August 2021 – “When I started Axis, I started because I was frustrated,” said president and co-founder David Eaton. “My friends that I had gone to church with in high school, … I watched them go off to college and just totally implode.”*
Eaton knew in his heart that he had to do something … so he did. In 2007, Eaton and now CEO Jeremiah Callihan co-founded Axis, an online, non-denominational ministry that strives to “connect parents, pastors, teachers, guidance counselors, and any caring adult to the teens in their lives through meaningful conversation.”
Callihan explained that it’s all about having a billion little conversations that form one big conversation in an effort to help teens develop a Christian worldview and a real lifelong faith in Christ. These conversations involve parents and teens connecting through the contextualization of the gospel in the constantly changing world of Gen Z pop culture.
“It’s a challenging world to be a teenager,” Eaton said. “There’s this mental health crisis; there is smartphone addiction. You have this super hypersexualized culture, and just this fragmentation of the home and family. There is so much brokenness, and there are so many competing voices in their lives.
“Axis gets to serve as a research assistant to hundreds of thousands of parents, help them understand the core issues facing their teens, and help them connect with their teen’s heart.”
Axis aims to connect “parents, teens, and Jesus in a disconnected world” by providing parents with quality resources, some free and others available through a paid subscription.
Understanding teens and connecting with them is vital to their mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. When teens know that the adults in their life truly want to understand their world, the significance of that can be eternal.
“[P]arents are the most important influence on the lives of their teens,” Callihan said, that’s why it’s important to reach out to parents and teens together.
“There is no one who is going to fight for your child like you’re going to fight for your child,” Eaton tells parents. “Axis needs to be on [every] smartphone equipping those moms and dads to disciple the hearts of their children. They [teens] need to be grounded, and they need the gospel to inform and show them how they belong.
“We are eager to reach the next generation and eager to work through parents,” Eaton added.
* David Eaton’s and Jeremiah Callihan’s quotes are excerpted from an Axis video.
Axis resources are available online at axis.org through a Members Dashboard and via the Axis One app. Axis offers:
• The Culture Translator – a weekly email containing a rundown of the latest happenings of pop culture.
• Parent Guides –10-12-page booklets, each on a given topic relevant to a teen’s life.
• Conversation Kits – recorded presentations that take an in-depth look at big topics relevant to teens.
• Summits – online conferences featuring godly experts who help build a bridge between adults and their teens.
• A podcast, blog, and on-demand webinars.
My experience with Axis
Axis is not just for parents. I speak from personal experience. I was first introduced to Axis when I was a middle school English teacher. I worked for an amazing Christian school, and an Axis team was brought in to lead us in our staff development.
I was blown away by the team’s wealth of knowledge about the culture and how they taught us to respond to the culture from a gospel perspective. Rather than ignore and condemn the culture that permeated the lives of the students in my classroom, Axis taught me to use the culture to make a gospel connection with my students … and by God’s grace, I did.
— Rebecca Davis