November Book Review
Kara E. Powell and Chap Clark, Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids
(Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011), 222 pages, $14.99.
Kara Powell and Chap Clark both teach at Fuller Theological Seminary. This book presents findings from research that has been shared at times through two important Fuller websites: fulleryouthinstitute.org
The concern that drives this research is the estimated 40-50% of youth who leave a church or youth group environment and then depart from practices of faith in college. In other words, for many, faith does not “stick” beyond the high school experience. Identified crucial
issues are preparation for college, managing the initial weeks of transition, and the whole “first-year” experience. Specific needs of youth transitioning into the college are (1) drawing boundaries around new-found freedom(s) and (2) feeling a sense of connected friendships.
identifies relationships and habits, developed prior to college, that seem necessary to give young people the tools and motivation to integrate faith practices and priorities into college life.
Today’s youth of all ages need to (1) be able to define their faith, (2) be able to develop a Christ-like faith in relationship to good modeling in the family, (3) be shaped by a “web of relationships” within the church, including intergenerational contexts, and (4) be
involved in justice concerns. The research, theory, and practical suggestions for these areas are excellent. Suggested models are church- centered, rather than private and individualistic. A further section, “A Sticky Bridge Out of Home,” centers in on the specifics of
launching a young person directly into the college environment (sending out rituals, preparing for the first two weeks after arrival, connecting with campus ministries and churches, bringing wisdom to new found freedom). The final section on “The Ups and Downs of the
Sticky Faith Journey” reminds us all of the variable human condition amidst the dependable, loving grace of our God. Highly recommended
for parents and youth ministers/workers.
Reviewed by Dr. Rollin A. Ramsaran, Professor of New Testament.