- Hardcover: 128 pages
- Publisher: Zondervan/Youth Specialties (August 2, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0310285240
- ISBN-13: 978-0310285243
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,941,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Tale of Two Youth Workers: A Youth Ministry Fable Hardcover – August 2, 2009
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About the Author
Eric Venable grew up in the Silicon Valley and spent most of his life and twenty-two years of ministry in the tech capital. He has a special place in his heart for the early adolescent years and trains parents and youth workers to connect significantly with them. Eric has been a storyteller from a wee age and will tell stories to anyone at anytime. This is to the delight of his two young daughters and an embarrassment at times to his wife of 13 years, Pam. Eric is currently the pastor of students and families at Sunset Presbyterian Church in Portland, Oregon.
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The story centers around Wes, a young youth pastor who has just been hired by a large, successful church to head their large, successful youth ministry. After being at the church for a few months, Wes has encounters with two people that will change the way he does his job. The first is Doug, an influential teenager in his youth group, and the son of a prominent family in the church. The other is Britt, an older youth pastor at a smaller church in town.
When Doug abandons church because of doubts and then defects to Britt's youth group, it sends Wes into crisis mode. He has to know what made Doug choose Britt's youth group over his own. Britt agrees to share his ministry tips with Wes over the course of a few meetings at the local coffee shop.
Britt's secret to reaching questioning and doubting teens? Let them question and doubt. Britt states that part of the reason that youth ministries have no long term success is that so often youth pastors and parents coerce teens into saying all the right answers instead of listening to their concerns and guiding them to Jesus. The solution is to step back and be a guide, and let Jesus do the rest.
This book is a great vehicle to discuss the failures and success of youth ministry. The fact that it is an entertaining story just makes it even better.