Jones is a popular author and speaker on the emerging church and youth ministry. He is also national coordinator of the controversial Emergent Village which some have criticized as undermining doctrine and truth.
"We can strengthen their muscles ... teach spiritual disciplines ... [but] you only get good at prayer by praying, not only listening to youth pastors talk about praying," he added.
For now, what youth leaders can do to help prepare students is first understand that they have to grow into new generations of faith, considering their elementary and middle school faith is not big enough for them when they go into high school and then college, Jones suggested. And part of that growing process includes allowing students to question those beliefs they held as absolute truth when they were much younger.
Allowing room for doubts and questions, however, doesn't mean they're turning their back on Jesus, Jones assured.
"It means that the way that [students] embrace the authority of Scripture is going to be more nuanced and more paradoxical and more complex than it was when [they] were in middle school," he noted.