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The RLTK Podcast

The RLTK Podcast

In-depth conversations about culturally relevant, worldview-shaping topics that influence the way we live and interact with Generation Z.
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Life is full of choices. What should I do with my life? Where should I do it? Who should I do it with? We live in an age where options have multiplied exponentially and these new choices fall squarely at the feet of Gen Z. Confusion, anxiety, and fear abound. How do we help them navigate this new world? How do we navigate it for ourselves? Chris and Jordan discuss the blessing and the curse that is the ability to choose.
October 13, 2021
Conversation & Controversy
Generation Z is a demographic marked by controversy. They are challenging every system and idea we hold dear. Sexuality, gender, religion, politics, justice, war, education, climate. Their ideas are so different form ours and they are ready to challenge us on what we think! What if we were willing to wade into these waters with them and meet them here? Can we go to them on their playing field and still connect with them? Can we make our conversation about connection instead of winning? In this episode, Alex, Chris, Jordan, and guest Dre Harris discuss controversy and our need to be comfortable with it in order to influence Gen Z.
August 21, 2021
Back to Life
The Fall is fast approaching and students are getting ready to reengage life on their school campuses. Much has changed since then. How do we engage Gen Z as they reengage their world through the institution of school? What kind of mental and emotional responses will we see from them? How can we come alongside them and love them? Jordan, Chris, and Alex discuss reengaging in the fall of 2021! 
August 10, 2021
Gen Z & Social entrepreneurship
The top job desired by Gen Z is to be a social influencer. This generation refuses to work for any institution that won’t embrace social responsibility and doing good in our world. It makes sense in the economy they have created, they would prefer to work for themselves. Special guest Aundre Wright joins us to walk through his own entrepreneurial journey and exploits as we examine what the future holds for a generation destined to change the world as we know it.
June 10, 2021
No rights of passage
2020 was an unprecedented year in many ways; but do we stop to think about its implications for our young people? No graduation, no sports seasons, no goodbye to friends or teachers. For those that are just getting back, motivation is at an all time low, dreams have been crushed, lives have been forever changed.  As influencers, how do we move into these spaces with compassion and love? How do we bring wisdom to Gen Z that is going to help them keep pressing forward to create the world they want to see?  Chris, John, and Jordan discuss a generation stripped of its rights of passage.
May 31, 2021
A Middle School State of Mind
Middle school students are a unique group, they have their own set of challenges, needs and wants. How do we engage them in a meaningful way? What makes them different from high schoolers? What do they look for in someone they want to follow? How should influencers go about engaging them?  In this episode, John, Chris, and Jordan discuss what they are seeing in Gen Z middle schoolers and what you should and shouldn't be doing with them.
May 11, 2021
What does Gen Z need from me?
The younger generation is often misunderstood. They are our future, but we do not know how to engage with them. There are many who have tried to connect with this next generation of leaders and failed miserably because they did not understand what makes them tick. How do we approach them in a way that builds connection and trust? How do we prepare this next generation for the world that awaits them? John, Jordan, and Chris explore these questions and more on this episode of the RLTK podcast.
May 03, 2021
Is Gen Z Lonely?
Have you ever felt lonely? You're not alone. Loneliness is at an all-time high across generations. But how much more so for a generation that has grown up in the digital age? How do we engage our own loneliness as influencers? How do we connect with Gen Z and teach them how to connect with others? In this episode, Jordan, John, and Chris process through the topic of loneliness together.
April 21, 2021
Will Gen Z cancel the culture?
Gen Z is the first generation of kids that have grown up with social media. They're very aware and critical of their culture, especially when it comes to politics and social issues. The current cultural climate is one where we are constantly canceling each other for our opinions on topics like immigration, gun control, abortion rights, etc. It's almost impossible to engage in a meaningful conversation about these topics without getting into an argument. Gen Z is watching, how we navigate these issues are of upmost importance. Our podcast aims to give people a safe space to talk about these controversial topics without fear of being canceled or attacked for their opinion.  Listen in and join the conversation!
April 13, 2021
Gen Z Trends
Every generation has characteristics that make them unique. What are those things about Gen Z? Knowing these trends can be the difference between connection, relationship, and trust, or failure. John, Jordan, and Chris share what they have discovered about Gen Z that makes them unique and how we can engage them well.
March 25, 2021
Is Gen Z Emotionally Healthy?
Mental Health has become far easier to talk about in this day and age, but part of the conversation is emotion. How big of a role do our emotions play in the way we navigate the world? How has Gen Z's emotional health been affected by 2020? How can we connect with Gen Z in 2021 understanding their challenges and our own when it comes to emotional health? These are questions we must have answers to, as we seek to build trust with Gen Z in 2021. Jordan, John, Alex, & Breanna wade into this conversation.
