Teenagers. They are awesome yet scary. They are predictable yet full of surprises. Some things are the same yet things are always changing. Youth ministry is one of the greatest ways to serve in the Local church yet at times it can be a very difficult task. A youth pastor friend of mine, Paul Woods, says that Youth Pastors have to be dynamic speakers, counselors, and great administrators all before the age of 30. We all know this is impossible. How do we keep everything in the right perspective? How do we give ourselves wholly to the Word which is so needed in this day of lies yet still send kids home alive at the end of service? You may be like me and need a lot of help. I want to share three great books that have been huge helps to me during my first five years of Youth Ministry. Two books were recommended to me by those who have gone before and one I found in the clearance section.
1. Youth Ministry By The Book
This is such a refreshing read. There are so many things that cry for our attention as Youth Pastors but we will never go wrong if we keep the Scriptures central. You will make mistakes. The lights will fall during a sermon. The guitars will be out of tune. A parent will call you. Even though these things can be frustrating they make great memories, and trust me kids will not go to hell if the game stinks. However, you CANNOT fail to preach the Word and make disciples. Roger Glidewell speaks to us with passion for God’s glory and years of practical experience. Even if you don’t read any other book, you have to read this one.
2. Pushing the Limits- Unleashing the Potential of Student Ministry
This book is a treasure chest of all information relating to youth ministry and I found it in a clearance section. I would liken it to a Bachelor’s in Youth Ministry all rolled into a few pages. Youth Ministers and workers from all over the country combine their many years of experience into this one book. Topics range from theological principles, philosophy of youth ministry, discipleship, and many more. Sit down with a cup of coffee and learn from these contributors.
3. Sustainable Youth Ministry
This is an extremely practical resource that breaks down all of the different aspects of youth ministry into bite size chunks. Devries talks about how to get your schedule organized, how to keep track of your students, how to organize your teams, and how to communicate with the Senior leadership of your church. He also points you to some helpful downloadable resources found at www.ministryarchitects.com. This is a must have resource on every youth worker’s bookshelf.
Which books have helped shape your ministry?