The Center for Youth Ministry Training has a lengthy, informative review of Kenda Creasy Dean’s provocative book, Almost Chrsitian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers Is Telling the American Church. Here’s an excerpt:
Four characteristics tend to accompany consequential faith in teenagers
Dean names four characteristics (or cultural tools) that occur with regularity in those whom the NSYR found to be highly devoted. First, teens with consequential faith tend to have “a creed to believe” and were able to articulate their beliefs about a God who was both personal and powerful (71). Second, teens with consequential faith tend to have a “community to belong to”—they find identity within their congregations and have a significant number of adults with whom they can speak about issues of faith and life (73). Third, teenagers whose faith makes a difference in their lives evidence a “call to live out”—they understand their lives as being oriented by a divine vocation on behalf of others rather than being oriented to pursuit of self (75). Fourth, consequential faith seems to come attached with a “hope to hold onto”—a belief that their lives are caught up in a larger story that’s “going somewhere” because it is guided by God (77).