March 04, 2021
Alex, Breanna, Chris, & Jordan look to our future in 2021. 2020 for so many of us was in general, a year to forget. Will 2021 be any different? What hope do we have for Gen Z in 2021? How can we as influencers connect with them well at the beginning of this new decade?  
February 19, 2021
This was one of the most difficult years in memorable history, one that has shaped all of us and perhaps no generation more than Gen Z. A pandemic, mental health crisis, loss of job, loss of life and political unrest. No one saw this coming. How has this affected our world? How will this affect Gen Z? How can we come alongside them as influencers? Join the crew in this conversations as we reflect on 2020 and look to the future!
February 11, 2021
Peace When There Is No Peace
Civil unrest, a global pandemic, an attempt to overthrow government and a generation of teens suffering in ways we still have yet to fully realize... Most of us are desperate to find peace in these troubling times. Our guest, Chris Townley shares his thoughts on how peace really works. Many of us think it's the absence or opposite of conflict and suffering. The reality is that peace does not come by avoidance but from doing what is righteous. Until there is true justice there can be no real peace. What are the things you feel you need to make right in order to find peace?
February 03, 2021
Depression and Anxiety During the Holidays
In this final installment, Jeff Skeens (MDiv, LMFT), give us some key insights and perspective on how to think about the topic of mental health and how to best engage the young people in our sphere of influence!
December 14, 2020
A Youth Pastor's Perspective on Mental Health
In this episode, we jump into dialogue with one of our long time friends, Cody Kiwaczyk, a youth pastor in Arizona. As he engages teens on a weekly, he shares with us what is working, what is not, and where the mental state of his students are.
December 11, 2020
A College Student's Perspective on Mental Health
We checked in with Sarah, a college student in the Phoenix area on what she is seeing with mental health in her world!
December 11, 2020
Attachment Theory During the Holidays
Ryan (Life Coach) & Jessica (LPC), give us some more insight into the importance of connecting during the holidays!
November 27, 2020
Coping Skills for the Holidays
Mental Health during the holidays is something we should all be talking about. Life Coach Nicole Clifton joins us to discuss how we can care for ourselves and the young people in our lives during the holidays!
November 27, 2020
In this episode John, Jordan, and Alex explore what it means to be people of faith who believe in this thing called the Kingdom. Why is it a core value or RLTK? What bearing does it have on what we do? Why does it matter enough to be a core value? We explore these questions and more! Enjoy!
November 20, 2020
John and Jordan discuss core value 3 for RLTK, TRUTH. A hotly debated topic in our world today, but essential to how we understand life and everything it entails. What is truth? How do we know something is true? Why do we value truth? Why is truth important? Why is truth such a debated topic in culture? How does Gen Z See truth?  So many questions to ask and so much to say! Enjoy! 
October 19, 2020
At the core of us, we desire to be loved and love. But in our world today there are many things that get in the way of this. Our fear, shame, doubt, pain. This is why love is at the heart of our core values. Without it, what do we truly have?
September 22, 2020
As we kick off season two, we wanted to share with our listeners, the core values that drive us. We want to create a culture that allows anyone, anywhere to have REAL TALK. We believe this is part of the way to start this process. Also, this season we want get realer and rawer so we hope these values become a reference point as you continue to journey with us. So here is our thoughts on our first value, real.
September 09, 2020
The future is Gen Z & Latino
Everything that is happening in our world today has caused issues in our culture to rise to the surface.    We see this with the Black Lives Matter Movement and the calls for police reformation.    One thing we do know is that there are other people of color in America that have also experienced oppression and hardship.   In this episode, we talk with Jonathan Rivera. A creative pastor at Calvario City Church in Orlando, Florida about Latinos in America, the church, and the future of this growing people in the united states.
July 09, 2020
What does Gen Z care about?
This week, we discuss current trends regarding GenZ.   Get on any social media platform and look at what is trending.   It isn't just "the news", it is the news that people are paying attention to.   Comment threads are treasure troves of research concerning exactly what GenZ thinks and more importantly what they care about.   Social media also gives us an up close look at what we truly care about.   In this episode, we unpack a few of those things with Gen Z and the future at the center of the discussion.
June 24, 2020
Has white supremacy shaped America?
