I was looking forward to receiving the book First Hand by Ryan and Josh Shook and was only slightly disappointed. I was disappointed because I thought it was a book for me to help me with all the mistakes I’ve made with all the young adults I’ve ministered to over the years. I wanted First Hand to rebuke me and give me the “how to’s” to reach and keep this generations faith strong and keep them from wandering. I wanted them to tell me what programs worked and which did not. No such luck. This book is not for guilt-ridden youth workers like me, in the how-to sense, but it’s meant for all of us who want to understand this particular leg of the faith journey of some of the young adults in our church.
Ryan and Josh speak directly to their peers and share their story of moving from their parents faith to their own faith, their first hand encounters with Jesus. Each chapter tackles a challenge we all face in our faith from relationships to authenticity and doubts. They understand that the greatest battle churches face to keep these twenty somethings plugged in is the battle of substance vs image. This generation wants something real and the traditional church leans towards, as the Shook boys describe, “more ties and less tattoos.”
If a book is more theory than practice I check out, so it’s a good thing each chapter closes with quotes, questions, tasks, and some spiritual poking.
The big challenge for me, and maybe for some of you, is getting our young adults to read this book. I have decided to go through the back door by doing a video series about the book and hopefully create some dialogue about the book that will result in some face to face interaction and honest discussions. I’ll be posting some sample videos in the future so stay tuned.
Have you read the book? What do you think?
Do your young adults read books like this?
What challenges are you currently facing with your young adults?
Leave your thoughts below.