Shaping the Journey of Emerging Adults: Life-Giving Rhythms for Spiritual Transformation, By Richard R. Dunn and Jana L. Sundene
Shaping the Journey of Emerging Adults
  • Length: 264 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: January 20, 2012
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 3469
  • ISBN: 9780830834693

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Between adolescence and adulthood is a new stage of life: emerging adulthood.

Those in their twenties and early thirties find themselves in transition. This "provisional adulthood" is a time of identity exploration and instability in which one's vocation, purpose, relationships and spirituality are all being renegotiated. Many emerging adults lose sight of God and experience significant confusion and brokenness. Others unexpectedly reconnect with the Christian faith and seek deeper discipleship, yet lack helpful mentoring and direction.

Veteran disciplemakers Rick Dunn and Jana Sundene offer concrete guidance for those who shepherd and care for emerging adults. Some traditional models of disciplemaking focus on a set curriculum to be transferred from the discipler to the disciplee. Dunn and Sundene instead emphasize relational rhythms of discernment, intentionality and reflection to meet emerging adults where they are at and then to walk with them further into the Christlife.

Whether you're an older adult ministering to the next generation or a younger adult with a heart for your peers, this book is an accessible, hopeful guide for effective ministry to emerging adults.

"Restless, entitled, bloated self-esteem--pick your pejorative. Commentators have slung them all at those born between 1980 and 2000. Amid this barrage, how refreshing to encounter Shaping the Journey of Emerging Adults. Rather than throwing stones, the authors extend a hand by showing how to guide and disciple twentysomethings. This book is crammed with wisdom and couldn't have come at a better time. Indispensable reading for anyone who loves the younger generation."

Drew Dyck, managing editor of Leadership Journal and author of Generation Ex-Christian

"When it comes to young adults, the American church seems to be stuck between handwringing ("Why are there no twentysomethings in our church?") and finger pointing ("Why don't those people grow up?"). Neither of these responses are particularly helpful. Thankfully, Sundene and Dunn sidestep this lose-lose response and suggest a relational approach, not a program. Shaping the Journey of Emerging Adults is praxis at its best: well-researched and theologically informed, yet real-world practical."

Mark Oestreicher, partner, The Youth CartelĀ 

"It is a fact that today's emerging twentysomethings face challenges never imagined by their parents. Discipling them has never been more urgent. For these reasons, Shaping the Journey of Emerging Adults is a timely book. Jana and Rick offer a way beyond fads into the depths of life in Christ for young adults. If we the church would face the future, we must read this book."

David Fitch, B. R. Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology, Northern Seminary, and author of The End of Evangelicalism?

"Whether you're an older adult ministering to the next generation or a younger adult with a heart for your peers, this book is an accessible, hopefuly guide for effective ministry to emerging adults."

Significant Living, March 2012


Forewards by Some Emerging Adults

Introduction: An Emerging Adult?s Plea for Disciplemakers
1. The Complex World of Early Adulthood: Why Young Adults Need Guidance

Part One: Simplifying Our Vision: Life-Giving Rhythms for Spiritual Transformation
2. Breathing New Life into Disciplemaking
3. Rhythms for Living the Christlife: Trust, Submission and Love
4. Life-Restoring Rhythm 1: Discernment
5. Life-Restoring Rhythm 2: Intentionality
6. Life-Restoring Rhythm 3: Reflection

Part Two: Applying Life-Giving Rhythms to the Challenges of Early Adulthood
7. Restoring Life in the Emerging Adult?s Sense of Identity and Purpose
8. Restoring Life in the Emerging Adult?s Spirituality
9. Restoring Life in the Emerging Adult?s Relationships
10. Restoring Life in the Emerging Adult?s Sexuality
11. Restoring Life in the Emerging Adult?s Daily World

Part Three: Emerging Adults and Their Disciplemakers
12. The Journey of the Adult Disciplemaker
13. Postures of an Effective Disciplemaker
14. Igniting Your Passion for Reproducing the Journey: A Conversation with the Authors



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Richard R. Dunn

Richard R. Dunn (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is lead pastor at Fellowship Evangelical Free Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, a congregation consisting primarily of emerging adults. He was formerly chair of educational ministries at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He is the author of Shaping the Spiritual Life of Students.

Jana L. Sundene

Jana L. Sundene is associate professor of Christian ministries at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois. She has a master's in communication studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School with an emphasis in interpersonal and group communication theory. She also holds an MA in communication theory from Northern Illinois University. Her prior experience includes serving as an associate youth director at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, and as a visiting instructor to Wheaton College. Jana is on the leadership core of Life on the Vine Christian Community, a missional church in Long Grove, Illinois.