Where Do We Go from Here?

The Coalition for Christian Outreach: ‘Defining the Successful Transition from Adolescent to Adult Faith’

December 28, 2020

PITTSBURGH— In a survey conducted by the Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO), participants were asked to define the successful transition from adolescent to adult faith. The working definition was developed after reviewing the hundreds of thoughtful responses: The young adult Christian owns his or her faith in Jesus Christ, reflects it in priorities and decisions, and lives it in community with other believers, seeking to influence the watching world.

Dan Dupee, former Chairman of the Board for CCO, explains, “Without a definition, the journey won’t make much sense. Throughout my research and experience, eight truths or principles have emerged. These principles form the bedrock on which Christian parents can stand and act. They define the influence that is rightfully ours, and they tell us how to recapture it.”

According to Dupee, these are the eight successful transition principles:

  1. Kids who make successful transitions do not have perfect parents who know everything.
  2. Kids who successfully transition have parents who acknowledge their limits of control but still find ways to maintain their influence.
  3. The home is still the greatest place of opportunity for shaping the faith of a young person and preparing him or her for a life beyond the home.
  4. Kids who successfully transition have a bunch of loving grown-ups in their corner.
  5. Kids who successfully transition learn to “keep good company” in high school and maintain the practice in college.
  6. Faith can still thrive in an unfriendly place like college.
  7. In youth as well as adulthood, difficulties and trials can lead to positive spiritual growth.
  8. Kids who make bad choices need our love and support more than ever.

Dupee says to parents whose kids are in the midst of transition, “Recapture your sense of power. Pray for wisdom. Follow the principles. Trust that God, who gave you the incredible gift of a child, will be with you and that child even during the most turbulent times in life.

“Proceed with hope, knowing God loves your child in a fierce and wonderful way, whether or not that child is walking with Him right now. Advance with arms open to receive grace, knowing that the whole burden of raising your child rests not on your broken shoulders but on Him who is able to do abundantly more than we dare ask or think.”

The college and university campus is the most strategic mission field in the world, with only 2% of students being reached with the Gospel. CCO partners with local church congregations to help students feel a sense of belonging. A community is formed between the CCO staff and students, who are invited into the lives of local congregations. Through this community of fellowship, CCO is able to minister to the students in a life-changing way.


To interview Dan Dupee or for more information about Coalition for Christian Outreach, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Marjorie Pratt, 610.584.1096, ext. 107, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.