Book Review: Pushing the Limits by Mike Calhoun & Mel Walker

Okay, so those that are reading my blog realize that I read these backwards.  I read the sequel “The Greenhouse Project” before its predecessor “Pushing the Limits”.  That’s like trying to understand Back to the Future II, without seeing the first one.   Anyways, just wanted to share some thoughts with you, and grade this book:

The Good:

  1. Tested Bungee-Jumpers  – I always have wondered how bungee jumping is tested before jumpers go…and how they don’t hit their head.  But anyways, before I would ever do that, I would want to see some tested results.  Well, you don’t have that problem here.  This book has been tested.  Many of the authors are veteran youth pastors who have been there, done that.  So you can trust what they say has been put to the test.
  2. Practical – The information is practical.  There were several times when I stopped reading so I could write down an idea to implement.  Ideas about getting into public schools, relationships with parents and forming a youth ministry team were easy “plug-in and plays”.
  3. Biblical – Don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of any youth ministry book that isn’t Bible-based.  Well, this book is certainly not short on Biblical reasons for what they have to say.  I appreciate that.  Where do you get a vision, where do we get our mission, where do you find purpose….answer those with THE BIBLE.  This book does that.

The Bad:

  1. Excuse me, can you be more specific? – Occasionally, would be generalized statements.  To be fair, this had to be done because no youth ministry is the same.  But my enjoyment came when I read real ways to do things such as:  Guides to event planning, specific outreaches to do in public schools, characteristics of a youth leader…all these were found in the book.  I want more specifics…that’s what I likey.
  2. Where is the student voice? – I realize not everyone is an offspring of Joshua Harris, but that doesn’t mean they can’t write a chapter.  I would have loved to hear a collection from the students.  Surveys of students would also have been cool to see.  Just a thought.

Overall, I enjoyed the book.  It was so practical and encouraging to me as a youth pastor.  Need a stick to poke that fire in your heart…this book can do that.

In case you missed it, here is my review on “The GreenHouse Effect”.

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