This journal made our shortlist of resources that are current, informative, and worth spending time on. John Roberto is a Catholic educator who has created an excellent journal that is full of research and specifics focused on faith formation throughout the lifetime. He gathers information in several different categories: adolescence, parenting, cross-generational, children's ministry, family ministry, ecumenical ministry and several more. I also had the opportunity to meet John Roberto had a gathering at the Rocky Mountain Synod and was deeply inspired and impressed by his information and imagination.
Special GIVE AWAY! John Roberto will send a free journal to several people! Just leave a comment and see if you win!!
What is great about this journal: The information is so current that it is like you are reading about people whom you know and see everyday! The viewpoint is one of not only promoting ministry that is working well in particular settings but in looking to the future of how spirituality is shaping and forming the next generation and ways in which we must engage in the world. John Roberto has 40 years of experience (which MIGHT make him sound like 'one of those old white guys', but he totally gets it! He is totally in today and tomorrow!) which shines through in a positive way by the people he has contributing to this journal and in his own words that are not so much a message of 'do more' but 'go deep'. He does the legwork, is creative and forward thinking, and he has the research to back in him up-whew!
What is a challenge about the journal: This is an academic journal, which is great for some and can be a turn off for others. Some of the articles are so detailed that it can be hard to get through them. However, you can also pick and choose what you are most interested in focusing on and save the others for another time.
I recommend this journal for....
* solid, current information
* inspirational stories of ministry that is out of the box
* information that is truly cross+generational and pertains to all walks of life
* colleagues to read and discuss together
* for using key articles with pastoral/staff teams, ministry teams, councils, etc.
* strong academic, theological, and ministry application reading that is not a whole book!
This journal has a website that is an excellent resource itself. At www.lifelongfaith.com you can investigate the site and get the current newsletter downloaded as a pdf. Additionally if you create a free account you have access to several articles for free. You also have the option to subscribe to the printed journal for $36 for one year or $64 for two. My recommendation is to join the site for free and read a couple of the articles to see what tickles your fancy. Here are a list of my favorite articles by category so you can pick which area you are most interested in and then just read that article. Then you can decide if you are interested in the subscription. All the articles listed below can be found for free in the website after you join.
Being a Child, Becoming a Christian by Karen Marie Yust: While the title leaves something to be desired (I do not like implying that children are not already Christians and that somehow it's something you attain instead of way of life) it is a good article on how experience and open questions are key to faith formation in children. She focuses in on worship and education as a way to offer spiritual tools for life and she goes through each age category (infants/toddlers, preschoolers, lower & upper elementary) with care and precision.
Best Practices in Children's Faith Formation by John Roberto and Katie Pfiffner: The authors lay out 6 key practices and include worship, education, and intergenerational experience as components at the heart of children's ministry. This is an excellent article for those working with children including children's ministry teams and pastoral staff who need more information on our youngest.
Best Practices in Adolescent Faith Formation by John Roberto: A thorough and well done review of faith practices with adolescence that are meaningful, inviting, and deepening. Features 7 key practices with detailed analysis and examples including contemplative youth ministry practices and experience rich youth ministry. A must read for those working with teens!
Worship and the Formation of Christian Identity in Youth by Fred P. Edie: A professor from Duke university writes about the hows and whys of integrating youth into worship planning, experience, and leadership. Excellent article that could also be used in educating a pastoral team or worship planning team.
Parents Share by Marilyn Sharpe Excellent and succinct article on a parenting support group that has been going for 30 years. Founder and author Marilyn Sharpe shares the story and how tos of her experience. Must read if you are looking to start or help someone start a parent group.
Faith Formation for Every Adult in Your Church--It's Possible Today! by John Roberto: Another article by John himself detailing best practices and principles of developing adult education. Remember, faith is a LIFELONG journey and so can be our education and experiences together!
There are so many more! Happy Reading! Don't forget to comment!
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