Right now racial tensions in the USA seem to be boiling over. Many seem to think that racism died with the civil rights movement. While there was progress made, we have much further to go to reach the ideas found in our constitution. What is the reason for our current state of affairs and why does it seem we are headed in the wrong direction? There are elements in the USA that keep this tension alive. Chief among them is the legacy of conquest and subjugation which call for the dehumanizing of “others”. This manifests itself today in the current racial tensions we are witnessing. Do whites care about this issue the way they should? Since the abolition of slavery, many whites have felt threatened by the emergence of black America. Caleb a former white supremacist shares how white supremacy manifests itself today in a post-civil rights era and describes the subtle ways it still influences culture. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on social media:
June 10, 2020
What will the future of law enforcement look like for GenZ'ers?
Police officers serve in one of the most criticized and privileged positions in all of society. It is one of the few occupations that permit a person to take a life. They are tasked to serve and protect. However many, especially in black and minority communities are feeling that they need protection from them. The social media age has brought a level of transparency and accountability to the occupation that did not previously exist. GenZ'ers have grown up seeing incident after incident cross their timeline and they want it to stop. On this podcast, an anonymous police officer shares what he sees behind the scenes. He offers his view on what can be done to see the relationship between law enforcement and society improve.
June 04, 2020
How is trauma impacting GenZ?
The word trauma gets thrown around a lot these days but what does it truly mean; more importantly, how does it affect us?    This is such an important issue mainly because it touches all the big stuff like our relationships, our work, our plans for the future, pretty much everything that matters.    So, how is this affecting GenZ?   To have a meaningful relationship with someone, you have to make a serious effort to try and understand them.  As you learn their story, you will discover what they've been through.    This shows us how to best love and serve them.   Our good friend Sanghoon Yoo heads up The Faithful City.    He has been a champion for this cause here in the Valley.   In this episode he shares how Trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences impact our daily lives.  Anyone working with families, in particular GenZ, should find what he has to share extremely beneficial!
May 27, 2020
Do all GenZers have the same opportunities in our school system?
In America, education has always been touted as the way for someone to move themselves up into a higher echelon of society. It is assumed that everyone has the same opportunities because we are all apart of the same system. But is that really true? Braden Sparks, a high school teacher in the inner city, shares with us what he sees first hand watching GenZers in high school from different walks of life, wrestle to achieve their desired future. He also give us insight into how best to walk alongside these students as they navigate their complex lives.
May 18, 2020
Will Gen Z change the way we think about Mental and Behavioral Health?
Many issues in our culture often carry stigmas that prevent people from really talking about what is going on in their lives. Mental and behavioral health is no exception to this.  People are suffering every day from issues that are undiagnosed or ignored.    In this episode, Kyle Morris, a behavioral health professional, who has years of experience working in the foster care system gives us some insight into what’s going on in this world.   Why is this still so difficult to talk about?   What kind of help do people need that they may not be getting?   How can people get the access they need for help?   How is Gen Z changing the conversation on Mental Health?    How can influencers help GenZers struggling with mental health issues?
May 11, 2020
How should we respond to suffering in the world?
At times like this, it is easy for us to get focused on self, protecting what we have and our own families. There is a big wide world out there and we have a tendency to forget about this, meaning we lose a proper perspective. All over the world people are struggling and suffering in unimaginable ways. Do we care about this the way we should? Does GenZ care about this? Chris Todd joins us to share about his work in Lebanon with Syrian refugees who’s lives have been destroyed by war and what it’s like for him to raise a family in the midst of serving people. Anna Todd (his daughter), also joins us as a GenZer raised in a family that gave up life in America to serve refugees. She shares her perspective and how it all affected her!
May 04, 2020
Has GenZ cracked the code on happiness?
In this generation, we are seeing something we may not have ever seen before, the ability to do what you truly love, and to earn an income in the process.   In years past we have been forced to settle with doing things as a means to an end and only a few of us ever achieved the goal of doing what we love and getting paid for it.   Social media has burst the mold on this, and Generation Z has shown us how to do it.  Maybe we should be following in their footsteps?  In this episode, Lenard Croft, an entrepreneur involved with all things Gen Z, shares with us his story and the key insights he has learned working closely with them in the music industry, education, gaming, and beyond!
April 28, 2020
How does Gen Z view Mental Health?
Mental health is a growing issue in our world. We have only begun to scratch the service and retroactively look at landmark moments in history to determine if it was a factor.   For GenZ this seems to be an ever-growing issue. Anxiety and depression are commonly understood and used terms in the life of a young person. What are we to do about this?    Are they over-exaggerating or are there things at play we are yet to truly understand?  Breanna Halverson (RLTK Campus Director), share with us her own personal origin story when it comes to mental health (as a GenZer), as well as how she sees this issue playing a part in GenZers she leads on campuses around the Valley.
April 20, 2020
What can leaders learn from GenZ?
