Over the weekend I read The Slow Fade: Why You Matter in the Story of Twentysomethings by Reggie Joyner, Chuck Bomar and Abbie Smith. Despite the fact that I don’t work with college-age students, I enjoyed the book quite a bit. The different perspectives are interesting (Reggie observing the slow fade from afar, Chuck addressing it as a pastor, Abbie living it out) and there were a couple of really exceptional learnings from the book.
The actual “answer” in the book is deceptively simple. To combat the Slow Fade of college-age people leaving the church, they must be connected to a caring adult. That inter-generational ministry is the answer to this problem. Each of the authors go after the “older should teach the younger” Scripture in Titus 2 and I Timothy 5. The other thought that engaged my mind the most was the discussion of the youth ministry finish line. That we take students to the end of their senior year then set them free. The challenge in part of the book was to extend the finish line through college – that small group leaders, mentors and adult figures should continue on through this most crucial time in a young person’s life.
Some good stuff to think about – the book isn’t quite as long as it appears at first, there’s quite a bit of filler appendixes and a chapter of another book in the back. Good read if you work with upperclassmen and/or college Twentysomethings.