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Can I Laugh On Your Shoulder?

Oct 11, 2023

In this episode, join us for an inspiring conversation with Rachael Powell, the Chief Communications Officer of Passages. Passages is an organization with a remarkable mission – they've brought over 10,000 Christian college students to Israel while helping them to grow as leaders and caring community members on their college campuses.

Rachael has a profound passion for Gen Z and younger millennials, and in this conversation, she shares her insights on how to best care for and nurture the faith of the next generation. Through her role at Passages, she aims to inspire young minds and help them dig deeper into their faith. Tune in as she discusses the importance of authenticity, vulnerability, and deeper connections in church life, especially for younger generations.

Before we dive into the episode, please note that this conversation was recorded well before recent events in Israel and Gaza. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of those who are suffering and impacted by this current situation.

3:44 – Rachel 101

  • An unexpected path to passion
  • Becoming a part of Passages
  • Transformative experiences in Israel

7:08 – Visiting Israel: A Journey of Faith and Identity

  • The history, culture, and tangibility of Christianity
  • The power of a firsthand experience
  • Digging deeper into your faith

10:56 – Discipling Gen Z

  • The unique challenges faced by Gen Z in this digital age
  • The deconstruction movement
  • Craving community and deeper understanding
  • The power of contextual discipleship

19:09 – A Safe Space

  • Finding genuine in-person connections and community
  • Creating a supportive environment to ask questions
  • Wrestling with faith

32:29 – What Gen Z Is Looking For?

  • The power of authenticity
  • Curiosity and a willingness to listen
  • Being open about your journey and faith struggles

40:04 – Shifting Church Culture

  • Authenticity over flashiness
  • Reconnecting with ancient roots
  • Embracing the community experience


“We like to say that Israel is like drinking from a firehose, and that when you leave, you will probably have more questions than what you came with. And that's not a bad thing. That's the beginning of a journey to becoming deeper in your faith and really understanding.”

“It begins with this challenge in Israel of digging deeper, but it doesn't end there. It continues with community and curiosity throughout life.”

“I think even some of our concepts about how our faith has to be so individualized is also not a Middle Eastern concept. Faith in the Middle East is a community. It's a group of people living together, who all believe the same things and often meet together to ask each other questions to read scripture out loud, right? To live in community.”

Connect with Rachael: