Item description for From Jay-Z to Jesus: Reaching & Teaching Young Adults in the Black Church by III Benjamin Stephens & Ralph C. Watkins...
Overview Presents a guide for developing a relevant ministry for African American young adults.
Publishers Description "The church needs young adults and young adults need the church," the authors assert. This book is a call to respond to both of those needs???to challenge the African American church to reach out to the lost generation of young adults and to equip congregations with the insights and tools needed to teach the gospel to the postmodern, post-civil rights, post-soul generation. Acknowledging that young adulthood now encompasses ages 18???39, Ralph Watkins and Benjamin Stephens 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
Citations And Professional Reviews From Jay-Z to Jesus: Reaching & Teaching Young Adults in the Black Church by III Benjamin Stephens & Ralph C. Watkins has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
CBA Retailers - 04/01/2009 page 34
Christian Retailing - 04/06/2009 page 15
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More About III Benjamin Stephens & Ralph C. Watkins
Reviews - What do customers think about From Jay-Z To Jesus?
An invaluable reference, guide, and resource to church leaders Jul 17, 2009
Written by West Angeles Church of God in Christ pastor Benjamin Stephens III, MDIV, and assistant dean of African-American Church Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary Ralph C. Watkins, From Jay-Z to Jesus: Reaching & Teaching Young Adults in the Black Church is an invaluable reference, guide, and resource to church leaders with regard to reaching out to young people ages 18 to 39. 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. "Questions to Consider" follow up each chapter. A "must-have" for church leaders - though written especially for leaders of predominantly African-American churches, From Jay-Z to Jesus is packed with practical advice useful to Christian leaders everywhere. "Real success as a Christian leader is developing a movement that can be sustained after God has called you to other levels of service. One of the most difficult tasks for a leader is prioritizing the time to develop a person or group of people who will replace you. In the midst of developing relationships, being creative, negotiating faith, and maintaining zeal, attention is easily removed from the necessity to prepare for the future. The easiest decision for a Christian leader is to avoid the complication of developing other leaders by managing all the responsibility on your own. By doing this, however, you set up your ministry for abrupt and devastating failure."
High-liters needed! Mar 10, 2009
For those of us involved in the creation of ministries in our traditionally black Baptist churches, dealing with the needs of the young have most often proved difficult; from finding volunteers to thinking of something to "do with them". The short term goal has been to keep them busy, occupied and "in here" (the church) rather than "out there" (the streets). Relief and congratulations for youth workers have come in the form of full choir stands, youth lining the walls as they perform usher duties, and ordering more costumes for the numbers joining the praise dance troupe, rap group or mime team. Too often, the logic has been, after high school, we're done!
The authors, Ralph C. Watkins and Benjamin Stephens, III, in their new book, "From Jay-Z to Jesus; Reaching and Teaching Young Adults in the Black Church" show us that just when we take a breath convinced that goals have been met (getting youth into and out of high school), the real work has only just begun. A word of caution: you'll have to sit down while reading this book and have a high-lighter handy -- neon colored! This text is sobering and does much to answer the question, "Where are the 30 year old's?"
Clearly and carefully, Watkins and Stephens make a strong argument for not treating Young Adults (ages 19-39) as if they are overgrown, over-developed youth that can be easily pacified with more choirs and usher boards. Their needs are far different, broader and even more challenging. Chapters 3 ("Growing Up To Be Free: The Developmental Phases of Young Adults") through Chapter 5 ("The Young Adult Struggle: Between a Rock and a Hard Place") are particularly enlightening and worth the purchase of the book.
If we have some age on us, this book's great value is the way it forces the reader to look inward and self-examine our own needs and struggles with the church as we grew to adulthood ("Where were you and what were you doing at age 25, 30 and 35?") And yes, the solutions and follow through are there for creation and implementation of new YAM but it is the authors' way of pushing and challenging us towards re-thinking the whole concept of YAM that is its true strength. This book is a keeper and one that every member of every traditional Baptist church's Christian Education ministry should have, no - must have. And give high-lighters with the books!