Mike Hayes co-founded BustedHalo.com with Father Brett Hover in December 2001 and serves as their managing editor. He is also the president of the board of directors for the National Catholic Young Adult Ministry Association. For the past five years Hayes has worked within the Catholic Church trying to discern the needs of young adults (those between the ages of 18 and 39, both married and single). He has uncovered a wealth of material pertaining to their identity, longings, beliefs, affiliations, and vocational pursuits. Generation X (born between 1964 and 1979) and the Millennials (born after 1980) have been influenced by three factors:
• Young adults often assume that they can Google God: "a large percentage of young adults believe that instant gratification is merely a click of a mouse or a touch of a button away and that they can apply this to every area of their life, religion included."
• Understanding information overload is key. The plethora of available knowledge makes it difficult to define true religious longing.
• Young adults, as a whole, are a generation of diversity.
In this ambitious paperback, Hayes presents a map of young adult life in America and then puts forward some ideas for a ministerial approach to these individuals. Using research from Father Jim Bacik and Mary Anne Reese, the author discusses seven different types of young adult religious identities eclipsed, private, ecumenical, evangelical, sacramental, prophetic, and communal. In order to meet this diversity of paths, Hayes suggests ministerial approaches that emphasize a digital spirit, openness to dialogue, an emphasis on mystery and social justice, and a respect for life-giving community.
Also included here are interviews with six Millennials and six Gen Xers about their experiences with the church and their spiritual yearnings. The last two chapters offer specific ideas for starting a young adult ministry and Internet and other media resources. This is a helpful and handy guidebook for Catholic young adult ministry but its ideas may be useful to other religious communities as well.