Top 5 books on ministering to millennials

October 3, 2014

Have you ever wondered how to reach out to a recent college graduate? How do you talk about Jesus with those who have heard about him their entire lives but now want nothing to do with the church? Does ministry to those in their 20’s look the same as it did 15 years ago?

This week, in all things asked Aaron Baart, Dean of Chapel, his top five books on ministering to millennials. These five books will help you begin the conversation and think well on ministering to Gen Y-ers.

1. postChristian: What’s Left? Can We Fix it? Do We Care? by Christian Piatt.
Fearless and provocative, spiritual trailblazer Christian Piatt offers a roadmap to the future of faith with an unflinching examination of the church today.

2. unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity…and Why it Matters by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons.
Groundbreaking research into the perceptions of people aged 16-29 reveals that Christians have taken several giant steps backward in one of their most important assignments. The surprising details of the study, commissioned by the Fermi Project and conducted by The Barna Group, are presented with uncompromising honesty in unChristian. Find out why these negative perceptions exist, learn how to reverse them in a Christlike manner, and discover practical examples of how Christians can positively contribute to culture.

3. What We Talk About When We Talk About God by Rob Bell
Rob Bell explains why both culture and the church resist talking about God, and shows how we can reconnect with the God who is pulling us forward into a better future. Bell uses his characteristic evocative storytelling to challenge everything you think you know about God. What We Talk About When We Talk About God tackles the misconceptions about God and reveals how God is with us, for us, ahead of us, and how understanding this could change the entire course of our lives.

4. Our Great Big American God: A Short History of our Ever-Growing Deity by Matthew Paul Turner
From Puritans to Pentecostals, from progressives to mega-pastors, Turner examines how American history and ideals transformed our perception of God. Fearless and funny, this is the definitive guide to the American experience of the Almighty-a story so bizarre, incredible, and entertaining that it could only be made in the U.S.A.
No matter what your political or religious affiliation, this book will challenge and delight with its razor sharp wit, social commentary, and savvy historical insight. It will make you reconsider the way you think about America as a “Christian nation,” and help you re-imagine a better future for God and country.

5. The Next Christians: Seven Ways You Can Live the Gospel and Restore the World by Gabe Lyons
Lyons shows how a new wave of believers are turning the tide by bringing the truth of the Gospel to bear on our changing, secular society.
“Restorers,” as Lyons calls them, approach culture with a different mentality than generations past. Informed by truth, yet seasoned with grace and love, these believers engage the world by drawing it to the sensibility and authenticity of the Christian life.

Readers of in all things, what books have you found helpful in ministering to the millennial generation?

Dig Deeper

Want to learn more about ministering to millennials? This week Q Ideas focuses on the question, “How are Millennials Thinking About the Church?” Watch a video by Skye Jethani and read articles by Rachel Held Evans, Donald Miller, and others.

On Monday, October 6, the Andreas Center at Dordt College will welcome Sara Gerritsma De Moor to campus for the First Mondays Speakers Series. Sara is one of the Christian Reformed Church campus chaplains at the University of Toronto. Gerritsma De Moor will address the topics of vulnerability, community and discipleship in her morning lecture at 11:00 am in the BJ Haan Auditorium. (Read Gerritsma De Moor’s article Shame, Vulnerability and Faith)

In the evening, the Andreas Center will welcome Jon De Groot (Campus Ministries Coordinator), Jason Lief (Associate Professor of Theology), Kory Plockmeyer (pastor a Covenant Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Center, Iowa and former campus chaplain at MSU), along with Sara Gerritsma De Moor in a panel discussion on “Ministering to Millennials” at 7:30 pm in the Science & Technology Center. If you live close to Dordt College, you are invited to both events.

About the Author
  • Liz Moss is the former managing editor of In All Things and the Andreas Center Program Coordinator. Today she is the Development Director for The Tesfa Foundation, serving students and families in Ethiopia. She is ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Reformed Church in America.

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      1. I’m actually not sure! The topic of ministering to millenials is a little out of what I typically read at the moment but I will see if I can find out some good books to add.