As a young adult who is a pastor, my heart is grieved over the state of the church with young people. There is no question young adults, even those who have grown up in the church, do not want to have anything to do with the church. Consequently, they leave. So what is the church to do? This is the question Ken Ham seeks to answer in his book Ready to Return: Bringing Back the Church’s Lost Generation. Ham informs the church of the battle she is facing and briefly lays out a game plan to reach this young generation for Christ.
Ken Ham first sets out to alarm the reader to the problem we are facing. His methodology for waking the church up is by giving statistics of this young adult population. The statistics certainly are helpful in observing how young adults who have grown up in church perceive the faith. He correctly informs the church the problem we are addressing with young adults now did not begin with their high school days but they stem from middle school and even elementary. Ken Ham rightfully pinpoints the ultimate issue at hand: “Who says?”—the issue of authority. He writes, “Christians who are fighting for a return to biblical morality cannot hope to win this ‘war of the worldviews’ unless they understand that the real foundational nature of the battle is biblical authority…” (Ham 58).
While I appreciate Ham’s work on the previous two points, I disagree on how he goes about resolving them. In chapter 9, he seems to make the argument that parents, as much as they are able, should take their children out of public school. I understand the reasoning he gives but I am uncertain of whether it is truly the best application. On the issue of biblical authority, Ham seems to call those who do not hold to a “young earth” view as compromising. He attempts to clear up the disagreement is not one of heresy but he still prods the issue throughout the book. It would have been helpful to have a note of clarification on the distinction between macroevolution and microevolution (for such a clarification, see this article from The Village Church).
After 8 chapters of laying out the reality, Ken Ham gives the reader a game plan to minister and reach out to this young generation. I am grateful he begins with the home, the spiritual leadership of the father, and looks to the church as the second area of influence. I wish these two points in chapter 9 were developed more fully. To reach this generation, it is crucial to implement a relational and intergenerational dynamic. Although he does address this in chapter 9, it would have been beneficial to take more time on it. Chapter 7, called “Jesus and the Ark”, could have been condensed because, in regards to the subject of the book, a whole chapter devoted to the topic seemed a little long. Still, Ken Ham does point to the fact if young adults are going to make a return it will be through relationships in the home and in the church.
Ready to Return by Ken Ham is a great resource to wake the church up to the problem it is facing with this young generation leaving the church. While I do not necessarily agree with all of his points and his solutions, his heart for this generation is clear. The church must realize the issue we are facing and be willing to do something about it. Ken Ham is ready and he challenges the reader to be ready too.
I received this book for free from Master Books via Cross Focused Reviews for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.