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Together: Adults and Teenagers Transforming the Church Paperback – December 28, 2010

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews


“Together is both a fine introduction to and solid continuation of the conversation surrounding intergenerational ministry. Jeff's well-researched and understandable book is thought provoking and reflective while at the same time very practical. A must read for every youth professional, parent, professor, and pastor!” Dr. Kevin Turner, Professor of Youth Ministry -- Dr. Kevin Turner

“Dr. Baxter combines his academic chops with real-world experience to offer a clear and convincing call for intergenerational ministry. He champions a congregational mindset shift regarding ministry with young people, providing strong examples for how this plays out in spiritual growth that sticks around for the long haul. Pick up Together, and put it into practice.” Will Penner, Resource Director, The Center for Youth Ministry Training -- Will Penner

“For student ministry to survive the next twenty years, youth workers are going to need to deal with the biggest problem in their student ministries...themselves. God's discipleship plan for teenagers was never a full-time youth worker leading a student ministry for every student in every church. God's discipleship plan for teenagers is the biological family and the body of Christ coming together. Jeff Baxter issues a challenge not just to youth workers, but to lead pastors and elder boards to stop isolating youth workers and the student ministries they lead and start focusing on the whole body God gave each church. I wonder how much of what we have done to professionalize youth ministry in the local church breaks the heart of God? Together calls youth workers and church leaders back to the heart of God's plan for reaching and releasing the next generation---the families they grew up in and the whole church they attend. Dan Luebcke, Pastor of Student Ministries -- Dan Luebcke

“Baxter wants to start a revolution and has truly taken on one of the most challenging areas in ministry today---overturning years of generational separation in church programming. He has issued a compelling call for intergenerational ministry for the sake of youth. Deeply grounded in sociological and biblical reflection coupled with a pastor’s heart for discipleship and evangelism, Together offers us a clear picture of ministry for the twenty-first century that not only revives a refreshingly biblical mindset of youth ministry but issues a call to the whole church (in the words of Baxter’s compelling parable) to renew its vows to the Lord as ‘yepherds’ for the ‘yeep.’ This is a revolution that needs to start today, and a book that needs to be read.” Dr. Jeffrey F. Keuss, Associate Dean and Professor of Christian Ministry, Theology and Culture, Author of Freedom of the Self: Kenosis, Cultural Identity, and Mission at the Crossroads -- Dr. Jeffrey F. Keuss

“Together is a call from segregation to integration. Fascinating, insightful, and practical. Baxter gives us a wake-up manifesto to all in youth ministry who want to stop segregating teens from adults in the church. Jeff Baxter has done a masterful job of communicating the powerful truth of teens and adults working together to transform the body of Christ. We need to listen, learn, and then start working toward this revolution...Together. Dr. David Olshine, Chair of Youth Ministries -- Dr. David Olshine

“Together is a visionary resource of practical guidance for youth and family ministers. Jeff Baxter places youth ministry at the heart of congregational life and anchors it to the core task of discipling. Congregations must become inclusive communities on the life journey together rather than loosely connected groups divided by generation and life situation. Together provides a road map for that journey.” Diana R. Garland, PhD., Dean, Baylor School of Social Work, Author of Family Ministry: A Comprehensive Guide -- Diana R. Garland, PhD

“It helps to know that we aren't crazy after all. Reading Jeff Baxter's thoughts on adults and teenagers becoming more interconnected affirms some of the things my own church and several others have been attempting to do that seem contrary to popular youth ministry---namely, not creating a flashy program that builds kids up for four years and then leaves them disconnected from the church at large. I've seen the pressure to settle there from both sides of the fence---as a professional youth worker who wanted to keep his job and now as a lead pastor who constantly is asked by prospective families, “What do you offer for teenagers?” Within these pages, Baxter hits on several core topics you'll need to know and apply in order to address those tensions with confidence and help lead the emerging generation into a fully alive relationship with Jesus Christ. Don't settle for anything less!” Tony Myles, Lead Pastor, Connection Church -- Tony Myles

“Anyone who has any level of interaction with adolescents---youth workers, senior pastors, Sunday school teachers, college professors, and coaches (to name a few)---will benefit greatly from Together. Jeff has written a well-documented, easily readable textbook that addresses not only how to understand the millennial generation, but also how to effectively disciple them. Together is specific in focus but broad in its application.” Dr. Kyle R. Greenwood, Assistant Professor of Old Testament -- Dr. Kyle R. Greenwood

“Together is a realistic picture of how the family can equip a generation of teens to respond to God’s call on their lives. Jeff’s emphasis on mindset over model is refreshing, sustainable, and most of all, in line with God’s plan for the family. For too long, there has been no synergy between youth ministry and the home. This isn’t just about parents partnering with their teens during the teenage years, but it is about establishing something transformative that will last into adulthood.” Chris Norman, Lead Pastor, Grace Gathering -- Chris Norman

