Engaging a New Generation

Engaging a New Generation

$20.95 (tax excl.)

Reaching teens has always been a challenge. Add in the swirl of rapidly transforming culture and technology and…

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Reaching teens has always been a challenge. Add in the swirl of rapidly transforming culture and technology and no wonder today’s teens are MIA at most traditional youth ministry offerings.

It’s the “elephant in the sanctuary” – today’s teens are more likely to look at confirmation as their exit from Catholicism, rather than their initiation into the faith. Sadly, many never return.

But how do we reach this new breed of teens? The formulas that worked with teens a generation or two ago, are now met with polite indifference. Today, young people prefer substance over sensation – involvement over indulgence.  They hunger for authentic relationships. They long for spiritual experiences that are firmly rooted in truth and dignity.

Engaging a New Generation critically examines our commonly held assumptions as well as  our often-used models and methodologies initially developed to reach late Baby Boomer and Generation X teens. It then introduces you to the core characteristics of the Millennial Generation teens and the pastoral implications, where the operational and ministerial borders are expanding far beyond traditional youth ministry.

“This text fills a great need. Anyone working with youth will want to read it. You will better understand the religious and spiritual lives of the young and how to engage them as disciples of Jesus. It provides a wealth of ways to reach the young.”

-Bishop Gerry Kicanas, Bishop of Tucson

“In Engaging a New Generation, Frank Mercadante masterfully and succinctly outlines some of the big shifts that have taken place within culture and the church. He’s captured some of the changes that are present in the lives and customs of contemporary teens and how we, as Catholic communities, need to re-frame our efforts to minister to them. Frank provides a great service here…. he names current realities we feel and see with precision and then offers insights and directions to help those who desire to serve, love and bring young people to Christ.

This book doesn’t shy away from challenges; on the contrary, Frank is faithfully prophetic. He offers pointed, solid advice filled with hope as he lays out what parents, teachers, coaches, ministers and other adults can do to support and engage young people with a vibrant, living faith. A superb reflection and powerful overview of the contemporary context and challenges of Catholic youth ministry.”

-Mike Patin, International Catholic Speaker and “Faith Horticulturist”

“If you are looking for insight into today’s young people, read this book! If you are looking for a 21st century vision of youth ministry, read this book! If you want to help young people develop a vibrant, life-transforming faith, read this book! Let Frank Mercadante be your guide to effective ministry with young people and teach you how to become a faith-filled matchmaker for young people!”

-John Roberto, LifelongFaith Associates 

“Whoever wants the next generation of Catholic youth the most will get them. It is not enough just to entertain them, that is a failed model of the past. We need to engage them in a conversation and experience of the genius of Catholicism. Let Frank Mercadante show you how!”

-Matthew Kelly, New York Times bestselling author of Rediscover Catholicism and founder of Dynamiccatholic.com

“As I read Frank’s book, the words of Jesus continually rang in my mind: “No one pours new wine into old wineskins.” Yet we as a Church often hope to reach today’s young people with yesterday’s approach—and then wonder why they don’t respond. Frank Mercadante’s excellent book, Engaging a New Generation, empowers adults with a new cultural perspective on youth culture and challenges those who work with the young church to not just educate or entertain this new generation, but to engage them. This book is a must read for anyone who hopes to pass on the faith to teenagers today.”

-Bob Rice, Speaker, Author, Musician, and Professor of Catechetics at Franciscan University of Steubenville

“By expanding our vocabulary for what is right before our eyes, Frank Mercadante opens contemporary opportunities for youth ministry. We can look forward with more hope and joy. By knowing why certain plans work, we have a better chance to repeat them. Engaging a New Generation is as much about vibrant parish faith as it is about our young people.“

-Bishop Timothy Doherty, Lafayette in Indiana

“Frank Mercadante has used his vast experience in youth ministry to craft a modern manifesto for reaching young people today.  We all know that teenagers have changed, and that we MUST do something different to reach them.  This book gives the why and the how. It’s a must-read for today’s youth ministers, teachers, and catechists – even parents!”

-Jim Beckman, Director of Youth Evangelization & Leadership, Augustine Institute.

“Frank Mercadante’s passion for the young Church and his commitment to a comprehensive approach to pastoral ministry is evident on every page of Engaging a New Generation: A Vision for Reaching Catholic Teens. His book provides an analysis of the ‘territory’ for youth ministry; including an overview of the postmodern world, current research on the millennial generation, and a review of parish life. Frank then offers a ministry ‘map’, a vision for effectively navigating that territory, and he provides concrete descriptions of a ministry structure that fosters effective ministry. Central to this work is Frank’s concept of ‘immanuelizing’, anchoring our understanding of evangelization in a ministerial approach that is experiential, incarnational, and communal. Engaging a New Generation is now on my list of  ‘must read’ books on Catholic youth ministry.”

-Bob McCarty, D.Min., Executive Director National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry

“This book comes from deep inside the field of youth ministry and is the work of a successful and reflective practitioner. It is theological, sociological, practical, pastoral, and scriptural. Frank gets the reader completely current and thoroughly up to date then offers directions that have worked for him.”

– Dr. Mike Carotta, author of Have Faith and Spirit and Truth.

“The Catholic Church is being impacted by sharp cultural transformations that are negatively impacting ministry with young people. Frank Mercadante clearly identifies these cultural shifts and shares important current research on youth and families. He also proposes an incarnational approach to evangelizing youth and families that addresses these cultural shifts. This is an important contribution to re-visioning adolescent catechesis and Catholic youth ministry for the twenty-first century.”

-Jeffrey Kaster, Ed.D,, Saint John’s University School of Theology and Seminary, Collegeville.

“This book is the most significant resource I have read, not only for youth ministry but for parish ministry, in the last ten years.  If you want to know how the Church can respond to the youth of today, read this book.”

Peter Denio, Standards for Excellence Coordinator The National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management

“Frank Mercadante is in it to win it for today’s teens. Engaging A New Generation gives powerful insight into teens today and presents an emphasis on the need for relational ministry led by individuals who themselves are following the Popes call for a “New Evangelization” through living authentic and on fire Catholic lives.”

-Randy Raus, Life Teen President / CEO

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