Book Reviews

In order to be effective in ministry to youth and young adults it is important to be reading books that are currently relevant to the culture we live in. This webpage is dedicated to the advancement and continued education of youth and young adult leaders. Each month we will be posting book reviews that have been provided by Adventist youth professionals. These are books that have been published recently—within the past few years. We encourage you to read through the page book reviews. This will help you determine if you would want to get one of these books for more in-depth learning or read another current book that may not be listed here. Happy reading – happy learning!

Note: if you are interested in providing a book review please email Dr. Steve Case.

Book Review: Understanding & Relating to African American Youth: A Toolkit for Intergenerational Conversation

Understanding & Relating to African American Youth: A Toolkit for Intergenerational Conversation by Fuller Youth Institute. Published by Fuller Youth Institute, 2019. Total pages: 25.

The authors are well suited to write this book. For years they have set the standard for youth ministries around the world. Year after year the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) has been on the cutting edge of conducting research as well as providing materials and resources for youth ministries from a non-denominational perspective. FYI created a series of books under the title How to Talk to Any Young Person: An Intergenerational Conversation Toolkit, and included this title as one in a collection for a variety of ethnic groups.

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Book Review: Understanding & Relating to Asian American Youth: A Korean-English Bilingual and Intergenerational Conversation Toolkit

Understanding & Relating to Asian American Youth: A Korean-English Bilingual and Intergenerational Conversation Toolkit by Fuller Youth Institute. Published by Fuller Youth Institute, 2019. Total pages: 37.

This pamphlet is a useful tool in helping churches to better understand Asian-Americans and to minister to them. It’s available in both English and in Korean. It begins by defining “Asian-Americans” and explains how to better understand the mindset of this particular culture. It addresses the difficulties and challenges that Asian-Americans go through in this country as others label them with certain stereotypes. The two stereotypes mentioned in the pamphlet are the “model minority myth” and the “perpetual foreigner label.”

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Book Review: Journey to the Heart of God: Spiritual Practices That Will Transform Your Life

Journey to the Heart of God: Spiritual Practices That Will Transform Your Life by S. Joseph Kidder. Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2019. Total pages: 192.

The very title of this book makes provocative assumptions that Christians might blissfully bypass as automatic givens. First of all, God is accessible. Secondly, we can reach God’s heart—a very human and intimate desire. And thirdly, expect it to be a journey rather than a destination.

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Book Review: How to Be an Antiracist

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram Kendi. Random House. New York. 2019. Total pages: 320.

Racial tensions continue to boil. Protesters and counter-protesters face off. Statistics get used for attention and distraction. One political group emphasizes “Black Lives Matter” while another one refuses to say it, instead emphasizing “All Lives Matter.”

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Book Review: Delighted: What Teenagers Are Teaching the Church about Joy

Delighted: What Teenagers are Teaching the Church About Joy by Kenda Creasy Dean, Wesley W. Ellis, Justin Forbes, and Abigail Visco Rusert. Eerdmans. Grand Rapids, MI. 2020. Total pages: 128.

If you had to pick three words to describe the feelings you get from working with young people, what three words would you pick? What three words would your young people pick to describe how they think about church, faith, and following God? Would “joy” make either list?

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Book Review: Understanding and Relating to Latina/o Youth: A Toolkit for Bilingual & Intergenerational Conversations

Understanding and Relating to Latina/o Youth: A Toolkit for Bilingual & Intergenerational Conversations by Fuller Institute, 2020. Total pages: 21.

Relating to Latino/a is a valuable tool for every all who desire to reach such young people in the North American Division. Fuller Institute has done a great job researching and studying the development of Youth Ministry in America. This is its first document that has Latino Youth as its specific subject of study. Every detail mentioned in this booklet can be applied to the reality of Adventist Hispanics and even multicultural churches across the USA.

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Book Review: Understanding & Relating to Asian American Youth (Chinese)

Understanding & Relating to Asian American Youth (Chinese) by Fuller Youth Institute. Pasadena, CA, 2018. Total pages: 80.

Here’s a great resource for understanding and relating to Asian American youth, particularly for parents and those who work with Asian youth ministry. Fuller Youth Institute has done a terrific job for this unique portion of the American population. The book acknowledged the diversity of cultures within the term “Asian American” while highlighting some commonly shared experiences, challenges, and opportunities among today’s young people. The book described issues such as questioning one’s identity (Who am I?), belonging (Where do I fit?), and purpose (What difference do I make?). Those questions confuse young people today, including Asian American youth.

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Book Review: Generation Z Unfiltered: Facing Nine Hidden Challenges of the Most Anxious Population

Generation Z Unfiltered: Facing Nine Hidden Challenges of the Most Anxious Population (Amazon) by Tim Elmore. Poet Gardener Publishing, 2019. Total pages: 337.

This book aims to fulfill three purposes. First, to inform adult generations of the characteristics and challenges members of Gen Z experience. Second, to help adults obtain a glimpse of the world through a Gen Z lens in order to understand this perspective. Finally, to help adults guide members of Gen Z into the adult world.

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Book Review: The End of Youth Ministry? Why Parents Don’t Really Care About Youth Groups and What Youth Workers Should Do About It

The End of Youth Ministry? Why Parents Don’t Really Care About Youth Groups and What Youth Workers Should Do About It (Amazon) by Andrew Root. Baker Publishing, Grand Rapids, MI, 2020. Total Pages: 225.

For anyone, volunteer or paid, involved in children and youth ministry, a book with such a title calls out to be devoured. Andrew Root serves as a professor at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, and writes prolifically (The Pastor in a Secular Age [2019], Faith Formation in a Secular Age [2017], Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker [2014], The Relational Pastor [2012), The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry [2011], Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry [2007]). In this particular book, Root tackled the relevance of youth ministry as it exists in the Western Christian Church today.

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