Not Done Yet
Nones claim no religion. Dones have become disillusioned and left the church. Research shows many young adults are landing in one of these camps. But that's not the end of the story. Many emerging adults, ages eighteen to thirty-three, are tossing aside the none and done labels and are instead embracing a transformative Christian faith.
Based on her extensive research, scholar-practitioner Beth Seversen outlines a model for how to engage and retain millennials and Generation Z in the life of the local church. Emerging adults are likely to experience spiritual transformation in churches that welcome them into community, provide meaningful opportunities to make a difference, and invest in their development.
Whether you're a senior pastor or a youth minister, a parent or an educator, Not Done Yet will open your eyes to the generational barriers to vibrant faith while equipping you with insights to make your outreach to emerging adults more authentic and impactful.
"Not Done Yet is a gift to the church. The antithesis of formulas, gimmicks, program-heavy strategies, and other unnatural approaches, this book presents an evangelism that is based on friendship, real church, and changing culture. One senses in these pages a gifted evangelist who is sharing her secrets of bearing witness to the beauty and power of the gospel."
"If your ministry is interested in reaching young adults, Not Done Yet is a strong primer. The five practices—initiate, invite, include, involve, and invest—are not only helpful but something that's congruent with the ways that our most thriving communities tend to operate. These rhythms, if practiced, would be transformative, not only for your faith community but also for the spiritual lives of young adults around you."
"Not Done Yet has clearly captured the calling on the church in North America to reach emerging adults in the name of Jesus Christ. Dr. Beth Seversen provides an encouraging voice of challenge and presents a pathway for the church to regain trust with millennials and Gen-Z. The cultural and generational barriers in the church today mandate that we must grow in our understanding and investment for this younger generation. Not Done Yet is a must-read for every leader in your church and community."
"Beth Seversen has done her homework. I like her interviews of secular people attending the Burning Man festival. She also highlights various fruitful 'bright spot' churches who are doing a great job reaching today's teens and twentysomethings. Enjoy!"
"Grounded in careful research on emerging adults and the churches that are reaching them, Beth Seversen's Not Done Yet provides a hope-filled portrait of vibrant faith in the next generation. More importantly, she offers clear and practical guidelines for how churches can welcome, include, and equip the twentysomethings around them. A must-read for church leaders!"
"Plenty have highlighted why the church is losing ground with today's young adults, but few have studied churches that are reaching them effectively. Dr. Seversen's groundbreaking work demonstrates that reaching today's young adults is not a lost cause but is in fact likely if we intentionally engage in risky yet proven practices that connect them to the life of the church. This book will be a seminal text in my evangelism courses for years to come."
"The spiritual journeys of emerging adults are dynamic and varied, yet too often churches have reduced their experiences to one (typically negative) narrative. As a result, most churches start with the wrong perceptions and offer emerging adults something far from good news. Seversen's project is a breath of fresh air that gives ministry leaders a better view for understanding those navigating their third decade of life. Read this book if you want to be informed and if you dare to rethink the ways you are supporting emerging adults in your community."
"With a pastoral heart for young adults who are disconnected from faith communities, Dr. Seversen helps churches understand the unique spiritual journeys of young adults and how they are seeking a place to belong and contribute. She shares best practices from churches that are effectively reaching this demographic, including how to initially welcome them, incorporate them in the life of the church, and guide them along the path to spiritual transformation. I will continue to reference this book for years to come as I seek to draw young adults into the Christian faith at my church."
"Every church needs to follow this mandate: reach the next generation or die trying. Beth Seversen has made a great contribution to answer the question, How? With an unusual front-line experience combined with big-picture research, Dr. Seversen offers insightful clues for ordinary church leaders. In particular, her thoughts on including unchurched people in group life and inviting them to 'try on Jesus' before actually buying in are brilliant. May the Lord use this book to grip the hearts of church leaders with passion for the emerging generation and a willingness to lead and love people into his kingdom!"
"Beth Seversen has successfully developed a book on evangelism that appeals to the scholar and the church leader. For the scholar, Seversen offers fresh, empirical research that engages with human complexity and refuses to be contained by common assumptions about what evangelism should look like. Her work is worthy of significant engagement in the academy. For church leaders, Seversen is good news to the church! In a North American culture filled with gloomy statistics, she shows there are bright spots where young people are participating in Christian communities and committing to lives as disciples of Jesus Christ. More than this, she shows how local congregations can increase their evangelistic illumination to join these bright spots."
"Beth delivers a much-needed and inspirational model for engaging emerging adults! The model of engagement in Not Done Yet is comprehensive, insightful, and most importantly, research based. Beth is right on in pointing out that the key to attracting and keeping emerging adults in the church is getting them to serve, to belong missionally even when they don't yet believe what the church believes or fully identify with the entire mission of the church. For those serious about engaging the unchurched, Not Done Yet has got to be open, marked up, and on the desks of ministry leaders and strategists."
"Not Done Yet is an important book for anyone who wants to understand how to reach the next generation! Author Beth Seversen combines her passion for evangelism with solid research and practical tools to give us a guide for how to engage younger adults. The church will either grow older and smaller or younger and larger. This book is essential for the future of the church!"
"Beth Seversen provides a perspective that the church needs to hear today. Writing in an engaging style, she provides a fresh voice about reaching unchurched and dechurched millennials. She provides both robust research and practical suggestions to guide churches to fulfill the mission of God in this generation. I was especially encouraged by the unique stories of churches and individuals that are bright spots for creating welcoming and hospitable contexts for faith sharing."
1. Journeying: The Long, Winding Road to Identity Formation
2. Initiating: Walking Together Toward Commitment
3. Inviting: No Need to Believe to Come to Church
4. Welcoming: Open the Door and See All the People
5. Changing: Creating an Invitational Culture
6. Including: The Superglue for Emerging Adults
7. Involving: Contributing Before Committing
8. Investing: The Church Is Here for You
9. Leading: What’s a Leader to Do?
10. Attracting: Connecting Evangelism, Discipleship, and Mission
11. Revisioning: Evangelism Inside the Church Box
12. Balancing: Orthodox Distinction and Culture Engagement
13. True North: I Just Wanted to Know You Were for Real