Recommended Reading

Here you’ll find readings that helped our own learning. We’re not giving each book an unequivocal stamp of approval; rather, we see each an important contribution to our ongoing conversation and learning. Here is our staff’s list of recommended resources as we engage in Phase 1 of the project. 

 “Emerging Adulthood and Faith Formation,” volume 4.2 of Lifelong Faith: the Theory and Practice of Faith Formation

Emerging Adulthood and FaithJonathan P. Hill (2015): This brief gem of a book describes clearly the state of young adult engagement in the Church – and the numbers may surprise you.

You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving Church…and Rethinking Faith, David Kinnaman (2016): President of the Barna Group, a Christian research firm in California, Kinnaman explores young adults’ levels of disengagement from the church, what caused it, and how to bridge the gap.

Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults, Christian Smith (2005): Drawing from a massive multi-year study, sociologist Christian Smith describes young adults’ involvement in and relationship to spirituality.

The Juvenilization of American Christianity, Thomas E. Bergler (2012): Bergler presents a synopsis of previous generations’ attempts to integrate youth into the church, why they failed (or succeeded), and how they affected the church at large.

From Here to Maturity: Overcoming the Juvenilization of American Christianity, Thomas E. Bergler (2014): Bergler’s optimistic sequel presents solutions for today.

The Volunteer Revolution, Bill Hybels (2004) Willow Creek, Hybels’ church in Illinois, is a paradigm of excellent volunteer engagement. In this book, he shares effective ways to recruit and utilize volunteers. (We envision that this work with young adults will necessitate our ability to engage volunteers well.) 

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