25 Mar Lost and Found – Book Review
Lost and Found:
The Younger Unchurched and The Churches That Reach Them
Ed Stetzer, Richie Stanley and Jason Hayes
Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing and LifeWay Research, 2009,
232 pages, $17.99, hardcover
Reviewed by Kenneth H. Mayton
Director, Doctor of Ministry Program
O.R.U. Graduate School of Theology and Ministry
Lost and Found is a research-based volume to speak to the status of the younger unchurched and to give ideas and thoughts about how the church can provide ways to reach and transform them.
This book needs to be read by anyone who wants current information on young adults in our nation and to receive ideas from churches that have had success in reaching these people. Developed by the Southern Baptists, the leader author is Ed Stetzer, Director of LifeWay Research and missiologist in residence at LifeWay Christian Resources, Nashville, TN. Stetzer is well-known and very popular in Southern Baptist and Evangelical church genre. He holds two Masters and two Doctoral degrees. His books include Planting Missional Churches, Breaking the Missional Code, Comeback Churches and Compelled by Love.
Richie Stanley is team leader at the North American Mission Boards Center for Missional Research in Alpharetta, GA (SBC). Jason Hayes is the young adult ministry specialist at LifeWay Christian Resources where he serves as a leading voice and face for Threads, the organization’s young adult initiative.
The book is presented in three parts: younger adults, what do they look like? what do they think about God, Christianity and the church (labeled polling); a thorough analysis of the ministry needs of the younger unchurched (labeled listening); a look at selected churches that are reaching young adults successfully (labeled reaching).
The authors express a caveat about what the book is not. It is not a book about young church dropouts, not about the emerging contemporary or reformed movements and not a prescriptive book with magical answers. They also claim a bias. It is about identifying the younger unchurched and reaching them. To do this, they ask one question (really two): Who are the young unchurched and how can they be reached with the good news of Jesus Christ?