book list about young adult ministry

Sometimes I like to share with readers some of the lists I generate for customers who inquire.  Just today I did a serious list of commentaries about 1 & 2 Timothy, a brief list about war & peace, a good list of some favorite novels for a church-based reading group, and a bunch of books for a friend who has a seeker at work who may read about a book about Christian faith. Want to see ’em, such as they are, just give a holla.

Here is another I just finished, at 2 am tonight.  It is for a good friend who is writing a paper on how churches might reach out to young adults, and how to better understand that “missing generation.”  Since we just did that special offer on the Outsider Interviews I figured this might be good to share now.

Please keep in mind it isn’t exhaustive, and was created for a customer I know well.  There could be some others, but this pretty much is just the real list I sent out today.  Thanks for allowing me to send it to you, here, as well.


Also, I apologize for the lack of book covers and clever visuals.  I’m just too tired.  Here ya go.

Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults
Christian Smith (Oxford University Press) $24.95  Required reading, the best scholarly  research on college age young adults…

The Outsider Interviews: A New Generation Speaks Out…
Jim Henderson, Todd Hunter, Craig Spinks (Baker) $24.99 w/DVD Did you see my review on the blog earlier this week?  Not just college students, exactly, but un-churched young adults…brand new, very good.  Came out of the inspiration of unChristian which I know you have.  Getting churches watching their DVDs or reading that would be a good start, no?

Dear Church…Letters from a Disillusioned Generation Sarah Cunningham (Zondervan) $12.99  These are open letters to the evangelical church by a gal in her 20s.  She does talk a bit about her college years… older folks have to hear these voices, I’d say…

My Generation: A Real Story of Change and Hope Josh James Riebock (Baker) $14.99 Raw and edgy, this guy tells it like he sees it about today’s 20s. I reviewed this at the blog and raved as I was very touched and felt very authentic to me.

The New Faithful: Why Young Adults Are Embracing Christian Orthodoxy Collen Carroll (Loyola Press)  This claims that many young adults, including those on campuses, are turning to Catholicism and Orthodoxy and are more culturally conservative than ever, due to strong renewal of faith.  Pretty well researched and very interesting. I actually know a few young adults in their later 20s where this seems to be right on.  Not too many 18 year olds, though…

God on the Quad  Naomi Schaeffer Riley (Ivan Dee) $14.95  I suppose you’ve heard of this, a non-Christian reporter doing first hand research on religious faith on campuses.  She calls this the “missionary generation.” Fascinating!

The Tribal Church: Ministering to the Missing Generation Carol Howard Merritt  (Alban Institute) $17.00  I don’t think this is quite as good as some think it is, but it is quite popular in mainline denominational churches, wondering what they can do to meaningful attract younger post-college serious adults.  There just isn’t that much for mainline folks… I’ve met the author and really enjoyed chatting with her, so I’m glad for her work.  She’s got another book coming this year, and is being widely read in some congregations.

Hungry Souls, Holy Companions: Mentoring a new Generation of Christians Patricia Hendricks (Morehouse) $16.00  Again, this is from a more mainline, Episcopalian perspective, asking how to do “youth ministry” with younger adults…invites adults to the role of spiritual director and guide, and less programs, etc.

The Slow Fade: Why You Matter in the Story of Twenty-somethings Reggie Joiner, Chuck106520lg.jpg Bomar, Abbie Smith (Cook) $14.99  You may recall that Chuck did a workshop on campus ministry, based on his book, at Jubilee this year.  The previous two or three years, Abbie was at Jubilee, on her “keeping your faith in college” book.  She’s great!  Here they offer evangelical churches a vision of extending their ministry from youth to include collegiates. Brand new, so check it out!  Here is a link to a nifty youtube video for the book.  Here is an interview with co-author Abbie Smith that Derek Melleby at CPYU did.

College Ministry 101 Chuck Bomar (Zondervan) $15.99  It is my sense that Chuck’s model is more or less having “youth group” at the church for college members.  It may work if there is a lively church right near campus…still, there isn’t much about college ministry and even if this “guide” isn’t fully  adequate for campus ministry, it is a good start for congregations who can hire a full time college worker to create programs just for that outreach.

