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Many churches and families have programmed a youth ministry finish line at twelfth grade. We walk our seniors out the door, breathe a sigh of relief, and let them disappear for a few years. We assume they'll return to church later, probably as adults with young families in tow.
The problem is, if we let them go, we may never see them again. Too old for youth group and uncomfortable with labels, college-aged and twentysomething Christians become disconnected from faith. Almost imperceptibly, they become less and less involved in church and faith, and eventually, absent altogether - in what we call the slow fade. Yet as these young people face critical decisions that affect the rest of their lives, they need their faith communities more than ever.
So what's the answer? You. Coauthors Reggie Joiner, Chuck Bomar, and Abbie Smith - a senior pastor, a college pastor, and a twentysomething - offer insight and suggestions and make a compelling case for personal, intergeneration relationships as the way to stop the slow fade. It's easier than you think!
Reggie Joiner is the founder and CEO of Orange, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to influence those who influence the next generation. Orange provides resources and training for churches and organizations that create environments for parents, kids and teenagers. Prior to Orange, Joiner co-founded North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, with Andy Stanley. During his 11 years as the executive director of family ministry, he developed a new concept for relevant ministry for children, teenagers, and married adults. If you end up road tripping with him across the country on Orange Tour, be prepared to stop at every antique store along the way. He has found a way to wear orange for 3,453 days and counting. He has authored and co-authored books including all of the books in this category. Reggie and his wife Debbie live in Georgia, and have four children: Reggie Paul, Hannah, Sarah, and Rebekah.
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