59 of 59 people found the following review helpful
My all-time favorite book on youth ministry,
This review is from: Family-Based Youth Ministry: Reaching the Been-There, Done-That Generation (Paperback)
I have written and edited Christian education curriculum for teens for more than 25 years, I've edited a Christian magazine for youth for 9 years, I've edited a journal for youth workers for 8 years, and edited youth ministry books. I majored in Christian education with an emphasis on youth ministry. So I've seen quite a bit of what's out there on this subject.
Far and away, this is my favorite book on youth ministry. In my present role as a church consultant, this is the only book on youth ministry I give to the youth pastors at the churches where I am consulting.
But a lot of people in youth ministry won't share my opinion. Why? Because this book advocates a basic approach to youth ministry that is so different from what we're used to that most youth pastors are not comfortable with it. A pastor recently told me that they interviewed several candidates for a family-based youth ministry position. None of the youth ministry candidates they interviewed had any clue about how to do family-based youth ministry, so they didn't hire any of them.
Here's the heart of this book. The purpose of youth ministry is to produce adult disciples. What predicts whether a teen will ten years later be an adult disciple? It's not youth group attendance. It's not attending the teen Sunday school class. So, what is it? Give up? It is the quality of the teen's relationship with one or more mature Christian adults.
Kids who just plug into youth group but don't develop close friendships with mature Christian adults are not likely to be in church ten years later. Building a youth ministry around teen-adult relationships--including both parents and others--sounds revolutionary to us. Chances are it would have sounded just normal to the New Testament church. If you care about teens, and if you dare to open yourself to a radically different way of structuring the church's ministry to and with them, you need this book.
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