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Before You Hire a Youth Pastor: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding the Right Fit Paperback – February 22, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark DeVries is the founder of Youth Ministry Architects (, a consulting team specializing in working with youth ministries in transition.  Mark is the author of Sustainable Youth Ministry and Family-Based Youth Ministry, and, since 1986, he has served as the Associate Pastor for Youth and Their Families at First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Jeff Dunn-Rankin is Vice President of Consulting for Youth Ministry Architects. Since the late '90s, he has also been the Director of Youth at Christ United Methodist Church in Venice, Florida. Other writing projects include his GROUP Magazine column and co-writing The Indispensable Youth Pastor with Mark DeVries.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 126 pages
  • Publisher: Simply Youth Ministry (February 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764470248
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764470240
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark founded YOUTH MINISTRY ARCHITECTS in 2002. And since 1986, he has served as the Associate Pastor for Youth and Their Families at First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee, where he continues to oversee the youth ministry on a part-time basis.

Mark has trained youth workers across the United States and Canada, as well as in Russia, Uganda, South Africa, Ecuador, Trinidad, Nicaragua, and Northern Ireland, working with a wide variety of denominations. He has taught courses or been a guest lecturer at a number of colleges and seminaries, including Princeton Theological Seminary (Princeton, NJ), Vanderbilt Divinity School (Nashville, TN), David Lipscomb University (Nashville, TN), Travecca Nazarene College (Nashville, TN), King College (Bristol, TN), Montreat College (Montreat, NC), William Tyndale College (Detroit, MI), Presbyterian College (Montreal, Quebec), Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte, NC), Tyndale Theological Seminary (Toronto, Canada) and Calvin College (Grand Rapids, MI).

Mark is the author of a number of books, including Sustainable Youth Ministry (IVP), Family-Based Youth Ministry (IVP, Revised and Expanded, 2004), and his articles and reviews have been published in a variety of magazines and journals, including The Christian Century, Theology Today, Group, and Youthworker Journal. Mark's writings have now been translated into Korean, Chinese, and Afrikaans.

Mark served as the general editor for The True Love Waits Bible. In recent years, he and his wife Susan co-authored (with their good friends Robert and Bobbie Wolgemuth) a flip-book on marriage entitled, The Most Important Year in a Woman's Life/ The Most Important Year in a Man's Life, which was nominated for the Gold Medallion Award. Mark has also contributed to a number of training manuals and textbooks, including Youth Ministry Handbook (Word, 2000), Starting Right (Zondervan, 2001), and Reaching A Generation For Christ (Moody, 1997), The New Interpreter's Bible Handbook for Preaching (Abingdon, 2007) and Jesus-Centered Youth Ministry (Group, 2007).

Mark graduated Summa Cum Laude from Baylor University in Waco, Texas with a B.A. in English and Greek in 1980, and from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1986 with a senior concentration in Youth Evangelism. Throughout these years spent in Waco and Princeton, Mark was involved in youth ministry--working with Young Life in both Waco and Montgomery, New Jersey and serving on the youth staff at the First United Methodist Church in Waco. Upon graduation from Princeton, he was awarded the first Robert Boyd Munger Youth Ministry prize.

For the past several years, Mark has been a presenter both for Homeword's "Understanding Your Teenager" seminar, as well as other Homeword parenting seminars. In addition to partnering occasionally with popular Christian musician, Mark Schultz, Mark is a frequent seminar speaker, training youth leaders at both the Youth Specialties' National Youth Workers Convention and the Simply Youth Ministry Youth Ministry Conference.

Mark lives in Nashville with Susan, his wife of 30 years, and grown children (when they choose to be in town): Adam, Adam's wife, Sara, Debbie, and Leigh. Mark and Susan have one grandchild with another on the way in fall 2010.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andrew A. Hedges on January 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
If you're looking for a youth worker, Before You Hire a Youth Pastor: A Step-By-Step Guide to Finding the Right Fit (2011) is a must-have. Using their experience with Youth Ministry Architects, DeVries and Dunn-Rankin have laid out a collection of easy-to-read chapters that provide clear steps for a team to find a sustainable fit for their church. Though the financials are shared with the candidate a little late in the process, the book brings a big-picture approach to the table that tends to be a weakness of many search teams.

The authors ask excellent questions to help a search team better evaluate who they are as a church before finding the best fit for their teens. As self-evaluation takes time, Before You Hire a Youth Pastor challenges search teams to slow down and not settle. The book also provides a number of appendices including sample interviews, letters and evaluation tools the team can use. With a resource such as this, churches could put an end to the revolving door of their youth ministry.

(Youthworker Journal, January/February 2012)
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By Leanne M. Zeck on June 25, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My church was overwhelmed with the prospect of beginning the hiring process. This book broke the process down into easy to handle steps. It has given us the hope of building a ministry not just hiring a pastor.
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