The world has changed right before our eyes, and GenZ has been prepared for it this whole time. As we find ourselves sequestered to our houses, what keeps us connected to work, extended family, friends and beyond, is the very thing GenZ has grown up native to; technology and social media. One of the things we believe has helped grant us success with GenZ is our ability to listen to them. We want to encourage you not to miss the opportunity to do just that, right now. We encourage you to take this unique opportunity to listen and process the world you live in. Specifically when it comes to your relationships with GenZers. Our CEO, Jordan Francis shares his story with us and his thoughts on the importance of leadership when walking with GenZ.
April 13, 2020
What does GenZ want from a leader?
This generation views this world in a completely different way than its predecessors. They no longer rely on the expert to tell them what is true, they go out and find it themselves. This means that our opinions and ideas don't mean a lot to them at all.   If we're going to be successful at guiding this generation, we are going to have to change the way we lead.    In this episode, we talk with Alex Martinez, our regional campus director, about what it's like to be a GenZer who leads GenZers, and what it takes for someone like him to be lead.
April 06, 2020
How does Gen-Z view College?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for college tuition and fees were 1,410.87% higher in 2020 versus 1977 (a $282,174.44 difference in value).   At some point, we have to recognize that GenZ is not just a bunch of complainers.   The cost of tuition has outpaced wage growth to the point that getting a college degree only makes sense if you do not have to acquire debt. An article from Forbes in Jul,y 2018 pointed out that the price of college has increased almost 8 times faster than wages.   Among the Class of 2019, 69% of college students took out student loans, and they graduated with an average debt of $29,900, including both private and federal debt. Meanwhile, 14% of their parents took out an average of $37,200 in federal parent PLUS loans.   The bottom line is that many graduates are coming into an economy where they are saddled with debt and with little opportunity to unburden themselves from it any time soon.   This has created a debtors prison for almost all of the Millennial Generation.  GenZ has also started down this path however,  younger ones from this cohort are waking up to this reality and are rethinking everything.   In this episode, Dylan Minter shares his perspective as a current college student and gives valuable insight regarding how this generation sees the future of education and everything else.
March 30, 2020
What's Third Culture?
Serving in the United States Armed Forces is a decision that affects the entire family unit. The children and teenagers in this community form a unique culture that in many ways is alienated from the rest of society.   This community forms what some sociologists call "third culture". The term refers to the mixed identity that a child assumes, influenced both by their parents' culture and the culture in which they are raised.  The struggle teenagers and young adults face with this dynamic is when it comes time to decide which culture they identify with.  This dynamic has always been true for children of immigrants as well as families that relocate several times due to work and now with the rise of technology  many GenZ-ers are experiencing the same issues.  In this episode, we talk with Melisha Bryant, a specialist in child development and family systems. She talks about the struggles she faced as a teenager transitioning into American life after being raised on military bases and how she was able to find herself.   How does the way you are raised impact who you become?   Who has the most power to shape our identity ?  What do influencers need to understand about this?
March 23, 2020
Will Coronavirus kill me?
Dr. Cody Knuppenburg shares his perspective and some helpful advice on what is happening right now with Coronavirus. We know that many of you are anxious right now and perhaps a bit confused. Dr. Cody has come on our podcast to share some professional insight on how we should be thinking about corona virus. During times like these it is valuable to have access to experts in the medical community. 
March 21, 2020
How can we help GenZers with their character development?
We sit down with Juan Chavez, a South Phoenix native, to discuss character development in the lives of GenZers and its importance. What challenges is Gen Z facing in the world they live in that affect character? How can influencers come alongside and see character developed in them?   Juan answers these questions for us and shares about the work he is doing in schools where GenZers are experiencing a lot of challenges.
March 09, 2020
How is Generation Z using business to solve poverty?
In this episode, we sit down with two inspirational GenZers who are passionate about improving the lives of Haitians.  Their contention is that non-profits are crippling local economies especially in regions where public and social services are wanting.  For example, the waste management system is non-existent in Haiti and there seems to be no motivation to solve the problem.  RESTORE: PFP has discovered a solution to this problem.  Their mission is to empower local economies through establishing a business that incentives Haitians to be proactive regarding problems with sanitation and waste.  This is not charity it is empowerment!
March 02, 2020
How Will GenZ Change the Business Sector?
The world around us changing quickly. Success is being redefined and Gen Z is at the forefront of this shift. Dre Harris shares his insights and experiences when it comes to all things business and the next generation. What do you see in Gen Z Concerning business we should be aware of? What advice would you give to an influencer who has a relationship with GenZers that have a passion for business? Listen to find out!
February 24, 2020
Who serves GenZ refugees?
