#EmptyShelf Challenge Book #9: Sticky Faith

February 7, 2014

sticky faithTitle: Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas To Build Lasting Faith In Your Kids

Author: Kara Powell and Chap Clark

Started: February 5, 2014   Finished: February 7, 2014

Number of Pages: 224   Total for 2014: 3,627

What it’s About: In the church, there’s a gap we’ve been talking about for years. After high school, we lose kids. For decades, we just prayed they would come back to the faith they shelved–maybe when college was over, or they got married, or when they had babies. “We’re planting seeds that take awhile to grow sometimes,” we said to each other. Except now we know the truth…the kids that shelve their faith when they head to college often do not find an occasion to come “back” (to their home churches or to churches in their new communities or lives).

So what can we do? What makes faith stick? This book, based on tons of study and conversation time led by the folks at the Fuller Youth Institute, explores all the things we’re doing wrong and all the things we could be doing right. Intergenerational ministry, a better adult to youth ratio (5:1 is suggested, although not in a traditional volunteer:student scenario), teaching that links obedience to trust rather than a list of dos and don’t dos, and allowing room for conversations that recognize the complexities of faith and obedience and grace and hope.

This book offers not only the research findings, but also practical ways churches and parents can make the shift between faith that is not sticky and faith that is.

Why I Read It: Honestly, I feel like I’ve already read this book, not because I have, but because I’ve attended so many seminars and have read so many articles and blogs based on its findings and have had so many conversations about intergenerational ministry and all things that make faith “sticky.” I’ve had it in my Kindle “queue” for awhile now and finally decided to actually read it. I was glad I did, not because of all of the groundbreaking new ideas and truths I discovered, but because the book brought all of the “sticky faith” ideas together for me and gave me some new ways to think about things we’re already trying to implement at the church I serve.

This book is written for youth ministers primarily, but it should also be read by pastors and parents and any adult who is concerned about students and their future in the church.