Judson Press book offers new approaches to Christian education, discipleship with black millennials

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 1/16/18)—Many churches today confront an aging membership and a noticeable absence of young adults in the pews. How can leaders begin to reach emerging generations with meaningful ministry that offers mature faith formation—keeping them involved in the local church? In his debut project, “Black Millennials & the Church: Meet Me Where I Am,” the Rev. Dr. Joshua L. Mitchell addresses this dilemma with research, real-life illustrations and a bit of humor.

“The more I reviewed the literature, the more I saw the need for research and writing focused on black millennials because the findings and assertions about ‘all’ millennials and their faith formation did not seem to ring true with what I was experiencing in the African-American community and the black church,” Mitchell writes in the book’s introduction.

Based on the Matthew 14 story about Jesus and the apostle Peter walking on water, and drawing on a nationwide study of African-American young adults, this book provides readers with valuable insights, specific ministry principles, and programming proposals to use in their own church contexts.

“For those seeking groundbreaking research combined with practical applications, look no further,” notes F. Douglas Powe Jr., director of Lewis Center for Church Leadership and James C. Logan Professor of Evangelism at Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, D.C. “If you serve as pastor, attend, or have the slightest interest in black church ministry, then read this book!”

Adds the Rev. Dr. Brianna Parker, founding curator, Black Millennial Café: “He [Mitchell] writes toward the goal of a healthy, intergenerational church inspired by the work of all and enhanced by the gifts of the body as a whole through Christian education and cultural progression. Churches and pastors will benefit from the stories shared by black millennials in this volume.”

Mitchell serves as minister to youth and college students at Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, Houston, and is founder and CEO of Digital Discipleship LLC, a consulting firm dedicated to equipping churches to effectively engage millennials of color. He is an ordained Baptist minister and contributor to several Christian publications. His nationwide research in black millennials has made him a respected speaker, preacher and teacher.

Founded in 1824, Judson Press is a publishing ministry of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies, American Baptist Churches USA. It is committed to producing Christ-centered leadership resources for the transformation of individuals, congregations, communities, and cultures.

American Baptist Home Mission Societies partners with American Baptists to promote Christian faith, cultivate Christ-centered leaders and disciples, and bring healing and transformation to communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.

American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.