Christ Tompkins, Don Posterski and John McAuley
Westbow Press, 2011, 162 pp., $14.99
In Elastic Morality, the authors provide a clear picture of the story in which young adults are living today. It is a story they did not create but have inherited from previous generations. They have grown to value diversity, resist judgment, extend acceptance, embrace mystery and stretch boundaries. In this story, the young adults who are leading others in the name of Jesus are “willing to stretch what they believe and how they behave to accommodate others.” As such, talk of faith and spirituality feels very elastic, and it is a common struggle for youth workers today.
Tompkins, Posterski and McAuley have crafted thoughtful questions for these young adults and have shared the responses in a way that accurately portrays a sharp image of how young adults view the world and why. For seasoned youth workers, many of the responses may not surprise you, but the authors have revealed well-defined handles with which we can grab onto as we engage young adults and become active participants in the story they are living. Young adults not only need guidance, but they “crave meaningful relationships with adults they respect.”
Elastic Morality doesn’t leave us wondering how to connect with young adults and forge such meaningful relationships. Rather, the authors take time to give us guidance as to how to become part of the conversation with today’s young adults. Not only do the authors pause to facilitate interactive conversations throughout the book, but they enable us to move forward with a practical method of “See-Stretch-Support” to equip readers to understand, guide and encourage the new generation of Jesus followers. Elastic Morality is an excellent guide for parents, youth workers and church leadership teams to begin reframing their ministry and influence to be more relevant and effective today and for the years ahead.