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Formation for Mission: Discipleship and Identity for Emerging Adults


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Helping the next generation live for Christ

As Christian adolescents develop into adults, they face unique questions and challenges. But this stage of life also provides unique opportunities for all who care about the spiritual flourishing of the next generation. Created in partnership with the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center, Formation for Mission empowers those who interact with teenagers and young adults. Gathering wisdom from a diverse variety of veteran teachers and weaving together research-informed social, theological, and practical insights, each chapter examines essential features in the missional development, formation, and contexts of young people. Questions for reflection and discussion move the conversation forward.

Each generation is commissioned to pass the faith on to the next and help them live for Christ, enter congregational life, and engage in Christian mission. With cultural awareness and sensitivity to the challenges of today, Formation for Mission offers hopeful advice to those who are invested in supporting the spiritual thriving of emerging adults.

Praise for Formation for Mission

Formation for Mission is a timely, well-researched, and informative analysis of ‘emerging adults’ in today’s context. I appreciate the emphasis on a spiritual formation that focuses on the God of mission, is grounded in the grand narrative of Scripture, and leads to vibrant and engaged followers of Jesus. Most importantly, this publication fills a gap by addressing the changing demographics in the US, the resultant contextual realities inherent in diverse socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds as it relates to guiding and engaging emerging adults. I look forward to making good use of this excellent resource.

–Cas Monaco, vice president of missiology and gospel engagement, FamilyLife

This book is written for so many people. The missiologist who seeks to reach people, the planters/pastors/leaders who daily help in the spiritual formation of young adults, parents who most days feel so inadequate in understanding this new generation. Essentially, all those who care about the spiritual lives of emerging adults. In this book, the authors remind leaders that working with young adults is not an either/or situation but a both/and. Both outreach and discipleship, hand in hand. Cutting through the fog of confusion and predictions surrounding young adults, the authors remind us, where there is crisis there is also opportunity. It’s a thoughtful and well-informed analysis that will be considered a primer for those working with this life stage. Do yourself a favor and add it to your ‘must read’ list!

–Elizabeth “Liz” Rios, founder/president, Passion2Plant Network

  • Introduction
  • What Are We Talking About?
  • The Role of Identity Formation
  • Facilitating Missional Development
    • “Emerging Adult Sexuality and Discipleship” by Charles Stokes
    • “Tackling What Impedes Church Involvement” by Mary T. Lederleitner
    • “Living a Better Story in Emerging Adulthood” by David Setran
    • “Developing Emerging Missional Leaders: No Greater Joy” by Deborah A. Colwill
  • Additional Missional Formation Practices
    • “How Churches Reach and Develop Emerging Adults” by Rick Richardson
    • “Singing Together Missionally” by Kevin Turner
    • “Practicing Racial Reconciliation” by Daniel Hartman and Peter Cha
    • “Participating in Service-Learning Trips” by Kiplang’at Cheruiyot Bii and Jennifer L. Collins
    • “Growing through Philanthropy” by Patricia Snell Herzog and Jamie Goodwin
  • A Sample of Missional Formation Contexts
    • “Latinx Migration and Mission” by Marcos Canales and Juan Martinez
    • “Hip-Hop in Missional Formation” by Dwight Radcliff
    • “Chinese American Emerging Adults: Ministries to Non-Christians and Christians” by Russell Jeung and Michael Karim
  • How Will We Respond?
  • Title: Formation for Mission: Discipleship and Identity for Emerging Adults
  • Editors: Mary T. Lederleitner, Andrew MacDonald, and Rick Richardson
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Pages: 288
  • Format: Logos Digital, Paperback
  • Trim Size: 5.5x8.5
  • ISBN: 9781683596158

Mary T. Lederleitner is founder and executive director of Missional Intelligence and author of Cross-Cultural Partnerships and Women in God’s Mission: Accepting the Invitation to Serve and Lead.

Andrew MacDonald is associate director of the research institute at the Billy Graham Center and a frequent contributor to blogs and journals such as Christianity Today’s The Exchange.

Rick Richardson is professor of evangelism and leadership at Wheaton College, director of the church evangelism and research institutes for the Billy Graham Center, and an Anglican priest. He is author of You Found Me: New Research on How Unchurched Nones, Millennials, and Irreligious Are Surprisingly Open to Christian Faith.


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    Print list price: $29.99
    Save $10.00 (33%)