6a00e008da83f68834011570fa28dc970c-800wi.jpgThey Like Jesus But Not the Church: Insights from Emerging Generations Dan Kimball (Zondervan) $18.99  There is also a DVD and participants guide. Very helpful.  I suppose you know this…very cool.  I’m not always sure he is right, but it is necessary resource for anyone seriously interested in this topic.

The Multi-generational Congregation: Meeting the Leadership Challenge Gil Rendle (Alban Institute) $15.00  I’m not sure that this is focused enough for your purposes, but it is about how regular mainline churches can manage the variety of ages and stages within the various generations in the congregation.  I like Rendle, whose got insight and passion for ordinary congregational life.

The Church of All Ages.jpgThe Church of All Ages: Generations Worshiping Together Howard Vanderwell (editor) (Alban Institute) $17.00  This fairly recent book is a good collection of serious essays about mainline churches and their desire to be multi-generational.  Very important stuff.

Young Adult Ministry in the 21st Century: The Encyclopedia of Practical Ideas Brad Lewis and others, editors (Group Publishing) $24.95  Jam packed full of ideas; this is part of a good series, they have ’em for women’s ministry, men’s ministry, children’s, etc.  A practical, programatic handbook.

SimChurch: Being the Church in the Virtual World  Douglas Estes (Zondervan) $16.9
9  I am not so sure that the church can possibly be “on the internet” but this makes a good case.  Seriously?  Check it out if you care about the current realities and what they might mean for enfolding youth into (local?) parish life.  This isn’t as sophisticated as the brilliant Thy Kingdom Connected by Dwight Friesen (which I’ve raved about here before) but it is a very helpful read about new dimensions of ministry.  For those wondering if this is a cheapo job, the author has a PhD in Johannian studies from the University of Nottingham and an academic monograph on Brill.  Not too shabby.

Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion Kevin DeYoung &Ted Kluck (Moody Press) $14.99 These are two guys who also wrote a book about being edgy twenty-somethings who are not emergent.  Here they make a case for mostly younger adults, house church folks, para-church kids and others who are giving up on the institutional church and insisting that that isn’t faithful.  Love it!

I didn’t mention this one to my friend in the above list, but just to be interesting, here’s one more that doesn’t fit the topic.  Or does it?

67231464.JPGBaby Boomers and Beyond: Tapping the Ministry Talents and Passions of Adults Over 50  Amy Hanson (Jossey-Bass) $24.95  Listen to what Marc Feedman, author of Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life and CEO of Civic Ventures writes:

“In this powerful and impassioned book, Amy Hanson urges the church to better serve boomers so boomers can better serve others.  It’s simple and ingenious, revolutionary and reasonable, lofty and practical.”

 I’m all for that!

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3 thoughts on “book list about young adult ministry

  1. Thank you for this, I will refer to our youth ministers at church… Such an important topic. I wonder if teens not liking church has more to do with a developmental stage, as they separate from their parents and try to find their own identity. And as they grow up, begin to realize the important of having a community.

  2. Thank you so much for mentioning my new book, Baby Boomers and Beyond. Intergenerational ministry as you touched on in this post is vital for the church and for the spiritual growth of both the young and old. Throughout Scripture we read of God’s intention that one generation pass down the things of God to the next generation. Opportunities abound for churches to encourage intergenerational relationships and this may in fact be one of the best ways to reach out to young adults.
    One of the best ways to do this is to get the generations serving together. For example, an older man and a young person can work side by side on a Habitat for Humanity house. In this setting, they are working together for a common cause and their differences in music, fashion and a host of other things no longer matter. This sets up the perfect environment for meaningful conversations to occur about life and faith.

  3. Nowadays, religious books is really less appreciated by young group of people. This is maybe the reason young today have forgotten or worst did not know what are those good values.
    Anna Marie
    Blog: chauffe eau gaz 

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