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: 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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Book Review: More Tips For Youth Leaders by Steve Case

More Tips For Youth Leaders (AdventSource) by Steve Case, illustrated by Milton Coronado. AdventSource, 2020. Total pages: 104.

Have you ever wondered what a successful youth ministry might look like? Has anyone ever condensed the key principles of youth ministry into one, quick-reference collection? Could someone new to youth ministry skip some of the newbie challenges and mistakes so common in youth ministry rather than learning everything by trial-and-error over time?

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Book Review: Faith for Exiles: 5 Ways for a New Generation to Follow Jesus in Digital Babylon by David Kinnaman and Mark Matlock

Faith for Exiles: 5 Ways for a New Generation to Follow Jesus in Digital Babylon

Faith for Exiles: 5 Ways for a New Generation to Follow Jesus in Digital Babylon (Amazon) by David Kinnaman and Mark Matlock. Baker Books, 2018. Total pages: 229.

In a world controlled by digital Babylon, faith is often repelled. Barna president David Kinnaman teamed up with former executive director of Youth Specialties Mark Matlock. They reflected this reality in the following statistics: Among today’s 18-29-year-olds, 22% are Prodigals (ex-Christians), 30% are Nomads (unchurched), 38% are Habitual Churchgoers, and only 10% can be considered Resilient Disciples. This shows the cultivation method of large crusades and mass baptisms adopted by churches in the 19th century no longer yields large results. However, the authors suggested that cultivating the right practices can grow resilient faith.

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Book Review: Growing With: Every Parent’s Guide to Helping Teenagers and Young Adults Thrive in their Faith, Family, and Future by Kara Powell and Steven Argue

Growing With: Every Parent’s Guide to Helping Teenagers and Young Adults Thrive in their Faith, Family, and Future

Growing With: Every Parent’s Guide to Helping Teenagers and Young Adults Thrive in their Faith, Family, and Future (Amazon) by Kara Powell and Steven Argue. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2019. Total pages: 282.

The Fuller Youth Institute contributes another excellent resource for parents and those who work with young people. The co-authors define Growing With parenting as “a mutual journey of intentional growth for both ourselves and our churches that trust God to transform us all” (17). Drs. Powell and Argue provide fresh research and thinking in a clear and easy to understand manner.

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