Tag Archives: Mark Devries

Top 10 Youth or Student Ministry Books

Here are a few that I would recommend (put in order of my favorites):

  1. Family Based Youth Ministryby Mark DeVries (My youth pastor growing up had me read this.  It redefined for me the role of the youth pastor, and my philosophy was forever changed.)
  2. The Greenhouse Projectby Mel Walker & Mike Calhoun (A collection of writings from some of my favorite people in youth ministry)
  3. Youth Ministry Management Tools (This book is awesome as a resource.  Not for simple reading, but will help you with administration – planning events, budget, team-building, etc.)
  4. Purpose Driven Youth Ministryby Doug Fields (Classic that reshaped youth ministry to what it is today, in a good way)
  5. Shaping the Spiritual Life of Studentsby Richard Dunn (One of the first youth ministry books I read, and loved the insight of walking along students in their lives)
  6. Pushing the Limitsby Mel Walker
  7. Sustainable Youth Ministryby Mark DeVries (One of my prayers is longevity in ministry, this book will help)
  8. ReThinkby Steve Wright
  9. Controlled Chaosby Kurt Johnston (Jr. High ministry, could you tell by the title?)
  10. 4 Hour Youth Ministryby Timothy Eldred (Want to get more efficient, or your teens more involved, here ya go)

Honorary Mention:  You Lost Me by David Kinnaman; Already Gone by Ken Ham

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Book Review: The Indispensible Youth Pastor

Who doesn’t want to be indispensable in their job/ministry?  Even if you want to be fired, let go, or are just plain miserable…well this still is the book for you.  A book to help you land, love and lock in your youth ministry dream job.  Can a book really provide all of those things?  Well, let me share with you my thoughts:

The Good

In my reading, there are few books out there that provide a more comprehensive look at the youth ministry position.  Furthermore, the word that this book screams above most other books is PRACTICAL.  If you are looking for a practical book to give you practices, models, organization, and overall ministry operation, then get this book in your hands.

From how to get a position, to maintaining a position, to excelling in that said position…the book takes you through each step.  Many of the personal lessons that were learned in these chapters I too had to learn the hard way.  Maybe this book can save you from those tough times.

If there was a target audience for this book, it would be youth ministry major or youth interns.  They HAVE to read this book as part of their training.  There is too much practical information for them to miss, and they need to pick up this book for, if any reason, so they can avoid some of the lumps along the way.

The Bad

If you read my blog, you know I hate this part.  I hate saying anything bad about people’s books.  I could never be a food critic or movie critic…unless it was the movie Hocus Pocus or any Barbie movie ever made (I have two daughters, in case you are wondering).

Anyways, here we go.  One problem I guess I had was the book was very general theologically.  The last chapter tried to save it, but because there was such a wide audience, I felt there was little theological direction for some of the topics.  That had, in large part, to do with the intent of the book to be practical.  You could say well go read Crazy Love or Knowing God if you want that, but I guess I want that in any ministry book I read.

Grade: B+

Currently Reading (future book reviews):  Reformed Pastor, Rescuing Ambition, Barbarian Way

Hope to post reviews to these books in due time.


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