“In his latest well-researched book, Together, Jeff Baxter persuasively presents a new way of thinking about youth ministry and then provides a clear plan for churches to implement this needed vision. I highly recommend this book for pastors, youth workers, and all those who care about the next generation.” Dr. Bill Jones, President, Columbia International University -- Bill Jones, , President

“Together is the book to fill the gap---not only the gap between adults and youth (which occurs normally between generations), but also the one between modern and postmodern (which is a gap on steroids today). Baxter has come along in the nick of time. Forget the fads---this is a must read for all who desire to see the church of Jesus Christ flourish today in our postmodern world.” Dr. Stephen R. Lewis, President, Rocky Mountain Bible College and Seminary -- Dr. Stephen R. Lewis, , President

“I’m not a youth ministry expert and can’t speak with any authority about the challenges youth leaders face. But as a father of four children, I resonate with Jeff Baxter’s emphasis on intergenerational ministry. My wife and I have been intentional about trying to expose our children to adults in a variety of settings and believe the web of relationships adolescents create will be missing critical threads without these important role models.” Steven Moore, President and CEO, The Mission Exchange, Author of Who Is My Neighbor? -- Steve Moore, , President

“Jeff Baxter has written an important and timely book for those serving in youth and family ministry! The unfortunate reality is that youth pastors are needed now more than ever. With families falling apart and parents abdicating their proper roles, kids need advocates to stand in the gap. Together is a much-needed corrective that brings into focus the necessary direction of youth ministry. Youth pastors should not and cannot do it alone. The witness of the church and the future of our children will depend on whether we adults are willing to stand Together and love on the coming generations. Jeff enables us to develop a new mindset in ministry to youth and families---a new dance that incorporates a holistic partnership of adults. This has to be the future of youth ministry!” Dr. Steven Bonner, Professor of Youth Ministry -- Dr. Steven Bonner, , Professor

A growing number of youth workers have been talking about the importance of intergenerational ministry when it comes to the spiritual nurture of teenagers, but very few have added any meaning or helpful words beyond ‘we have to do this.’ Jeff Baxter, thankfully, causes us to take a step back (so we understand the why of intergenerational ministry) and takes us several steps forward (with suggestions for how). Mark Oestreicher, Author of Youth Ministry 3.0 -- Mark Oestreicher, , Speaker

“The message of Together is vital for the church. Too many churches are full of social “silos” where departments and generations act independently of one another. It’s time we utilize the gifts of both adults and teens together and make some disciples. If Disney can get the whole family together for an animated movie, surely we can do it in the church. The stakes are so much higher. Read Jeff’s book and act on it.” Dr. Tim Elmore, Growing Leaders, Author of Generation iY: Our Last Chance to Save Their Future -- Dr. Tim Elmore, , Founder

“The transforming discipleship message of Together has been desperately needed by the church for a very long time! Dr. Baxter is presenting critical truths with practical answers, which could dramatically enhance long-term discipleship, slow the rapid turnover of youth pastors, and salvage a multitude of young adults who wander aimlessly away from the church when the youth party is over. I’m imagining with excitement new generations of kingdom laborers who will impact the world for Christ as a result of this strategic and biblical disciple-making tool!” Dr. Dwight Robertson, CEO/Founding President, Kingdom Building Ministries -- Dr. Dwight Robertson, , CEO

About the Author

Doctorate in Family Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary, Jeff is a pastor, author and has been a speaker and trainer in a variety of settings with youth, young adults, and adults. Jeff lives in Littleton, Colorado with his wife, Laurie, and their three children, Lillian, Levi, and Lara, where he is the Lead Pastor at River Church in Lakewood Colorado (RiverChurchMovement.org). Jeff blogs at sacredoutfitter.blogspot.com



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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan/Youth Specialties (December 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310578744
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310578741
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.5 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,318,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Together is a well-structured philosophy of why youth ministry needs to be thinking intergenerationally. As opposed to giving us a new model for ministry, Jeff Baxter goes about the work of helping the reader develop a new mindset for ministry.

With that in mind, Together considers the state of youth ministry and culture as well as a delving into adolescent development. While this information does provide a foundation for the why of intergenerational ministry, it may feel more like wading for the youth worker who is not seminary-trained. Yet, it is here that Baxter tries to help the reader understand barriers to developing an intergenerational mindset.

The last half of Together functions well on its own where Baxter develops the belief that "adolescents need to hear and experience a congruent message from a loving intergenerational body of believers who share the same convictions." He fleshes this out clearly and powerfully in the remaining chapters including the excellent illustration of The Parable of the Yepherd.

Together is not a quick read, but it would be well worth using as a guide for some honest conversations with your leadership team as you seek to develop an effective intergenerational ministry that makes sense in your context.
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