Refugees seek shelter in countries all around the world. Children are taken from abusive or neglectful homes every day in America, how do we serve these populations? What makes serving these populations different from others? How should influencers who are passionate about these issues prepare themselves to engage? Chris Priebe joins John and Jordan to discuss the work he is doing in the midst of these communities and how he has meshed this passion with his love for coffee.
February 19, 2020
What does growing up in poverty looks like for GenZ?
Underserved communities are everywhere in our cities and many of us feel drawn to engage in that world. Jordan and John team up with Billy Thrall to discuss what it means to really love GenZers who are a part of this community, How to prepare as an influencer yourself to do it, and How to stay in it for the long haul.
February 10, 2020
How does GenZ deal with death?
In this episode, John and Jordan discuss the reality that faces us all; death. Kobe Bryant's passing prompted international mourning. How should we process death? How is Gen Z processing it? How can influencers engage with GenZers on this topic?
February 03, 2020
How do we have influence with GenZ?
In this episode, John and Jordan talk about what it means to be an influencer when it comes to Gen Z. Why is using your influence important? Why does Gen Z need you to step up and walk with them as they figure out how to do life and live out their dreams? They discuss all of this plus the relaunching of the RLTK PHX Platform!
January 27, 2020
Does technology really help GenZ stay organized?
So many of us have hopes and dreams in this life and yet we don't put the necessary processes in place to be successful. Generation Z is the most socially entrepreneurial generation we have ever seen. How can we help them be successful? Special guest Carmen Proctor shares with us about goal setting for Gen Z and a revolutionary app she created in this process.
January 20, 2020
Will GenZ change sports?
Sport is a worldwide past time. It is a universal language that people can connect through and compete in without knowing the same verbal language. What is the future of sport now that Gen Z is on the scene? How has sport changed in recent years? What unique opportunities exist to connect in sport? Jordan and John dialogue on these questions and more.
January 14, 2020
What things are shaping GenZ the most?
Identity is fundamental to every human being. Who are we? Why are we that way? What will we become? What makes us what we are? John and Jordan discuss the implications of this topic on Gen Z and how influencers should go about engaging in this conversation with them.
January 06, 2020
What is GenZ's view on drugs?
In this episode, John and Jordan explore drug culture and what Gen Z seems to be drawn towards. They also discuss why this is happening and how influencers should engage the issue when talking with Gen Z.
December 30, 2019
How does GenZ think about racism?
In this episode, John and Jordan discuss the implication of race in America, trends they see with Gen Z on the topic, and how parents should engage the conversation.
December 23, 2019
How is GenZ doing relationships?
In this episode, John and Jordan discuss the shape and trajectory of youth culture concerning romantic relationships. How are teens engaging in relationships today? Why are they getting into them? What destination are those relationships heading to? Is marriage even a goal for teenagers? 
December 16, 2019
Is GenZ Busy?
In this episode,  John and Jordan discuss the busyness of our culture. The way that our world works today has a profound impact on how we interact (or don't) as a family unit. How can families make time for each other in a world that is pulling us all in multiple different directions? How can parents provide for their children and also make time for them? 
November 19, 2019
How does GenZ do friendship?
In this episode, John and Jordan talk about the importance of friendships in Gen Z'ers lives and how parents can be involved. Why do friendships matter? How influential is a teenager's friends? How can parent be involved with their teen and their friends?
November 10, 2019
Why does GenZ lack resilience?
In this episode, Jordan and John discuss an emerging trend among teenagers; a lack of resilience. The data shows (and teenagers admit) that they have little to no ability to go through adversity and persevere, Why is this case? What are the long term ramifications? How can parents help their teens build resilience into the character?
October 29, 2019
Is GenZ having sex?
In this episode, Jordan and John discuss the porn industry and its global expansion in the midst of a technological revolution, its effects on their own lives, the lives of teens, and what parents can do to engage this issue at hand.
October 25, 2019
How is technology affecting GenZ?
In this episode, we explore technology and its positive and negative implications for our families and teenagers in our sphere of influence. This is one of the dominant issues that is facing culture and so we must engage it and know how to engage others.
October 14, 2019
Does GenZ care about family?
In this episode, Jordan and John discuss family dynamics as the holiday season fast approaches. How can we use this time to develop connection and trust with our teens?
September 21, 2019
The Art of Conversation
In this episode, Jordan and John discuss what conversations with teenagers need to look like today and why. They also share some approaches they have discovered in their pursuit of better conversation with teenagers that foster connection and trust.
September 03, 2019
Our Story
In this episode we share a little bit about who we are and why RLTK PHX exists!
August 27, 2019