18:18)
  • Most students are really asking, “Can I believe this and still have faith in Jesus?” (20:25)
  • If we want to navigate science and faith with students, we have to change our approach, but not our theology (30:32)
  • How questions of science and faith affect students graduating high school (35:59)


Resource: XP3 Middle School (New science and faith series At Odds coming June 1!)

Resource: XP3 High School (New science and faith series Worlds Apart coming June 1!)

Book: Can Science Explain Everything? by John Lennox

Video: Everything is Spiritual

Book: Irresistible by Andy Stanley


We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic and this episode! To join the conversation, leave us a comment here on our episode page or in our Facebook Group. Not a member of our Facebook Group yet? Click the button below to join!




CJ is the Managing Editor for XP3 High School at Orange and one of the hosts and producers of Rethinking Youth Ministry, a podcast raising the bar for student leaders everywhere. CJ has been leading small groups for middle school students at North Point Community Church since 2007, which means he’s probably spent more time talking to middle schoolers than adults in his life. He also placed 5th in his 8th grade class field day fun run. CJ and his wife, Teri, live in Alpharetta, Georgia, with their son, Harley, and their robot vacuum, Barbara.


Stuart Hall is an influential leader who speaks to thousands of students, leaders, coaches, and parents each year. Stuart has coauthored three books: The Seven Checkpoints: Seven Principles Every Teenager Needs to Know, MAX Q: Developing Students of Influence, and Wired: For a Life of Worship, Leaders Edition. Stuart also laughs incessantly, serves as a volunteer high school varsity girls basketball coach, and loves his wife and three kids.



Crystal currently leads the XP3 High School initiative at Orange. Before that, she spent 10 years as a high school teacher and student ministry leader, doing everything from leading small groups to speaking to curriculum design. Crystal and her husband, Tom, live in Alpharetta, GA with an ill-tempered chihuahua named Javier.



Tom Shefchunas is the Executive Director of Student Strategy at Orange. In this role, he leads the development and strategy for XP3 Middle School and High School curriculumPreviously, Tom was North Point MinistriesMulti-Campus Director of Transit, their middle school ministry, for 12 years. And before that, he spent 10 years as a high school teacher, coach, and principal. Additionally, he is the co-author of Lead Small with Reggie Joiner. Tom and his wife, Julie, live in Cumming, Georgia, with their three children, Mac, Joey, and Cooper.

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Orange Conference 2018