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Almost every congregation finds itself wringing its hands in concern for the so-called missing generation. In this book, pastor and professor Denise Janssen offers insights into the question of why many young adults leave the church of their childhood and why a significant number of them eventually return. The book is based on in-depth interviews with young adults who, as teenagers, were highly active in church-based youth ministries and camps. The author traces their return to active congregational life as emerging and young adults, offering rich descriptions that go beyond surface-level assumptions. Reclaimed goes a step further to analyze patterns and commonalities in those journeys, seeking to make considered recommendations based on principles and qualities that have led many of these young adults back into congregational life. An invaluable and insightful resource for congregations seeking to help their own youth through the transition from adolescence to adulthood, as well as for those who hope to welcome other young adults into their midst.
• Deep and rich reflections that offer both the positive, and not so positive, aspects of church life• Offers an in-depth analysis of the pathways young adults take to engage or reengage with the church• Provides key insights for Christian education and youth ministry on the types of experiences that keep young adults connected to the church
Denise Janssen, MDiv, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Christian Education at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University in Richmond. An ordained American Baptist Churches, USA minister, Denise has served as pastor of a United Methodist congregation and several different Baptist churches.
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