According to David Kinnaman in You Lost Me , 52 percent of youth group teens aspire to science-related careers but only one percent of youth workers have addressed issues of science in the past year.
Knowing this, I was excited when my student leaders suggested we discuss the faith verses science debate. Before this discussion, one of them asked if I’d share how the physicists I knew from my days interning at a national lab believed in God not in spite of science, but because of it.
On the one hand, it was encouraging to know students are not only listening to me, but retaining what I say as well. On the other hand, this student’s question set off several internal alarms for me. Ultimately, I want students not just to know my story, but to know the stories of others in their family of faith. More importantly still, I want them to know the story of Jesus.
The fact that this student leader had already heard my best personal story on the subject suggested that rather than hear it again, what I most needed to do in this discussion was give students the opportunity to hear someone else’s story.
So I asked around and compiled a list of people in our congregation who are scientists. I then contacted the person who’s name bubbled to the top of everyone’s list: An older gentleman, active in our congregation for 42 years, who also has a PhD in chemical engineering from MIT.