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Table of Contents
"The church needs young adults and young adults need the church," the authors assert. From Jay-Z to Jesus is a call to respond to both of those needsto challenge the African American church to reach out to young adults and to equip congregations with the insights and tools needed to teach the gospel to this generation.
Acknowledging that young adulthood now encompasses ages 18-39, Benjamin Stephens and Ralph Watkins explore the issues and offer the words of young adults themselves as testimony to the spiritual longing and critique of the aging church's ministry.
• Why do We Need a Young Adult Ministry?• A Biblical Foundation for Young Adult Ministry• The Developmental Phases of Young Adults• A Model for Young Adult Ministry• The Young Adult Struggle: Between a Rock and a Hard Place• Preaching and Teaching Young Adults: Crafting a Word to Be Heard• The New Deal in the New Church: The Future of the Church Is in Her Young Adults
Each chapter also includes critical questions for reflection.
"An invaluable reference, guide, and resource...From a discussion of the developmental phases of young adults, to successful models for young adult ministry, how to preach effectively to young adults, and why the future of the church itself lies in the hearts of young people, From Jay-Z to Jesus is broad-ranging in scope with a firm focus on matters both practical and spiritual." Midwest Book Review, July 2009
"Well-written and practical, From Jay-Z to Jesus contains sample documents and reflective questions that are easily modified to create authentic communication and ministry opportunities between youth and adults. This book is not a how-to but a here's how...Because hip-hop communicates in a language that has become universal, influencing all cultures and people groups, this book is a necessary tool for all youth workers." YouthWorker Journal, September/October 2009
"In this brief but powerful book, I was both startled and awakened to alternative approaches to ministry among my peers." Rev. Charlton L. Johnson, Vice President, Connectional Young Adult Ministry, C.M.E. Church
"The authors offer helpful insights into teaching this generation including personal stories written by young adults themselves. This is a very useful book, particularly for those working in church base contexts." Campus Ministry Update, April 2009
"I highly recommend this book for churches, educators and pastors. Seminaries would do well to use it somewhere in Pastoral Theology." Dr. Frazier N. Odom, Interim Executive Director, The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
"From Jay-Z to Jesus will help the reader build an effective ministry to young adults that will minister to their needs as well as disciple them to be leaders in the church and community. Every leader in the church should read this book." CBA Retailers + Resources, April 2009
"From Jay-Z to Jesus offers a common sense approach with practical applications on how to really engage young adults in ministry for the 21st century black church and beyond." Cheryl L. Walker, Director of African American Ministries, General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church
"Dr. Watkins and Rev. Stephens offer church leaders insights and guidelines for developing a relevant and inviting ministry that will reintroduce this generation, who already know Jay-Z intimately, to a different and better role model, Jesus Christ." from the foreword by Otis Moss III, senior pastor, Trinity United Church of Christ
Benjamin Stephens III, MDiv, is pastor to collegiate and young adults at the West Angeles Church of God in Christ, under the leadership of Bishop Charles E. Blake. Elder Stephens is also the president of the denomination's Young Men of Valor. At the University of Southern California, Stephens is chaplain of Higher Learning Pentecostal Ministries. He is currently a Doctoral student at Fuller Theological Seminary.
Rev. Dr. Ralph Watkins, PhD, DMin, MA, is Associate Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA. Prior to this appointment in 2011, he was the assistant dean of the African American Church Studies Program and associate professor of society, religion, and Africana studies in the School of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary.
With over 20 years of pastoral, teaching, and administrative experience, Dr. Ralph Watkins is an active teaching scholar with over 250 publications and conference presentations to his credit, including five books.
In recent years, Watkins has received a Governor's Teaching Fellowship, Lilly Teaching Fellowship, Fulbright Hayes Fellowship for a study in Ghana, a Wabash Teaching Fellowship, and various awards and study grants to study in Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt, Mexico, and Ethiopia. He is ordained in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) denomination and served as the executive pastor of First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles under Rev. Dr. John J. Hunter. Prior to FAME he served as Director of Ecclesia / Executive Pastor at The City of Refuge under Bishop Noel Jones in Gardena California.
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