The How to Adult Series 

The How to Adult series has been twenty years in the making and is now ready for the road! For the past twenty years I have been asked personally and professionally by parents and students all kinds of questions that in the end can often be reduced to, “How do I get my child from being a child to being an adult?” or “How do I become an adult?” This series of presentations is my best compilation of all I have experienced, observed, read, researched, learned, and taught during my own transition to adulthood and in working with thousands of students and their parents as they have made their own transitions. I can’t wait to share it with you!

A note to speaker coordinators and conference planners: The How to Adult series is designed to be used in its entirety for a conference or convention or as a track inside of a bigger conference. You may also choose individual presentations from the series to be used as stand-alone sessions. In either case please contact our speaking coordinator, Megan, by using the form at the bottom of this page and she will help you craft the best combination of presentations to meet the goals of your event.  

How to Adult: How to Go From Sleeping on Your Parent’s Couch to Sleeping on Your Own Couch

What’s the critical stuff you need to know to be an adult? Not the trend-of-the-week parenting and success advice. What are the foundational, unchanging principles that every generation needs to become effective adults? This presentation is for students and parents and will teach you the basic principles you need to know to determine your direction and destination, understand who you are and your place in the world, understand the importance of relationships, and how to make a difference in the world. 

How to Adult: Figuring Out Where You Are Going

You can’t get anywhere worth going if you don’t know where you are going. Becoming an adult means having a direction. You don’t have to know exactly where you will end up or all of the details, but you have to know what direction you are travelling in life. Finding direction is all about asking and answering the big questions in life. Everyone asks and answers these questions, but not everyone thinks about it deliberately. This presentation is for students and parents and will teach you what the big questions are, how to answer them, and how those answers will point you in the right direction to become an adult.

How to Adult: Understanding the World and Your Place in the World

Being an adult means having a foundational understanding of what is going on in the world. Today everyone is living in a world of constant change. How do people who want to be successful learn how to deal with that change and what is the foundational academic skill necessary to thrive in such a world? This presentation is for students and parents and will teach you about the engine that drives that change, and the key skill you need to understand and harness the power of that engine. 

How to Adult: Living an Effective Life

As children become adults they become aware that life can happen quickly. Good things happen. Bad things happen. Day to day average stuff happens. Life happens. Effective adults influence what happens in their life. Ineffective adults let life happen to them. This presentation is for students and parents who want to be effective adults and will teach you how to stay focused on your direction in life, translate that direction into vision, translate vision into living reality, and how to deal with the reality that life never goes as planned (and that’s OK). 

How to Adult: The Importance of Finding, Building, and Keeping Great Relationships

People are everything. Your relationship with other people will determine your happiness, your success, and your well-being in life. Your relationships will be the measure of how you serve others, make a difference in the world, and your influence and legacy. Knowing how to find, build, and keep great relationships is the most important skill you can learn. This presentation is for students and parents and will teach you how to find and prioritize your most important relationships, the critical choice that you need to make to build great relationships, and the two things you must invest to keep great relationships. 

How to Adult: What You Need to Know to Pay for Life

One of the key traits of being and adult is being self-sufficient. Being self-sufficient means being able to properly manage your finances. But understanding money and money’s proper place in your life is about more than maintaining a balanced budget and saving for retirement. Money is a powerful tool, a tool that if used correctly can increase your effectiveness in practically every other aspect of your life. This presentation is for students and parents and will teach you what money really is, how to properly connect money to your life, and the three critical points for financial success. 

How to Adult: Making a Difference in the World

Survive and you will become older, but to become an adult means that you are mature enough to make a difference in the world. Nobody wants to just survive. Everyone has a God-given drive to make things better. How do you reach the crowning definition of adulthood and step into your unique role in the world? This presentation is for students and parents and will teach you the definition of vocation, the formula for success, and the recipe for meaningful work.

Other Sessions 


Raise an Adult, Not a Child

Everybody doesn’t win all the time and not everyone deserves a trophy. Remember when playgrounds weren’t 100% rubber, bullies eventually got beat up and you had to be home by dark? More and more our young adults are behaving like deserving children. Unfortunately there are a lot of 30 year old boys and girls running around our culture, expecting all things to go their way. Come be encouraged and learn how and why it is best to raise up men and women who are equipped and prepared for a successful adulthood.

How to Start a Family Adventure Company

You have a choice when it comes to your family. You can live a normal, boring life like everyone else, or you can choose to place your family at the center of a continually unfolding story full of drama, challenges, missions, and adventure. Jonathan will teach you how to create and build your own Family Adventure Company. Come discover why adventures are worth the danger, and the thrill of leading your family in living a story that is filled with excitement, purpose and meaning. Think carefully before you attend! It will be impossible to leave this session and remain satisfied with being a “normal” family!

Standing on the Solid Rock: How to Radically Transform Your Family Through Family Bible Study

Faithfully having a time for daily family Bible study and worship will transform your family, supercharge your faith, and can completely change your life. Planning and leading a daily family Bible study is simple, doesn’t require any specialized theological training, and will yield benefits beyond what you can imagine. Come hear Jonathan share about how his life, and the life of his family, has been transformed by one simple discipline. You will leave equipped to change your family dramatically!

Ten Crucial Years

Between the ages of 10-20 your son or daughter will make the transition from child to adult. Along the way there are some significant and easily identified milestones and transitions. This is also a time where the right kind of training can pay multi-generational dividends. This session will give you a year by year plan for training and equipping your child for the rest of their life, and will show you how to create your family’s own unique ceremonies and rites of passage to recognize and celebrate the growth and accomplishments in these ten crucial years.