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Googling God: The Religious Landscape of People in Their 20s and 30s Paperback – September 1, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mike Hayes is the co-founder of Busted Halo, the celebrated national ministry and media network for hundreds of thousands of young adults, and is the author of Googling God: The Religious Landscape of People in their 20s and 30s (Paulist, 2007) which has become the standard manual for people who minister to this age group. His daily blog googlinggod.com is popular among people of all ages.

Mike has a Master's Degree in Religious Education from Fordham University. He has served as President of the National Catholic Young Adult Ministry Association, Board Member and Project Manager at the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies at Fordham University, and as a consultant to dioceses.

He and his family live in Buffalo where Mike is the Campus Minister at St. Joseph University Parish and SUNY Buffalo's South Campus as well as a retreat director for the national Charis Ministries, a Jesuit ministry to those in their 20s and 30s.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Press/BustedHalo Books; 1st edition (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809144875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809144877
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.6 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,008,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a highly readable, informative, balanced book. I'm picky about books on this topic; many of them lump all young adults together into the same category. I appreciate how this book acknowledges the different types of young adults (those who focus on social justice, those who are drawn to the sacraments, etc.) and offers concrete ways to minister to them. It's a wonderful read for those who minister to young adult Catholics, as well as anyone who is curious about how the "younger generations" of Catholics experience their faith.

Another unique feature of this book is the middle section, which offers in-depth profiles of a sampling of young adults. I'm someone who is fascinated by others' experiences of faith, so this section was a real treat. It's also a great way to put a "face" on the ideas discussed throughout the book.

One last reason I enjoyed this book: when I was getting my teaching credential, one of my professors told us to think about past teachers we'd had, and the teaching methods they'd used that had worked for us. She then told us that we needed to learn how to teach in a way that was totally the opposite of that. Her point was that kids learn in a variety of different ways, and that if we fixate only on the methods that worked for us, we won't reach a huge number of our students. This book makes the same point with regards to faith. Everyone engages with their faith in a different way, and if we want to effectively minister to young adults, we need to provide a variety of ways for them to connect with their faith community (sponsoring all-night Adoration, organizing volunteer trips to the soup kitchen, etc.). That's such a crucial message, and this book does a great job of communicating it.
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Format: Paperback
This book is directed primarily at those attempting to organize Catholic youth ministries, but it's a very insightful read for anyone involved in recruiting or organizing youth groups (religious or otherwise) at all. Mr. Hayes draws on his many years of personal experience with younger Catholics to identify a wide variety of interesting Gen X and Millennial profiles. He sheds light on much of the outdated logic or group think which has lead to the declining numbers of younger Catholics who are actively involved in organized church events/activities. He also provides us with many helpful suggestions on how to appeal to both Gen Xers and Millennials. The last chapter of the book gives step by step directions on how to organize and get your message through to today's young adults. The easy to follow directions make you feel as though you're reading one of those "For Dummies" books. Overall, this is an excellent resource for anyone who's looking to recruit and organize younger people of faith. Many older church organizers would be well advised to read this book.
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Format: Paperback
Young adults' search for God
Reviewed by ERIN RYAN, National Catholic Reporter

These days, there seems to be a lot of discussion in church circles about how young people are the future of the church and a lot of consternation about what Catholics can do to bring them in. However, most church ministry programs for young people tend to focus on teenagers or children. Two recent books speak to the young adults in our midst.

In his book for youth ministers, Googling God: The Religious Landscape of People in their 20s and 30s, author Mike Hayes makes it clear that young adults are more than just the church's "future." They are the church now.

Mr. Hayes is the associate director of Paulist Young Adult Ministries and the managing editor and cofounder of the savvy bustedhalo.com Web site for Catholics in their 20s and 30s. His book provides a close look at young adults in two specific generations: those in the often cynical, questioning "Generation X," defined here as people born between 1964 and 1979, and "Millenials," defined as people born after 1980, who are more often concerned with rules and order.

In Part One of Googling God, Mr. Hayes, who says he belongs to Generation X, explores how these two generations have been shaped by events in the world around them. Then, taking a cue from Mary Anne Reese in America and a symposium paper by Fr. Jim Bacik, he offers seven classifications or orientations that can be applied to young adult Catholics: eclipsed, private, ecumenical, evangelical, prophetic, sacramental and communal.

Part Two of Googling God contains interviews with 12 young men and women ages 22 to 39, six in each of the two generations. Most are practicing Catholics, but some have stopped going to church.
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Format: Paperback
As a 23-year old recent convert to Catholicism, something that has naturally held my interest for some time has been the religiosity of others in my own generation. There have been many books published in recent years discussing the overall decline in religious commitment among my fellow 20-and-30-somethings, yet a steadiness in the practice of self-defined "spirituality". Many of my age group don't embrace the Church, but do still have an admiration for Jesus and spiritual mysticism. Many don't engage in the traditional disciplines of Bible study and participation in the liturgy, but instead have absorbed many contemplative practices of prayer while finding the divine through beauty and nature.

There have been relatively few books published examining these spiritual trends among these young-adult generations, especially through a distinctly Catholic lens. However, in the last handful of years, a few books have been trickling out examining these distinct movements of faith. Mike Hayes--a long-time young-adult minister in the Catholic Church--has contributed to these explorations by writing his own practical guide on young-adult spirituality, "Googling God: The Religious Landscape of People in their 20's and 30's" (Paulist Press, 208 pages, $16.95).

As the title of the book hints at, many young-adults enter the realm of God through their internet browser. Typing "God" into Google will yield more than 525 million results, while searching for "church" returns more than 383 million offerings. Yet, as Hayes points out, the Church has done relatively little to tap into these realities; the Church needs much growth in seeking out and ministering to young-adults, both within and beyond the Church.

"Googling God" is split up into three sections.
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