Q & R: Helping my Tween-ager

Here’s the Q:

I’ve written to you previously because I value your work- A New Kind of Christianity & Naked Spirituality which I am reading now; your advice and opinions.
-I am trying to learn in my walk to live with questioning, doubt, and faith; as a 40 year-plus Christian. It would be simpler if I did not have a soon-to-be-eleven- year-old son who is beginning his own journey…. We live in a rural, almost exclusively evangelical community in the south and attend a Baptist church. My husband and I are very progressive in our thinking so have tried to find the most accepting church environment we can with our limited resources and availability. My son is very smart and inquisitive, so it is becoming more difficult to help clarify biblical issues for him (especially since I am tackling issues of my own).
-For example, how do I explain “The Rapture” to him when his (overly zealously, evangelical, bible-thumping Baptist- baptized at 5) friend is trying to tell him if he isn’t saved and baptized “the right way” that eternal hell awaits?
-My son has been taught biblical studies from an early age and granted part of that has been through our differently colored lenses and philosophy, but he has a strong knowledge of God and Christ. He is being dealt with spiritually, trying to find his own heart while part of him just wants to play.
-So, my query is this, how do I touch this “tween-ager” with real spiritual help? Are there any biblically-based resources/books that are light on theology and strong on the spiritual. Bear in mind that I am having angst of my own (some of it deep and dark). ….. What can I tell him that is real and true? without the “thou-s” as he says- ? I need kid -sized bites of spiritual wisdom (which come to think of it is probably what I need too)?
-Your prayers, thoughts, and advice will be appreciated.

Here’s the R:

This is the question that I wake up with morning after morning. I’ve spent a lot of my life helping young and older adults reorient a distorted religiosity acquired in childhood in the direction of adult sanity, justice, truth, and compassion … But meanwhile, in so many contexts, we have new generations being “catechized” into the same (or worse) versions of distorted and life-denying religiosity. Perhaps over on my facebook page folks will be able to suggest specific resources –
I’m glad to report that a really smart youth worker has picked up on the four stages model from Naked Spirituality and is developing resources using it … more info to come on that.
About a year from now, I plan to start writing a book that could also be of help to both of you. More info to come.
I’m also glad to report that there’s a first-of-its kind conference being planned in Washington DC for May 2012 … Children, Youth, and a New Kind of Christianity.
For more information and to register:
In the meantime, I do have one suggestion. Tell your son your own story, your own struggle. Tell him about your “naked” love for God – and your frustrations with distorting versions of religiosity. Help him sort through the pressures he’s under – be sure to listen lots and draw him out. And of course, don’t push if he just wants to go out and ride a skateboard. Blessings on you and yours.