Faith Forward coverFaith Forward: A Dialogue on Children, Youth, and a New Kind of Christianity
dited by David M. Csinos and Melvin Bray

Knowing how to nurture faith in young people is a challenge, particularly when we want to encourage a faith that is generous, innovative, and contextual. Faith Forward: A Dialogue on Children, Youth, and a New Kind of Christianity gathers 21 presentations from the 2012 “Children, Youth, and a New Kind of Christianity” conference held in Washington, D.C., and makes them available for those in ministry with children and youth, pastors, parents, professors – anyone called to help young people on their journey of faith. Authors and attendees alike came from several countries and many denominational inflections. Likewise, the chapters express various contemporary takes on Christian faith and discipleship.

This book is a gold mine of information and inspiration for those seeking to engage children and youth in respectful conversation, exploration, and learning in today’s complex world. If you are seeking grassroots, forward-thinking, ecumenical, innovative, and collaborative ways to do children and youth ministry, then this book provides the material to move you in that direction.


WLBinc_logo_plusNameFeaturing chapters by Brian McLaren, John Westerhoff, Ivy Beckwith, Almeda Wright, Tony Campolo, Joy Carroll Wallis, Joyce Mercer and Dori Baker, Samir Selmanovic, and many others. With an introduction by Shane Claiborne.

Click here to order.



“A seminal book in every sense of that word.” –PHYLLIS TICKLE, author of The Great Emergence and Emergence Christianity

Faith Forward is full of light and warmth. It is a treasure for coming generations, and present ones as well.” –EBOO PATEL, Founder and President, Interfaith Youth Core, and author of Acts of Faith and Sacred Ground

“A treasure trove of wisdom from leaders who share the best of what they have to offer in the quest to nurture faith and spirituality among the young.” –PARKER J. PALMER,  author of Healing the Heart of Democracy, The Courage to Teach, and Let Your Life Speak

“This book has the right priority and I hope many people read it.” –JIM WALLIS, President, Sojourners, and author of God’s Politics and On God’s Side

“All the world religions are finding it very hard to pass on their faith to the next generation in a mature way. How do you make faith something real, personal, and loving, while still honest, intelligent, and inclusive? It takes real pastoral and practical genius to do this–and here it is!” –FR. RICHARD ROHR, O.F.M., Center for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque, New Mexico

“A great gift and a magnificent challenge.” –VINCENT G. HARDING, Co-founder and Chairperson, Veterans of Hope, and Professor Emeritus of Religion and Social Transformation, Iliff School of Theology

“Why do we try to give children a version of Christianity that hasn’t worked for so many adults? Faith Forward challenges us to rethink how we offer the gospel to children and youth without the baggage our generation has added to it.” –MARY HAWES, National Children’s Advisor, Church of England

“An invaluable book for anyone seriously interested in doing effective ministry with children and youth in the 21st century.” –JEREMIAH A. WRIGHT JR., Pastor Emeritus, Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago, Illinois

“This is an invaluable resource for Christian leaders who – like the hockey superstar – are skating not to where the puck is, but to where it is going to be.” –REGINALD W. BIBBY, Board of Governors Research Chair, Department of Sociology, University of Lethbridge

“This is a book that will challenge you and draw you into the fusion of new thoughts and actions.” –ANDREW ROOT, author of The Relational Pastor, The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry, and the Theological Journey through Youth Ministry Series

“Read this book with a pencil nearby. Read this book if you want to draw outside the lines of ministry with children and youth. Taste from the potluck of stories, ideas, and challenges from a remarkable group of women and men who care about how faith is nurtured and lived with all of God’s children.” –ELIZABETH F. CALDWELL, Harold Blake Walker Professor of Pastoral Theology, McCormick Theological Seminary

“When David Csinos, Melvin Bray, and others assembled 450 youth ministry and children’s ministry leaders for the CYNKC conference in Washington, D.C., something truly extraordinary happened. They curated an ingenious environment in which prophetic imagination erupted, birthing innovative ways of thinking and dreaming about a new Christian renaissance of spiritual formation and living for children and youth in the world through the church of Jesus Christ. This book gives you a glimpse into some of the ideas that fueled this generative dialogue and will invite you to join the dialogue as God’s Spirit woos us into God’s good future.” –MIKE KING, President of Youthfront, Executive Editor of Immerse Journal, author of Presence-Centered Youth Ministry

“The old institutions of Western Christianity have passed away. In Faith Forward you have the opportunity to listen to the pioneers of the coming era. Listen and be inspired by the creative, enlivening, and compassionate forms of community that emerge from those called to cultivate the freedom of Jesus among our children and youth.” –MARK YACONELLI, author of Contemplative Youth Ministry

“Faith Forward makes important contributions to the discussion of how young people will participate in emerging church communities… With twenty-one widely varied chapters to choose from, it’s a book that can be enjoyed as the topics call to you.” –CATHERINE MARESCA, Director of the Center for Children and Theology, Washington, D.C.

“Don’t be fooled, this book is not just for those involved in children’s and youth ministry! It’s for all adults willing to wrestle with their own faith development. Before inspiring your next Sunday school plan, I hope this book challenges you to examine your own assumptions about what it means to be Christian today.” –JOANNA SHENK, editor of Widening the Circle: Experiments in Christian Discipleship and co-producer of the Iconocast podcast

“If you are looking to be engaged by some innovative and forward-thinking ideas about 21st-century children’s and youth ministry, Faith Forward is a stimulating read. Moving us beyond the status quo, each chapter gives us a new lens for practicing a new evangelization.” –FRANK MERCADENTE, founder and Executive Director, Cultivation Ministries

“What I love about Faith Forward is the breadth of the conversation and richness of the stories of its contributors. The narratives in these chapters are adventurous, inspiring, provocative, courageous, and full of practical wisdom. They invite us not simply to do things differently to young people, but to seek to become with them the kind of church that God is (re)shaping.” –CRAIG MITCHELL, Director of Christian Education and Discipleship, Adelaide College of Divinity and Flinders University, South Australia