Let us start by saying it is really humbling to be given a position to help other Youth Pastors and Leaders when we ourselves are still learning so much every day about God, ministry and teens. We definitely do not have all the answers but we are actively searching, praying and studying on how we can win this generation to Christ.
We would like to share one factor in our ministry that has made our lives incredibly easier. And that factor is reading.
I had a mentor about six years ago tell me, “There are two ways to learn in life, #1 is your mistakes and #2 is reading about other’s mistakes.” He then smiled at me and said, “It’s easier to read about other’s mistakes and do the right thing.”
I’ve heard John Maxwell say that not all readers are leaders but all real leaders are readers. I find myself totally agreeing with John Maxwell and one of my mentors. In ministry you will face an incredible amount of challenges. The only way to navigate the majority of them correctly (you will never be able to navigate 100%) is to read about how others navigated those problems.
In some cases in ministry you just make one wrong turn and that is the end of your ministry. Right now the average stay as a youth pastor is about a year. That is not healthy for the youth pastor but more importantly that is not healthy for the kids and the church as a whole. If you want to have success in ministry – read. I read about one book every two weeks and sometimes more.
Some pastors say I just don’t have time for that. But in reality if you make 1 right decision it prevents the 10 decisions you have to make to clean up a bad decision. You don’t have time not to read in ministry.
Here is a list of “must reads” in Youth/Student Ministry. There are other books we would like to recommend in the future as well. But we don’t want to overload all at once. Here are some of the most important books we think every Youth Worker should read. Praying for your success in ministry this week. We’ve got a huge task in front of us but with Christ we can do all things.
Books on Youth Ministry
Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry by Doug Fields
Speaking to Teenagers: How to Think About, Create, and Deliver Effective Messages by Doug Fields and Duffy Robbins
Purpose-Driven® Youth Ministry by Doug Fields and Rick Warren
Simple Student Ministry: A Clear Process for Strategic Youth Discipleship by Eric Geiger and Jeff Borton
Sticky Faith, Youth Worker Edition: Practical Ideas to Nurture Long-Term Faith in Teenagers by Kara E. Powell, Brad M. Griffin and Cheryl A. Crawford
What Matters Most when NO is better than YES by Doug Fields
Thriving Youth Groups: Secrets For Growing Your Ministry by Jeanne Mayo
Uncensored: Finding God When He Feels Far Away by Jeanne Mayo
Dating Declassified: The Uncensored Truth About Friendship, Dating and Sex by Jeanne Mayo
The Whole Youth Worker: Advice on Professional, Personal, and Physical Wellness from the Trenches, 2nd Ed. by Jay Tucker and Jeanne Mayo
Think Orange: Imagine the Impact When Church and Family Collide… by Reggie Joiner
101 Ideas for Making Disciples in Your Youth Group by Kent Julian
Books on Leadership
The Complete 101 Collection: What Every Leader Needs to Know by John C. Maxwell
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You by John C. Maxwell
Have a great week of ministry. Email us if we can help in any way.
Cyler & Danielle Craig
Conference Youth Pastors