As we open the doors to 2015, it’s time to think about how we will grow and expand our understanding of youth ministry. Each year, I like to make a list of books that I plan to read. This list includes books I already own, books I still need to buy, books that haven’t come out yet, and books that have been out for years.
This list isn’t exhaustive. I pray I get the opportunity to read more than five books in 2015, but these are simply five youth ministry books in my reading queue. My youth ministry launch pad for 2015. But to be fair, they aren’t all necessarily directed at youth ministry…what?! Yes, that’s right, youth pastors can learn about youth ministry from books not about youth ministry!
If you have read these, I would love to hear your thoughts. If you haven’t, take a look and see if they deserve your time as well!
Here are 5 Youth Ministry Books for 2015:
1. Youth Ministry in Post-Christian World by Brock Morgan
Per Amazon: “Youth Ministry in a Post-Christian World is the collection of humble, story-driven, pragmatic and Jesus-focused reflections of a fellow youth worker forced to reconsider everything he knew about youth ministry: everything except the gospel, that is.”
2. Age of Opportunity: Lessons from the New Science of Adolescence by Laurence Steinberg
Per Amazon: “In Age of Opportunity, Steinberg leads readers through a host of new findings — including groundbreaking original research — that reveal what the new timetable of adolescence means for parenting 13-year-olds (who may look more mature than they really are) versus 20-somethings (who may not be floundering even when it looks like they are). He also explains how the plasticity of the adolescent brain, rivaling that of years 0 through 3, suggests new strategies for instilling self-control during the teenage years. Packed with useful knowledge, Age of Opportunity is a sweeping book in the tradition of Reviving Ophelia, and an essential guide for parents and educators of teenagers.“
Per Amazon: “The youth ministry focus of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life is often forgotten or overlooked, even though he did much work with young people and wrote a number of papers, sermons, and addresses about or for the youth of the church. However, youth ministry expert Andrew Root explains that this focus is central to Bonhoeffer’s story and thought. Root presents Bonhoeffer as the forefather and model of the growing theological turn in youth ministry. By linking contemporary youth workers with this epic theologian, the author shows the depth of youth ministry work and underscores its importance in the church. He also shows how Bonhoeffer’s life and thought impact present-day youth ministry practice.“
4. Hopecasting: Finding, Keeping, and Sharing the Things Unseen by Mark Oestreicher
Per Amazon: “Why are some people full of hope, while many of us struggle to get past the snooze alarm? Hope often seems elusive—both to explain and to experience. So we find ourselves instead clinging to lesser substitutes. From self-medication to lazy clichés, we apply these balms to our pain and experience little to no comfort. But we know, in our guts, that these replacements aren’t the hope-filled lives we long for, the lives we were made for. Mark Oestreicher gets it. Through hard-wrought experience and robust-bordering-on-desperate theological reflection, he offers here a fresh perspective on Hope, that virtue that God carries to us even as God carries us. Read Hopecasting and discover a good God casting hope your way.“
5. Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City by Timothy Keller
Per Amazon: “In Center Church, Timothy Keller offers challenging insights and provocative questions based on over twenty years of ministry in New York City. This book outlines a theological vision for ministry – applying classic doctrines to our time and place – organized around three core commitments: • Gospel-centered: The gospel of grace in Jesus Christ changes everything, from our hearts to our community to the world. It completely reshapes the content, tone and strategy of all that we do. • City-centered: With a positive approach toward our culture, we learn to affirm that cities are wonderful, strategic and underserved places for gospel ministry. • Movement-centered: Instead of building our own tribe, we seek the prosperity and peace of our community as we are led by the Holy Spirit.“
What’s on your youth ministry reading list for 2015? Comment Below!